Joint Venture Services with Kent County Council

Joint Venture Services with Kent County Council

Kent County Council (KCC) is inviting Expressions of Interest from organisations to enter into a contract with KCC to:
i) form a Joint Venture/Alternative Business Structure (JV/ABS) with its current in house provider, Kent Legal Services.

United Kingdom-Maidstone: Business services: law, marketing, consulting, recruitment, printing and security

2014/S 196-346860

Contract notice


Directive 2004/18/EC

Section I: Contracting authority

I.1)Name, addresses and contact point(s)

Kent County Council
County Hall
For the attention of: Mrs Alison Blackman
ME14 1XQ Maidstone
Telephone: +44 1622696103

Internet address(es):

General address of the contracting authority:

I.2)Type of the contracting authority

Regional or local authority
I.3)Main activity

General public services
I.4)Contract award on behalf of other contracting authorities

The contracting authority is purchasing on behalf of other contracting authorities: yes

Section II: Object of the contract

II.1.1)Title attributed to the contract by the contracting authority:

Legal Services: Comercial JV/ABS
II.1.2)Type of contract and location of works, place of delivery or of performance

Service category No 21: Legal services
NUTS code
II.1.3)Information about a public contract, a framework agreement or a dynamic purchasing system (DPS)

The notice involves a public contract
II.1.4)Information on framework agreement
II.1.5)Short description of the contract or purchase(s)

Kent County Council (KCC) is inviting Expressions of Interest from organisations to enter into a contract with KCC to:
i) form a Joint Venture/Alternative Business Structure (JV/ABS) with its current in house provider, Kent Legal Services (KLS) and
ii) deliver legal services to KCC and other clients.
KCC and the successful tenderer will work together to maximise profits and build on the success of Kent Legal Service’ (KLS) past achievements by devising an innovative and ground breaking public-private joint venture. It is envisaged that traditional models of legal service delivery or outsourcing would not allow KCC to achieve this.
KCC is seeking to engage with a commercial partner to form a JV/ABS with KLS that will deliver legal services to KCC and also maximise the opportunities that are available in the rapidly changing external legal market. A key priority is the return to KCC of a significant and sustainable income stream that exceeds the current level of return made by KLS.
The creation of a JV/ABS will enable KLS to improve capacity and acquire technology, capital, leading edge business systems, additional expertise and resources in sales and marketing to enable the existing client base to be grown and new clients to be secured, all within a highly competitive external legal services market.
KCC has decided that, given KLS’s excellent track record and capacity to continue to grow its offering to both internal and external clients, the time is right to seek expressions of interest from the private sector to invest in the future of KLS. Such investment will significantly increase the contribution KLS can make to the funding of front-line services, and further improve its efficiency and performance for the benefit of its clients and the Kent community. KLS has an annual turnover of approximately 9 000 000 GBP, of which between 6-8 % is undertaken for external clients, generating a surplus of around 2 500 000 GBP pa (before deduction of corporate overheads).
KLS currently delivers a comprehensive legal service to both KCC and a wide range of external public sector bodies. The service is part-way through a 3-year in-depth review, Evolution, Efficiency, Enterprise, which has already delivered substantial savings and efficiencies through enhanced performance management, overhead reduction, demand management and the increased use of technology.
KLS, as an in-house team, is restricted by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) rules. These rules do not currently permit KLS to provide legal services to all the organisations for which KCC is otherwise legally allowed to act.
It is envisaged that the role of the commercial partner in the JV/ABS will involve, as a minimum, the provision of the following:
1. An initial capital investment together with working capital and on-going investment from within its own resources.
2. Comprehensive transition support, for both staff and systems.
3. A clear business plan for rapid and sustainable growth.
4. The delivery of innovative on-going process improvements.
5. Business development expertise, in particular the ability to introduce new market entrants and generate increased profitability.
6. Proven, significant existing and expanding sources of work for the JV/ABS to service and new leads to produce significant new external income streams.
7. Sales and marketing expertise and resources to secure new external clients and ensure that the JV/ABS achieves and sustains a position as a market leader in the provision of legal services to the public sector.
8. The ability to swiftly develop and implement automated systems achieving significant cost reductions and enabling more cost effective solutions to be offered to clients.
9. Expertise of other client environments and access to teams operating in broader markets capable of extending and developing existing services.
Please note, this list is not exhaustive.
The commercial partner will be expected to deliver on-going process improvements and investment to the JV/ABS so as to ensure that it can be successful in the face of competition for public sector work from other local authorities, local authority ABSs, traditional law firms and the new breed of law firms who are setting up with significant automation to enable reduced fees.
The successful bidder should either have already received SRA approval for an ABS, or be committed and prepared to immediately enter into the process of having an ABS submission approved by the SRA.
Key objectives of the JV/ABS will be to:
1. Continue to provide existing clients of KLS (including internal KCC clients) with high quality and value for money legal advice and guidance. The service will need to be capable of Lexcel and ISO compliance from day one.
Reduce the annual cost of legal services to KCC over the lifetime of the contract.
2. Provide legal services to any entities (whether companies, limited liability partnerships or otherwise) in which KCC has an interest from time to time (whether as a shareholder, member or otherwise) including but not limited to any local authority trading companies and other local authority external delivery vehicles.
3. Return to KCC a sustainable and significant income stream provided by the shared profits of the JV/ABS, with growing returns in the medium to long term. The return will be expected to exceed surplus levels currently delivered by KLS.
Please note, this list is not exhaustive.
The confirmed list of the services in-scope immediately and those that may be considered as a possible further expansion will be discussed during competitive dialogue.
However, the anticipated range of legal services that will be provided by the JV/ABS includes (but is not limited to) the following:
— Contracts
— Procurement
— Academy Conversions
— Company and Commercial
— Pensions
— Information Governance
— Highways
— Planning
— Village Greens and Public Rights of Way
— Property
— Civil and Criminal Litigation
— Employment
— Insurance claims
— Education
— Children and Adult Social Welfare
KCC reserve the right to amend this anticipated range of services.
Registering an interest and the PQQ.

