Department of Education Accountancy Services Contract
Accountancy services to support the production of the SARA for the academies sector in England.
United Kingdom-London: Accounting services
Section I: Contracting authority
I.1)Name and addresses
Better Financial Reporting Programme, 1st Floor(Finance), Department for Education, Sanctuary Buildings, 20 Great Smith Street
Telephone: +44 8450194170
Fax: +44 2476823675
NUTS code: UKJInternet address(es):Main address: https://www.gov.uk/Department-for-Education
I.4)Type of the contracting authority
Section II: Object
Accountancy services and automated data collection development
II.1.2)Main CPV code
II.1.3)Type of contract
This contract forms a critical part of the Department’s strategy to continue to improve its financial reporting relating to academy trusts. We are seeking a supplier to work closely with us as we aim to deliver the academies Sector Annual Report and Accounts (SARA) more quickly and without any audit qualifications. We also want to enhance our approach to financial reporting to deliver improvements that increase value and reduce burdens.
There are two key aspects of this contract:
— Accountancy services to support the production of the SARA for the academies sector in England. This involves making validations against and accounting adjustments of financial and non-financial data collected from each Academy Trust before consolidation for the SARA.
— Automating the collection of the data from each Academy Trust to DfE. This involves end-to-end technology transformation.
DfE is seeking to bring the majority of the services of this contract in-house over the course of the 3-year term.
II.1.5)Estimated total value
II.1.6)Information about lots
II.2.2)Additional CPV code(s)
II.2.3)Place of performance
London (some travel to other Department for Education sites may be required – Manchester, Coventry, Darlington).
II.2.4)Description of the procurement:
The Department for Education (DfE) secured agreement from Parliament to remove the academy sector from its consolidation boundary from the financial year 2016-2017 and to prepare a separate standalone Annual Report and Accounts (ARA) for the academy sector for the academic year 2015/16 onwards – the academies Sector Annual Report and Accounts (SARA).
The Department for Education has secured, through open competition, an organisation to assist in the production of the SARA. The existing contract expires on 8.12.2018, and the Department is seeking to secure an organisation to assist with the future production of the SARA.
The services covered by this invitation to tender form a critical part of the Department’s strategy for continuing to improve its financial reporting relating to academy trusts. At its core, our vision is for a financial reporting system where:
— the data supplied by academy trusts is used to provide a range of products and services that add value to both the individual institution and the academy sector as a whole,
— the cost to academy trusts of providing information is minimised, thereby releasing resources to invest in the provision of education,
— the Department is highly efficient and effective in delivering its reporting responsibilities to a range of stakeholders, at a time of growing numbers of academies, offering value for money for the public purse.
We are looking for proposals from individual bidders about opportunities for increasing value and reducing costs for the academies sector and the Department. However, we believe there is scope to deliver improvements in many of the following areas:
— removing process inefficiencies,
— improving systems,
— removing unnecessary requirements,
— reducing existing demands on people’s time,
— increasing insight around financial management,
— supporting better use of resources,
— increasing timeliness,
— supporting the Department to perform its financial reporting functions more effectively.
To deliver these outcomes the Department requires a supplier that is highly professional, innovative and experienced in effective implementation. The supplier will be confident in engaging with a wide range of stakeholders — sometimes with competing priorities — and able to persuade and influence in a manner consistent with the programme’s priorities. In addition, the supplier will have extensive experience in managing change – crucial to the Department’s intention to bring in-house aspects of the service over the life of this contract. These requirements will combine into a set of services and products that represent excellent value to the taxpayer, bring genuine benefit to the academy sector, whilst also allowing the Department to continue to meet its financial reporting responsibilities.
Our approach with this ITT is to be explicit about the outcomes we are seeking to achieve and the parameters within which we – and the successful supplier – will need to operate. Beyond this context, we have attempted to provide bidders with the space to develop an innovative solution that meets the Department’s objectives. We have actively avoided mandating requirements unless it is critical to the delivery of the service. We are hoping bidders use this opportunity to look strategically at what the Department is seeking to achieve and the best approach to delivering this whilst offering confidence about delivery of the stated outcomes.
A new contract will commence in June 2018, leading to services commencing in October 2018. The contract is likely to require the delivery of services to the end of June 2021, with a one (1) year extension option included.
It is anticipated that the value of the contract will be approximately 7 500 000 GBP for an initial 3-year term, increasing in line with extension options. Please note these figures do not include VAT that may be applicable.
II.2.7)Duration of the contract, framework agreement or dynamic purchasing system
II.2.10)Information about variants
II.2.11)Information about options
The Department will have sole discretion to extend the contract for a further 12 months.
II.2.13)Information about European Union funds
Section III: Legal, economic, financial and technical information
III.1.2)Economic and financial standing
Section IV: Procedure
IV.1.1)Type of procedure
IV.1.8)Information about the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)
IV.2.2)Time limit for receipt of tenders or requests to participate
IV.2.4)Languages in which tenders or requests to participate may be submitted:
IV.2.7)Conditions for opening of tenders
Section VI: Complementary information
VI.1)Information about recurrence
The SARA for the year ended 31.8.2016 can be found here:
The specific service aspects are split into two parts; Part A, relating to Accountancy Services; and Part B, relating to Automated Data Collection.
Part A: Accountancy Services.
Section 1: Core Service Functions;
1. Consolidation Solution
3. Accounting Adjustments
4. Production of the completed extended trial balance
5. Audit Support
6. Accounting and Technical; Advice, Assurance and Forensics
Section 2: Non-Core Service Functions.
1. Project Planning, Communications and Stakeholder Engagement
Section 3: Implementation.
Section 4: Programme Governance, Data and Systems Security and Exit Management.
Section 5: Managing the Strategic Change.
Part B: Automated Data Collection.
The second key aspect of the service concerns data collection. Currently, the DfE collects Academy Trusts’ data via the use of online forms, with ATs manually entering the data for submission. This includes budget data, data relating financial statements and recognition of fixed assets. In line with Departmental aims to reduce the burden on the sector and the wider data strategy, we are seeking a Contractor to work with the DfE and other third parties to automate the collection of this data where practicable.
This will be a digital build, complying with Government Digital Service service design principles and code of practice:
Whilst the intention is to introduce a new data collection tool/s, the Department provides no firm commitment to the actual scale and value of the services required, as this will be influenced by applying an agile delivery ethos where applicable.
The Contracting Authority will incorporate a minimum 10 calendar day standstill period at the point information on the award of the contracts is communicated to Suppliers. Suppliers who are unsuccessful shall be informed by the Contracting Authority as soon as possible after the decision has been made as to the reasons why they were unsuccessful. If an appeal regarding the award of the contract has not been successfully resolved, The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (SI 2015 Nº 102) provide for aggrieved parties who have been harmed or are at risk of harm by breach of the rules to take legal action. Any such action must be brought within the applicable limitation period. Where a contract has not been entered into, the Court may order the setting aside of the award decision or order the Contracting Authority to amend any document and may award damages. If the contract has been entered into the Court may, depending on the circumstances, award damages, make a declaration of ineffectiveness, order the Contracting Authority to pay a fine, and/or order that the duration of the contract be shortened. The purpose of the standstill period referred to above is to allow the parties to apply to the Courts to set aside the award decision before the contract is entered into.
VI.5)Date of dispatch of this notice: