In 2007the Force recognised that the care and administration of detainees did not need the skills of fully trained constables.
Efficient professional management would eliminate what was a time wasting process of booking-in of detainees. Changes would free up 36 front line officers to focus on core policing.
As a result, a decision was taken to partner with a third party to deliver Custody Management Services.
The force entered into a £35m contract over 10 years with Reliance (now Tascor.) This was to deliver Custody and Medical Services, delivering non cashable savings of £2,074,000.
During the contract, negotiations and service reviews have delivered additional savings of £238k in 2012/13 and a further £483k in 2016/17. The contract is due to expire at the end of June 2017.
Make or buy
Prior to the decision being made to re-tender the Custody Service, a “Make or Buy” review was conducted.
The review identified that based on the TUPE list of staff the outsourced model costs are cheaper by approximately £300k per annum for staff costs (taking into account on-costs) than the in-sourced salary costs.
In addition, the force would need to employ additional supervision to manage Custody on a full time basis.
That would be at a rate of £76,974 per annum (Chief Inspector.) Additional costs to support the service covering holidays and sickness would increase the in-house costs further.
A recommendation was put to the Force Executive and OPCC to re-tender the service. This was based on the cost to bring the service in-house being greater than an outsourced provision.
It was considered that due to changes in the market the medical services element should be removed from the contract and tendered separately.
A detailed review of the specification was carried out to ensure that operational needs were captured (including legislative changes) a specification for Custody Support was drawn up.
A decision was made to reduce the contract term from 10 years to three years with an option to extend for two further 12 month periods. It was considered that a shorter contract would provide flexibility in the current changing environment of collaboration. The current contract value is £2,204,000 per annum, therefore based on a potential 5 year contract the total value of the contract would be £11,020,00. The EU tender threshold is £164,176 therefore an EU tender exercise was conducted.
An open tender was carried out using EU Supply as the tender portal, advertising the contract in Contract Finder and OJEU as per the Public Procurement Regulations 2015.
An open tender is a competitive exercise where a tender is advertised. All bidders who express an interest can access tender documentation and submit a bid.
In November 2016, an advert was placed in the European Journal and the Bluelight E-tendering system inviting suppliers to bid for the service.
Eight suppliers expressed an interest in the tender. However, only four suppliers submitted a response by the closing date and time of 12 noon on 16th January.
The evaluation criterion was 60% Specification and 40% price. Although in the current financial climate price is a key factor, it was felt that a quality service particularly in relation to detainee safety was procured.
The bids were evaluated as per the criteria and the overall scores are detailed below:
- Bidder 1 – 88.52%
- Bidder 2 – 80.73%
- Bidder 3 – 85.52%
- Bidder 4 – 72.19%