Potential providers are requested to register via the Kent Portal Registering an interest via the portal will also give access to the PQQ. Registered parties will be invited to attend a Suppliers Day. Full details of this event will be published via the portal.

High Level Award Criteria:
The award criteria will be set out in the tender documentation which will be issued to those parties invited to take part in the competitive dialogue.
PQQ Short-listing:
The PQQ will be used to select a short-list of organisations who will be invited to participate in the competitive dialogue.
Responses to the PQQ will be evaluated in accordance with the evaluation guidance for each question. A minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 top scoring organisations will be invited to participate.
Council Not Bound
KCC does not bind itself to accept the lowest or any tender for all or any part of the requirement and will not accept responsibility for any expense or loss which may be incurred by any tenderer in the preparation of the tender should KCC decide to discontinue the tender process or for any other reason whatsoever.

II.1.6)Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)

79000000, 79100000, 79110000, 79140000, 79120000

II.1.7)Information about Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)

The contract is covered by the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA): no

This contract is divided into lots: no
II.1.9)Information about variants

Variants will be accepted: yes
II.2)Quantity or scope of the contract
II.2.1)Total quantity or scope:

Contract for legal services to KCC
The scope of this procurement exercise includes the award of a contract to the JV/ABS for the provision of legal services to KCC.
It is envisaged that the contract will be for a term of up to a maximum of 10 years, during which time KCC will assign all its legal work to the JV/ABS. It is envisaged that the overall contract term will include break provisions and/or will be subject to the achievement of specified targets and outcomes. The exact nature of the contract period, volumes of work, break provisions and the targets and outcomes will be determined during the dialogue phase of the procurement process.
However, the anticipated total value of the contract for the provision of services by the JV/ABS to KCC is up to circa 100 000 000 GBP, on the basis that the contract runs for a full 10 year term.
Descriptive Document
Further information regarding the project is available in the Descriptive Document which will be shared with short-listed bidders.
II.2.2)Information about options

Options: no
II.2.3)Information about renewals
II.3)Duration of the contract or time limit for completion

Duration in months: 120 (from the award of the contract)

Section III: Legal, economic, financial and technical information

III.1)Conditions relating to the contract
III.1.1)Deposits and guarantees required:

