We are getting close to finding out who the provider of Devon’s new Term Maintenance Contract will be having successfully completed the initial tender submission and negotiation stages. We are now in receipt of the final tenders from the potential providers.
Final bids were received on the 12 August and scrutinised by Procurement to ensure each tender complied fully with the tender process as detailed in the invitation to tender (ITT). This process has been completed and from the 17 August the process of evaluation of the technical and quality submissions has begun. Evaluation of the quality part of the tender submissions will be undertaken by 7 individual Evaluation Panels each consisting of 3 panel members. Each panel has been well briefed and are allocated with evaluating specific parts of the evaluation submissions. Team members will individually score each return based upon a defined scoring matrix published within the ITT.
Each panel’s evaluation, once completed, will then receive further scrutiny through a process of moderation including the Procurement team. This process is designed to challenge each panel members approach for the purposes of Quality Assurance. To further support the process Devon Audit Partnership are attending moderation panels for both Devon and Plymouth.
Running in parallel with the evaluation panels, but entirely separate to them, are two further panels, first is the Price Evaluation Panel which evaluates the financial submissions from each tenderer and attributes a score for each based upon the financial scoring matrix issued with the ITT. The other panel is the Overview Panel which looks at the full tender submissions for each tenderer to ensure that what is being offered by each tenderer (such as potential efficiency savings) is actually supported within their tender, the term ‘ the golden thread ’ may be familiar to you. This panel has no direct input to any of the evaluation panels, but is working in support of them.
An important aspect of the above process is that each Evaluation Panel operates independently from other panel members, until they gather together for moderation. Similarly the Price Evaluation Panel is independent to any other panel and at no time will any Evaluation Panel member know any prices during their quality evaluation process.
Once all the evaluations and moderations are completed the panels arrive at their collective score. Once this process is completed then the price scores are added to the respective quality scores for each tenderer to arrive at a final tender score for each tender submission.
The next process will be submission of an award paper to Devon’s Cabinet for Member approval of the recommended Supplier. Following Cabinet decision there then follows a Member ‘call-in’ period as per the Council’s Procedures.
Following this period all bidders are advised by letter of who the Preferred Supplier is and the pre award standstill period begins. This period is a legal requirement as part of the contract award process.
Devon and Plymouth are looking to award the contract on 5 October and begin the 6 month mobilisation process for new contract start of 1 April 2017.
Notable milestones are:
- Evaluations and moderations complete by 5 September
- Cabinet Decision 14 September
- Call-in Period 14 to 21 September
- Notification of Preferred Supplier 23 September
- Standstill Period 23 Sept to 4 October
- Contract Award 5 October.
The timescales outlined above are almost unprecedented within DCC for a contract of this nature. At the completion of this process we will not only have identified the best possible bid but also hope to have successfully demonstrated how the new process of Competitive Procedure with Negotiation can add value to the tender process for both parties within the contract.