Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire forces to continue to work on business case for Lincolnshire framework fit
The trio of police forces that instituted a review of their plans to outsource their organisational support services via a Lincolnshire Police framework contract are to continue assessing the suitability of the contract to meet their requirements.
But the lack of any current plans to consider alternative procurement plans appears to suggest that the three forces – Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire – will contract with G4S as the supplier, unless the forces decide their business case fails to match the procurement framework.
The need to meet ‘frontloaded’ savings requirements as part of the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review means that a move to use the Lincolnshire framework is more likely than not, though a final decision will not be made until after the election of Police and Crime Commissioners in November.
The three police authorities had asked at the end of June for a full business case to be developed, but a review of this approach was requested by the Joint Working Group at a meeting on July 23 which took place against the backdrop of events relating to the Olympics, with concerns being raised regarding G4S’s ability to deliver.
A new statement issued by the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Police Authorities’ Joint Working Group says work will continue in accordance with the three police authorities’ decision to develop a full business case that will examine outsourcing the forces’ Organisational Support services via the Lincolnshire Police contract, with G4S as the supplier.
“The work to develop the full business case will continue to scrutinise the Lincolnshire Police/G4S contract and assess the ability of the contract to meet the specific requirements of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire,” the joint working group said.
“The full business case will therefore be completed over the next few months, ready for consideration and a decision by the Chief Constables in conjunction with the incoming Police and Crime Commissioners.”
John Shaw, Managing Director of G4S Policing Support Services, said:
“We have been notified by the three Authorities that they intend to continue to work with G4S to develop a full business case for the outsourced delivery of support services.
“We are very pleased to be able to continue to support the forces as they seek a solution which will enable them to retain and build on existing frontline policing capability and services and address a funding shortfall of £73m.
“Clearly in these times of austerity forces are investigating alternative ways of delivering the support services that underpin effective and efficient police operations and we are confident that by working with G4S the three forces will be able to make considerable savings which they will be able to redirect to frontline policing.
A G4S spokesman added:
“The Olympics contract has been delivered by a completely separate part of the G4S Group, which has no links to our policing business. G4S Policing Support Services is run by different management, has a large workforce and has consistently provided excellent service to its clients. It is also a completely different kind of contract. The Olympics involved recruiting a large number of temporary staff to work on a single, short-term project whereas the police outsourcing is the transfer of a significant number of civilian staff from the three forces and rationalised into a single shared service centre.”
Paul Ridgewell, senior analyst at market intelligence specialist Kable, said, “Following a brief ‘wobble’, the three forces now appear to have recognised that G4S Policing Support Services is a distinct and separate entity to the tainted part of the company associated with the Olympics security bid.”