The contracting authority reserves the right to require deposits, guarantees, bonds and other forms of appropriate security.
III.1.2)Main financing conditions and payment arrangements and/or reference to the relevant provisions governing them:
III.1.3)Legal form to be taken by the group of economic operators to whom the contract is to be awarded:

The contracting authority reserves the right to require a consortium to form a legal entity for the delivery of the contract.
III.1.4)Other particular conditions
III.2)Conditions for participation
III.2.1)Personal situation of economic operators, including requirements relating to enrolment on professional or trade registers

Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met: Any supplier may be disqualified who:
(a) is bankrupt or is being wound up, where his affairs are being administered by the court, where he has entered into an arrangement with creditors, where he has suspended business activities or is in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure under national laws and regulations;
(b) is the subject of proceedings for a declaration of bankruptcy, for an order compulsory winding up the administration by the court or of an arrangement with creditors or of any other similar proceedings under national laws and regulations;
(c) has been convicted by a judgement which has the force of res judicata in accordance with the legal provisions of the country of any offence concerning his professional conduct;
(d) has been guilty of grave professional misconduct proven by any means which the contract authorities can demonstrate;
(e) has not fulfilled obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions in accordance with the legal provisions of the country in which he is established or with those of the country of the contracting authority;
(f) has not fulfilled obligations relating to the payment of taxes in accordance with the legal provisions of the country in which he is established or with those of the country of the contracting authority;
(g) is guilty of serious misrepresentation in supplying the information required under this Section or has not supplied such information;
(h) has been the subject of a conviction for participation in a criminal organization, as defined in Article 2(1) of Council Joint Action 98/733/JHA;
(i) has been the subject of a conviction for corruption, as defined in Article 3 of the Council Act of 26 May 1972 and Article 3(1) of Council Joint Action 98/742/JHA3 respectively;
(j)has been the subject of a conviction for fraud within the meaning of Article 1 of the Convention relating to the protection of the financial interests of the European Communities;
(k) has been the subject of a conviction for money laundering, as defined in Article 1 of Council Directive 91/308/EEC of 10 June 1991 on prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering.
As set out in the pre-qualification questionnaire.
III.2.2)Economic and financial ability

Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met: (c) a statement of the undertaking’s overall turnover and, where appropriate , of turnover in the area covered by the contract for a maximum of the last 3 financial years available, depending on the date on which the undertaking was set up or the economic operator started trading, as far as the information of these turnovers is available.
As set out in the pre-qualification questionnaire.
III.2.3)Technical capacity

Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met:
(a) a list of the works carried out over the past 5 years, accompanied by certificates of satisfactory execution for the most important works. These certificates shall indicate the value, date and site of the works and shall specify whether they were carried out according to the rules of the trade and properly completed. Where appropriate, the competent authority shall submit these certificates to the contracting authority direct;
(b) a list of the principal deliveries effected or the main services provided in the past 3 years, with the sums, dates and recipients, whether public or private, involved. Evidence of delivery and services provided shall be given: — where the recipient was a contracting authority, in the form of certificates issues or countersigned by the competent authority, — where the recipient was a private purchaser, by the purchaser’s certification or, failing this, simply by a declaration by the economic operator;
(c) an indication of the technicians or technical bodies involved, whether or not belonging directly to the economic operator’s undertaking, especially those responsible for quality control and, in the case of public works contracts, those upon whom the contractor can call in order to carry out the work;
(d) a description of the technical facilities and measures used by the supplier or service provider for ensuring quality and the undertaking’s study and research facilities;
(e) where the products or services to be supplied are complex or, exceptionally, are required for a special purpose, a check carried out by the contracting authorities or on their behalf by a competent official body of the country in which the supplier or service provider is established, subject to that body’s agreement, on the production capabilities of the supplier or the technical capacity of the service provider and, if necessary, on the means of study and research which are available to it and the quality control measures it will operate;
(f) the educational and professional qualifications of the service provider or contractor and/or those of the undertaking’s managerial staff and, in particular, those of the person or persons responsible for providing the services or managing the work;
(g) for public works contracts and public services contracts, and only in appropriate cases, and indication of the environmental management measures that the economic operator will be able to apply when performing the contract;
(h) a statement of the average annual manpower of the service provider or contractor and the number of managerial staff for the last 3 years;
(j) an indication of the proportion of the contract which the services provider intends possibly to subcontract;
As set out in the pre-qualification questionnaire.
III.2.4)Information about reserved contracts
III.3)Conditions specific to services contracts
III.3.1)Information about a particular profession

