Sandwell Legal Services Strategic Alliance

Sandwell Legal Services Strategic Alliance

The Authority is seeking to appoint a single, prime contractor on an exclusive basis for new matters for an initial term of up to three years.

UK-Oldbury: legal services

2012/S 51-083232

Contract notice

Services

Directive 2004/18/EC

Section I: Contracting authority

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

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Legal Services, Sandwell Council House, Freeth Street, West Midlands
Contact point(s): Paul Piddock (Project Director), Daniel Reeve (Solicitor)
B69 3DE Oldbury
UNITED KINGDOM
Telephone: +44 1215698399/3506
E-mail: paul_piddock@sandwell.gov.ukordaniel_reeve@sandwell.gov.uk

Internet address(es):

General address of the contracting authority: www.sandwell.gov.uk

Further information can be obtained from: The above mentioned contact point(s)

Specifications and additional documents (including documents for competitive dialogue and a dynamic purchasing system) can be obtained from: The above mentioned contact point(s)

Tenders or requests to participate must be sent to: The above mentioned contact point(s)

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: no

Section II: Object of the contract

II.1)Description
II.1.1)Title attributed to the contract by the contracting authority:

Sandwell Legal Services Strategic Alliance.
II.1.2)Type of contract and location of works, place of delivery or of performance

Services
Service category No 21: Legal services
Main site or location of works, place of delivery or of performance: Sandwell Council House, Freeth Street, Oldbury, West Midlands.
NUTS code UKG34

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)

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council the Authority is seeking expressions of interest from economic operators to enter into a public services contract with the Authority for the provision of specialist legal advice and assistance across the full gamut of the Authority s Legal Services division s (Legal Services) activities together with advice and support required by Legal Services division generally from time to time.
The Authority is seeking to appoint a single, prime contractor on an exclusive basis for new matters for an initial term of up to three years. The scope of the contract, whilst not guaranteed includes (without limitation) advice and assistance with the following specialist areas of law currently practised by Legal Services:
Social Care including:
Child protection.
Education admissions.
Vulnerable adult protection.
Litigation including:
Housing, housing possessions and homelessness Employment.
General civil litigation.
Licensing including:
Taxi and alcohol licensing.
Criminal litigation.
Property including:
Right to buy.
General conveyancing.
Landlord and tenant.
Developments.
Highways agreements.
Commercial including:
Compulsory purchase orders.
Highways.
Planning.
Procurement.
Contracts.
Corporate.
Other including:
Freedom of information and data protection judicial review and governance.
Human rights.
The above areas do not constitute lots within this procurement and operators must be able to provide a substantially comprehensive service across the full range of areas. It is acknowledged the prime contractor may need to sub-contract elements of the services sought pursuant to this Notice and economic operators should refer to the objective selection criteria relating to professional and technical ability set out in the pre qualification questionnaire for further information regarding this.
Legal Services will retain control over the extent of advice and assistance required of the contractor on any specific matter and over the use of counsel. Although to the extent possible the Authority is willing to offer the contractor exclusivity it does not guarantee minimum volumes of work and indeed one of the principal objects of the proposed Strategic Alliance is to reduce the volume of service provided by external providers.
Legal Services provide advice and assistance to all internal divisions of the Authority and additionally external organisations including but not limited to: West Midlands Fire Services, Sandwell Homes Limited, Sandwell Leisure Trust Limited and maintained schools. The Authority generally and Legal Services in particular also want to explore and exploit opportunities such as collaborative working with other contracting authorities in the West Midlands and commercial trading opportunities. Although the Authority is not seeking to purchase on behalf of other contracting authorities in the sense of awarding a multi purchaser framework agreement the scope of the contract sought pursuant to this Notice may include advice and assistance to support Legal Services with opportunities to provide legal services to third parties including other contracting authorities and third sector organisations within the West Midlands.
Legal Services operates as a traded service within the Authority s budgeting arrangements; that is, Legal Services recharges clients both internal and external to the Authority on a cost recovery basis for advice and assistance provided via hourly rates set by reference to the skills and experience of the fee earner. Spend on external advice is treated as a pass through cost to client budgets.
Some but not all spend on bought in legal advice and assistance is recharged through Legal Services account. The last available data indicates a total of 1 100 000 p.a. GBP of spend on bought in services being recharged through Legal Services account. However this figure includes counsel s fees which will not form part of the exclusive arrangements sought pursuant to this Notice and a high level of spend on exceptional matters which are largely complete for example, the Authority s job evaluation exercise pursuant to equal pay obligations. Conversely it does not include significant external spend on specific projects such as Building Schools for the Future and Integrated Waste Services Partnership combined approximately 1.5 million GBP over two years where it is anticipated future, similar projects would fall within the exclusive arrangements sought. For these reasons plus the autonomy of clients, particularly external clients, and the budgetary pressures and consequent changing needs and priorities of local authorities it is difficult to accurately forecast the value of the contract sought in monetary terms. The Authority will share available budgetary information with participants at appropriate points of the procurement.
The Authority is determined that any contract awarded pursuant to this Notice will deliver greater value for money and an overall reduction in reliance on bought in legal services over the term of the contract.
In order to achieve the stated objective in the paragraph above the Authority will require the contractor to provide associated value add services. These may include without limitation: service management and design advice; management consultancy; business process re-engineering; recruitment advice; advice regarding case management and other ICT products and services; skills audit and analysis; client care training; legal training services to both in house fee earners and clients including bespoke training leading to achievement of skills transfer; and, mentoring and secondment opportunities. The Authority will seek outline proposals for such services from economic operators selected pursuant to a pre qualification questionnaire and wish to discuss the precise scope and contractual arrangements for such services with 3 to 5 economic operators chosen pursuant to assessment of the outline proposals.
II.1.6)Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)

79100000, 79110000, 79111000, 79112000, 79140000, 79132000, 79112100, 79131000, 79600000, 72221000, 79410000, 80500000

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

The contract is covered by the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA): no
II.1.8)Lots

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

Variants will be accepted: no
II.2)Quantity or scope of the contract
II.2.1)Total quantity or scope:

This contract will provide the Authority and other contracting authorities in the West Midlands and any future successor to these organisations, their associated bodies and third sector organisations in the West Midlands with access to a comprehensive range of legal services.
Please also see section II.1.5 above.
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: 36 (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:

Deposits, guarantees, performance bonds, collateral warranties or other forms of security may be required from the prime contractor as well as sub-contractors.
III.1.2)Main financing conditions and payment arrangements and/or reference to the relevant provisions governing them:

Payment will be in accordance with the agreed contract conditions.
III.1.3)Legal form to be taken by the group of economic operators to whom the contract is to be awarded:

The Authority is seeking contractual arrangements with a single, prime contractor and may include supply chain rights over sub contractors to be used where appropriate/applicable. Such supply chain rights may include/relate to: choice of counsel; choice of experts; appointment including replacement of sub contractors; and, benchmarking of sub contracted services.
III.1.4)Other particular conditions

The performance of the contract is subject to particular conditions: yes
Description of particular conditions: Any other condition as specifid in the tender documents.
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: Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if requirements are met on a similar basis to those in Part 4 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 as amended on the basis of information provided in response to the pre qualification questionnaire. Economic operators must express interest and submit a completed pre qualification questionnaire which can be obtained from the contact point set out in I.1 above.
III.2.2)Economic and financial ability

Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met: Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if requirements are met on a similar basis to those in Part 4 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 as amended on the basis of information provided in response to the pre qualification questionnaire. Economic operators must express interest and submit a completed pre qualification questionnaire which can be obtained from the contact point set out in I.1 above.
The Authority may take into account any of the following information:
Statements from banks and/or evidence of professional inemnity insurance;
Presentation of balance sheets or extracts from balance sheets;
A statement of the operator s overall turnover and where appropriate turnover in the area covered by the contract for a maximum of the last three years available depending on the date on which the operator was set up or started trading.
III.2.3)Technical capacity

Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met:
Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if requirements are met on similar basis to those in Part 4 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 as amended on the basis of information provided in response to the pre-qualification questionnaire. Economic operators must express interest and submit a completed pre qualification questionnaire which can be obtained from the contact point set out in I.1 above.
The Authority may have regard to any of the following means in its assessment:
A list of the principal deliveries effected or service provided in the last three years with sums, dates and recipients involved. Evidence of delivery from recipients may be required in the form of references;
A description of technical facilities and measures used by the supplier for ensuring quality;
Educational and professional qualifications, particularly those of the persons who would be responsible for providing the seervices under this contract;
Indication of the environmental management measures that the economic operator will be able to apply when performing the contract;
A statement of the average annual manpower of the operator and the number of managerial staff for the last three years.
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: Legal Profession.
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

Accelerated negotiated
Participants are advised that as legal services (which form the predominant element of the service sought pursuant to this Notice) are a Part B service this is a voluntary OJEU notice and as such is not subject to the obligations of the Procurement Directive but are nonetheless subject to the general obligations of transparency, equal treatment and non-discrimination. As such this will not be accelerated negotiated procedure in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 however the process to be followed is further described in VI.3 Additional Information below.
IV.1.2)Limitations on the number of operators who will be invited to tender or to participate
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

no
IV.3.3)Conditions for obtaining specifications and additional documents or descriptive document

Payable documents: no
IV.3.4)Time limit for receipt of tenders or requests to participate

2.4.2012
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

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

Persons authorised to be present at the opening of tenders: no

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

Participants are advised that as legal services (which form the predominant element of the service sought pursuant to this Notice) are a Part B service this is a voluntary OJEU notice and as such is not subject to the obligations of the Procurement Directive but are nonetheless subject to the general obligations of transparency, equal treatment and non discrimination.
The Authority intends to conduct an incremental award process with operators initially selected by reference to whether requirements are met on a similar basis to the requirements in Part 4 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (as amended). The Authority will then further reduce the number of selected operators by assessing outline proposals for the contract against the award criteria. It is envisaged a minimum number of three operators will be invited to discuss and submit detailed proposals for the contract with the Authority following assessment of the outline proposals.
The Authority considers the contract sought pursuant to this Notice to be particularly complex in respect of the innovative, value add elements of the Strategic Alliance. In particular the Authority is not able to objectively specify the precise nature and scope of the value add services or the payment mechanism/incentivisation arrangements without recourse to dialogue with participants.
The procurement methodology is further described below and in the tender documents and operators are required to satisfy themselves as to, and deemed to understand, the process being followed.
Economic operators expressing an interest in participation in the procurement will be provided with and must complete an official pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ). This must be returned with the supporting documentation by the date stated in the questionnaire. Questionnaires received after this time may not be processed. Economic operators responses to the PQQ will be evaluated against the objective criteria set out in the PQQ principally concerning the operator s economic and financial standing and technical and professional ability. The Authority is not setting a limit on the number of operators who will be selected pursuant to assessment of PQQ responses provided always those selected must meet the objective criteria set out in the PQQ.
Economic operators selected pursuant to the PQQ will be invited to submit proposals for this contract in the form of an outline solution prepared in accordance with an invitation to submit outline solutions (ISOS) which will include contract and descriptive documentation. Only economic operators selected pursuant to their PQQs will be issued with the ISOS.
Selected operators outline solutions will then be evaluated in accordance with the award criteria and methodology set out in the ISOS. In particular the ISOS will focus on proposals for the value add services described above and only the element of the award criteria relating to value add services (as particularised in the ISOS) will be used to evaluate responses to the ISOS. Further to such evaluation the Authority intends to invite a minimum of three participants to continue in the award process and to discuss with the Authority and prepare detailed solutions/final tenders for the contract during one or more incremental stage. Elimination of operators and/or award of contract at the detailed solutions/final tender stage will be evaluated against the award criteria as a whole and not just the value add element.
The purpose of the ISOS stage is therefore to short-list the potentially large number of operators meeting the PQQ selection criteria and provide the basis for further dialogue. The Authority has no intention to discuss on every aspect of the proposed contract during the procurement process and wishes to keep dialogue as short and efficient as reasonably practicable. Discussions will therefore concentrate on (but is not limited to) application of the value add services, the payment mechanism and incentivisation regime and possibly some other aspects of the contract structure.
The Authority reserves the right to award the contract in whole or part, to cancel or amend the tender process, not award the contract in whole or part, and does not bind itself to accept any tender. The Authority reserves the right to make whatever changes it sees fit to the content and structure of the procurement competition and shall not be liable in any circumstances for any costs or expenses incurred by any economic organisation in responding to this Notice or in tendering for the project.
The contract is for an initial term of up to three years with provision for one negotiated extension of up to two further years.
Potential suppliers should note that in accordance with the UK Government s policies on transparency the Authority may decide to publish the PQQ, ISOS, other tender documents and text from the contract awarded subject to possible redaction at the discretion of the Authority.
To comply with the Public Sector Equality duties, all Local Authorities have a legal duty to eliminate discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity in employment and service delivery. Therefore, when executing this contract, the successful contractor will be expected to comply with the Equality and Diversity Legislation. As a minimum standard to measure compliance, the Authority utilises the Common Standard for Equalities in Public Procurement. (A leaflet in respect of this will accompany each prequalification questionnaire) Please Note: If you are not currently subject to UK legislation documentary evidence of your compliance with equivalent legislation that is designed to eliminate discrimination and to promote equality of opportunity in the country where you are registered will be required.
Under this procurement the contractor will be required to actively participate in the economic and social regeneration of the locality and surrounding of the place of delivery for the serivces. Accordingly contract performance conditions may relate in particular to social and environmental considerations.
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:8.3.2012