Execution of the service is reserved to a particular profession: yes
Reference to the relevant law, regulation or administrative provision:
III.3.2)Staff responsible for the execution of the service

Legal persons should indicate the names and professional qualifications of the staff responsible for the execution of the service: yes

Section IV: Procedure

IV.1)Type of procedure
IV.1.1)Type of procedure

competitive dialogue
IV.1.2)Limitations on the number of operators who will be invited to tender or to participate

Envisaged minimum number 3: and maximum number 5
Objective criteria for choosing the limited number of candidates: Responses to the PQQ will be evaluated in accordance with the evaluation criteria for each question.
IV.1.3)Reduction of the number of operators during the negotiation or dialogue

Recourse to staged procedure to gradually reduce the number of solutions to be discussed or tenders to be negotiated yes
IV.2)Award criteria
IV.2.1)Award criteria

The most economically advantageous tender in terms of the criteria stated in the specifications, in the invitation to tender or to negotiate or in the descriptive document
IV.2.2)Information about electronic auction

An electronic auction will be used: no
IV.3)Administrative information
IV.3.1)File reference number attributed by the contracting authority:

IV.3.2)Previous publication(s) concerning the same contract

Prior information notice

Notice number in the OJEU: 2014/S 73-125988 of 12.4.2014

IV.3.3)Conditions for obtaining specifications and additional documents or descriptive document

Time limit for receipt of requests for documents or for accessing documents: 6.11.2014 – 12:00
IV.3.4)Time limit for receipt of tenders or requests to participate

6.11.2014 – 12:00
IV.3.5)Date of dispatch of invitations to tender or to participate to selected candidates
IV.3.6)Language(s) in which tenders or requests to participate may be drawn up

IV.3.7)Minimum time frame during which the tenderer must maintain the tender
IV.3.8)Conditions for opening of tenders

Section VI: Complementary information

VI.1)Information about recurrence

This is a recurrent procurement: no
VI.2)Information about European Union funds

The contract is related to a project and/or programme financed by European Union funds: no
VI.3)Additional information

1.2 The of contracting authorities are those listed in together with the authorities listed in the Central Buying Consortium and Kent Buying Consortium.

II.1.9 – The contracting authority reserves the right to determine at a later stage of the procurement process whether or not variant bids will be accepted. In the event that the contracting authority decides that variant bids will be accepted, it reserves the right to determine, amongst other things, the parameters and core requirements that shall apply to variant bids and whether a variant bid shall be provided in addition to or instead of a core bid.
III.3.1 Following the award of the contract the successful bidder and/or any joint venture vehicle established by the successful bidder and the contracting authority shall be an Alternative Business Structure established under the Legal Services Act 2007. However there is no requirement that a bidder must come from a particular profession in order to participate in the procurement process so, for the avoidance of doubt, there is no requirement for a bidder to be authorised by the SRA as an Alternative Business Structure or otherwise to participate in the procurement process.

IV.3.4 Expressions of interest must be by way of completion and return of the pre-qualification questionnaire from by the date and time specified. Registering interest via the portal will give access to the PQQ.

The services being procured by the contracting authority are classified as Part B Services under the Public Contracts Regulations 2006. Accordingly, the publication of this notice is not mandatory. The reason the contracting authority has decided to publish this contract notice is to ensure compliance with the principles established under the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union such as transparency, equal treatment and non-discrimination. Neither the issue of this contract notice or any other tender documents during the procurement process shall be taken as acceptance that the full scope of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 applies to this procurement nor is it intended to create any contract (express or implied) that the contracting authority is conducting the procurement process in accordance with the full scope of the Public Contract Regulations 2006

VI.4)Procedures for appeal
VI.4.1)Body responsible for appeal procedures
VI.4.2)Lodging of appeals
VI.4.3)Service from which information about the lodging of appeals may be obtained
VI.5)Date of dispatch of this notice: