Tender for Audit Assurance and Advisory Services

Tender for Audit Assurance and Advisory Services

Islington Council invites suitable expressions of interest from providers to enter into four (4) single provider framework agreements to provide Audit, Assurance and Advisory services.

United Kingdom-London: Accounting, auditing and fiscal services

2014/S 058-097557

Contract notice

Services

Directive 2004/18/EC

Section I: Contracting authority

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

Islington
Strategic Procurement Team, Third Floor, 7 Newington Barrow Way, Finsbury Park
For the attention of: Ms Sophia Pearson
N7 7EP London
UNITED KINGDOM
Telephone: +44 2075278411
E-mail: sophia.pearson@islington.gov.uk

Internet address(es):

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

Address of the buyer profile: www.islington.gov.uk/services/business-licensing/opportunities/selling_council/procurement_opps/Pages/default.aspx

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

1213-148 – Provision of Audit, Assurance and Advisory Services.
II.1.2)Type of contract and location of works, place of delivery or of performance

Services
Service category No 9: Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services
Main site or location of works, place of delivery or of performance: The lead boroughs are: –
Islington
Camden
Enfield
Barnet
Lambeth
Harrow
Other local authorities wishing to be named specifically are East Sussex County Council, Essex County Council Kent County Council, Southend on Sea Borough Council and Castle Point District Council.
However the framework is intended to grow, and will allow the named authorities above and other public sector organisations in London and the south east of England to join in future should they wish to do so. This will include: –
— All London local authorities in the Greater London area
— All Arms Length Management Organisations in the Greater London area
— All NHS bodies based in the Greater London area
— Local Authorities in the counties bordering London, namely, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Kent, Sussex and Essex
Where Greater London means the area described at:
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/geography/beginner-s-guide/administrative/england/greater-london-and-the-london-boroughs/index.html

NUTS code UKI

II.1.3)Information about a public contract, a framework agreement or a dynamic purchasing system (DPS)

The notice involves the establishment of a framework agreement
II.1.4)Information on framework agreement

Framework agreement with a single operator
Duration of the framework agreement

Duration in years: 4
Estimated total value of purchases for the entire duration of the framework agreement

Estimated value excluding VAT:
Range: between 0 and 25 000 000 GBP

II.1.5)Short description of the contract or purchase(s)

Islington Council invites suitable expressions of interest from providers to enter into four (4) single provider framework agreements to provide Audit, Assurance and Advisory services. Islington are working with a lead group of London boroughs to develop our internal audit service and are looking to find partners to work with us. The lead boroughs are: –
Islington
Camden
Enfield
Barnet
Lambeth
Harrow
Other local authorities wishing to be named specifically are East Sussex County Council, Essex County Council Kent County Council, Southend on Sea Borough Council and Castle Point District Council.
However the framework is intended to grow, and will allow the named authorities above and other public sector organisations in London and the south east of England to join in future should they wish to do so. This will include: –
— All London local authorities in the Greater London area
— All Arms Length Management Organisations in the Greater London area
— All NHS bodies based in the Greater London area
— Local Authorities in the counties bordering London, namely, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Kent, Sussex and Essex
Where Greater London means the area described at:
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/geography/beginner-s-guide/administrative/england/greater-london-and-the-london-boroughs/index.html

Current status / Background
The lead boroughs see a high quality internal audit and assurance service as a key part of their management process. Funding reductions make it increasingly important that public sector organisations make the most effective use of their resources. With this in mind the named boroughs have been exploring the opportunity of working more closely together to build skills, knowledge and expertise in our respective authorities.
Letting a shared, jointly managed framework contract will help the boroughs to work more closely together, standardise processes and reporting and explore ways of using their combined audit resources more effectively. Providers will be expected to play a key role in supporting this transition, as well as providing a resource to develop the skills and expertise of the in-house teams. We expect that over the life of the contract this will allow us to deliver an increasing number of audits in-house.
Our clear intention is for other organisations to access the framework agreements in order to be able to call off services under them; not just local authorities, but also other public sector partners as we work closer together across traditional boundaries to deliver a more joined up public service to our residents. Other public sector authorities may wish to access the framework agreements in order to be able to call off services under them for specific pieces of work, and the framework agreements will facilitate that.
The other benefit of this approach is that by procuring jointly we expect providers to take advantage of economies of scale, reduced overheads and increased standardisation to reduce the cost of the service. The successful bidders will be expected to include discounts on the price as the volume increases beyond specified thresholds.
The requirement
The requirement will be for the providers to provide specialist staff to help the boroughs deliver their respective internal audit plans, risk management and anti-fraud strategies and be able to provide other advisory services as needed. As a key part of the assurance process, it is vital that it is a high quality service, with the providers’ staff able to grasp the political context that the authorities work, understand the big issues for the sector and add value at all times. The providers will also be expected to support the boroughs to work more closely together as well as helping to develop the respective in house teams.
More detail on the specific requirements is included in the service specification.
The boroughs are also interested in social benefits that the providers may be able to deliver through the contract and will be asking for proposals as part of the formal tender process.
Duration of Framework Agreements[s]
The framework agreements will each have a duration of 4 years from 1 June 2014 or as soon as possible thereafter. However, call off contracts issued pursuant to a framework agreement may last beyond the duration of that framework agreement. Acceptance onto a framework agreement is not a guarantee of work. The contracting authorities shall be under no obligation to issue call off contracts to the successful tenderers. The contracting authorities reserve the right to carry out any of these services themselves or to instruct a third party to carry out these services on their behalf.

II.1.6)Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)

79200000, 79210000, 79212000, 79212100, 79212200, 79212400

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

The contract is covered by the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA): yes
II.1.8)Lots

This contract is divided into lots: yes
Tenders may be submitted for one or more lots
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:

The procurement exercise will be split into 4 lots
Lot 1 – Internal Audit (Core Audit and Specialist)
Lot 2 – Risk Management
Lot 3 – Anti-Fraud
Lot 4 – Advisory Services
Providers will be invited to bid for one or more of these lots. Please note that any potential provider who currently acts as the external auditor for any of the named boroughs will not be considered for the internal audit lot due to the conflict of interest that arrangement would present. However they will be considered for the other lots.
It is difficult to give an accurate figure of the volume or value of the work that will be committed through this framework. The intention is for it to be open to allow others to access. As an indication, the lead boroughs used approximately 3,750 days in the 2012/13 financial year across the four lots. However no guarantee is given towards volume or value of work under this framework agreement.
The allowed scope for Islington Council and other parties who may join in the framework is between 0 GBP to 25m GBP across the four year (48 month) period. The Council and its partners will be under no obligation to utilise the framework agreement, but will give an indication of their requirements each year to allow the successful bidders to carry out resource planning in advance.
The framework agreements will be awarded based on the responses to the tender award criteria. The arrangement will be monitored against a range of outcome based indicators which the provider will be expected to achieve. The details of these indicators will be included within the contract specification and the successful providers will need to demonstrate they have the capability and capacity to meet these requirements.
Estimated value excluding VAT:
Range: between 0 and 25 000 000 GBP
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: 48 (from the award of the contract)

Information about lots

Lot No: 1 Lot title: Internal Audit (Core Audit and Specialist)

1)Short description

All of the lead authorities see a high quality internal audit service as a vital part of their corporate governance arrangements. Internal audit provides an independent and objective assessment that key risks are being effectively managed across the organisation. Where risks are not being effectively managed there are various reporting mechanisms in place at each lead authority. Senior management and the respective Audit Committees are key stakeholders with whom the internal audit service liaise with in order to issue their assurance levels. The Internal Audit service is a proactive role in respect of enabling the organisation to deliver change and all lead authorities see that they have a role in ensuring change is delivered whilst being mindful of risk and having the right controls in place.
2)Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)

79200000, 79210000, 79212000, 79212100, 79212200, 79212400

3)Quantity or scope
4)Indication about different date for duration of contract or starting/completion
5)Additional information about lots
Lot No: 2 Lot title: Risk Management

1)Short description

Understanding and managing organisational risks helps organisations to make informed decisions and ensure that they understand and take action to mitigate the impact of events, where appropriate. The successful tenderer will be expected to provide resource and experience of risk management techniques to help the authorities develop their risk management arrangements and provide practical solutions on how to embed these into the organisation. Risks contained within the risk management system will partially inform the internal audit plan, alongside meetings with stakeholders, as such it is paramount that the risk management arrangements are fit for purpose.
2)Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)

79200000, 79210000, 79212000, 79212100, 79212200, 79212400

3)Quantity or scope
4)Indication about different date for duration of contract or starting/completion
5)Additional information about lots
Lot No: 3 Lot title: Anti-Fraud and Investigations

1)Short description

All of the organisations face fraud risks, and carry out both proactive and reactive work to prevent and detect this. Fraud risks could arise internally, from staff employed by the council or externally, from residents who may engage in fraudulent activity to gain financial or other advantage through the provision of wilfully incorrect information
The successful contractor will be expected to support the anti-fraud work within each authority, linking with the internal audit plan to ensure that anti-fraud controls and arrangements (e.g. strategy, policies) are in place and that investigations take place as necessary into fraudulent activity to identify perpetrators and learn lessons for the future. Benefits fraud is excluded from the scope.
2)Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)

79200000, 79210000, 79212000, 79212100, 79212200, 79212400

3)Quantity or scope
4)Indication about different date for duration of contract or starting/completion
5)Additional information about lots
Lot No: 4 Lot title: Other advisory services

1)Short description

The successful tenderer will provide appropriate resources to the authorities as required for other advisory pieces of work. This could range from helping an authority develop efficiency plans to, carrying out independent investigations or supporting projects of strategic importance.
2)Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)

79200000, 79210000, 79212000, 79212100, 79212200, 79212400

3)Quantity or scope
4)Indication about different date for duration of contract or starting/completion
5)Additional information about lots

Section III: Legal, economic, financial and technical information

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

As per tender documentation.
III.1.2)Main financing conditions and payment arrangements and/or reference to the relevant provisions governing them:

As per tender documentation.
III.1.3)Legal form to be taken by the group of economic operators to whom the contract is to be awarded:

As per tender documentation.
III.1.4)Other particular conditions

The performance of the contract is subject to particular conditions: yes
Description of particular conditions: As per tender documentation.
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 judgment 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.
Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if requirements are met:
As per tender documentation.
III.2.2)Economic and financial ability

Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met: (a) appropriate statements from banks or, where appropriate, evidence of relevant professional risk indemnity insurance;
(b) the presentation of balance-sheets or extracts from the balance-sheets, where publication of the balance-sheet is required under the law of the country in which the economic operator is established;
(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 three 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.
Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if requirements are met:
As per tender documentation.
Minimum level(s) of standards possibly required: As per tender documentation.
III.2.3)Technical capacity

Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if the requirements are met:
(b) a list of the principal deliveries effected or the main services provided in the past three 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;
Information and formalities necessary for evaluating if requirements are met:
As per tender documentation.
Minimum level(s) of standards possibly required:
As per tender documentation.
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: no
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

Open
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
IV.2)Award criteria
IV.2.1)Award criteria

The most economically advantageous tender in terms of the criteria stated below

1. Quality (see additional information section for breakdown). Weighting 70

2. Cost. Weighting 30

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:

1213-148
IV.3.2)Previous publication(s) concerning the same contract

no
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: 9.5.2014 – 12:00
Payable documents: no
IV.3.4)Time limit for receipt of tenders or requests to participate

12.5.2014 – 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

English.
IV.3.7)Minimum time frame during which the tenderer must maintain the tender

in days: 91 (from the date stated for receipt of tender)
IV.3.8)Conditions for opening of tenders

Date: 12.5.2014 – 17:00
Persons authorised to be present at the opening of tenders: yes
Additional information about authorised persons and opening procedure: Islington Council Officers, their representatives and/or partners as appropriate.

Section VI: Complementary information

VI.1)Information about recurrence

This is a recurrent procurement: yes
Estimated timing for further notices to be published: May 2017
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

For lots 1-3 the 70 % quality element of the award criteria will be made up of the following:
Proposed approach to methodology and innovation in service delivery – 20 %
Proposed approach to partnership working and collaboration – 15 %
Proposal for driving efficiencies over the lifetime of the framework agreement – 10 %
Proposal for developing in-house teams through knowledge transfer over the lifetime of the framework agreement – 10 %
Specialist expertise and professional qualifications – 10 %
Proposal for adding social value over the lifetime of the framework agreement – 5 %
For lot 4 the 70% quality element of the award criteria will be made up of the following:
Proposed approach to methodology and innovation in service delivery – 25 %
Specialist expertise and professional qualifications – 20 %
Proposed approach to partnership working and collaboration – 15 %
Proposal for driving efficiencies over the lifetime of the framework agreement – 10 %
The award criteria are supplemented by sub-criteria (together with their weightings) and guidance in the invitation document. As such the award criteria, sub-criteria (together with weightings) and guidance shall be taken together when bids are evaluated.
Islington will require tenderers to attend interviews and/or give presentations on their tenders which Islington may use to clarify aspects of tenderers’ tenders. Details will be provided in the invitation to tender.
Islington Council requires your organisation to be financially stable before awarding any contract. Any tenderer can be disqualified on this basis at any point until the contract is fully signed. An independent financial risk appraisal will be sought from Experian Ltd. For information on where Experian obtain their information, please refer to their website at www.experian.co.uk. If you have any doubt as to your organisation’s financial credibility and/or stability we advise you to seek assessment prior to submission of your tender. You may be required to supply documents including (but not exhaustive) copies of balance sheets, profit and loss accounts, notes to the accounts, auditor’s comments and or claims/litigation if requested to do so to support your application

How to express an interest
If you wish to receive a tendering pack for this procurement exercise please follow the steps below:
Register your company free of charge via the London Tenders Portal.
Link: https://www.londontenders.org/procontract/supplier.nsf/frm_home?openForm

Await acceptance. You will receive an email confirming your username and password for the London Tenders Portal
Use your username and password to log into the London Tenders Portal and Express your interest in 1213-148 Provision of Audit, Assurance and Advisory Services – CPV codes 79210000, 79212000, 79212200, 79212100, 79212400.
Shortly after you have expressed interest, you will receive a second email containing a link to access the tender pack.
Late applications will not be accepted.
Additional information
— Islington Council and its partners are committed to work towards a ‘Fairer Islington’. The council’s Corporate Plan 2011- 2015 outlines proposals for creating a fairer Islington by addressing the gaps between rich and poor to make a difference to the lives of those in our community who most need a helping hand.
— In keeping with Islington’s commitment to sustainability, please do not include any publicity material with your submissions.
— Islington Council aims to provide equality of opportunity and welcomes applicants from black and minority ethnic communities and disabled groups. In addition the Council actively encourages Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations, Social Enterprises or not for profit enterprises and small to medium enterprises (SME) to tender as part of its sustainability policy.
— Tenderers are advised that all costs incurred either directly or indirectly in preparation, submission or otherwise related to this tender will be borne by them, and in no circumstances will the Council be responsible for any such costs. Tenderers are also advised that the Council at its sole discretion acting reasonably and in good faith reserves the right to abandon the procurement at any stage prior to contract award.
— Please include the Contract Number of this tender process when communicating with the Council in any way.
— Potential providers must be aware that TUPE [Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations] may apply. Potential providers should take their own independent legal advice as to the application of TUPE to this procurement.
— As part of a commitment to transparency the council is now publishing all spend over £500 each month. This includes spend on contracts, so the successful provider should expect details of spend against any call off contract the council may award to a provider to appear on the council website www.islington.gov.uk. The council is also committed to publishing tender and contract documentation after contract award stage. Commercially sensitive information will be redacted from documentation. What constitutes commercially sensitive information is a matter for the council’s sole discretion. However, tenderers will be invited to identify information they consider to be commercially sensitive in their tender return and this will be taken into account in the council forming a view.

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

Islington Council – Strategic Procurement Team
3rd Floor, 7 Newington Barrow Way
N7 7EP London
UNITED KINGDOM
E-mail: procurement@islington.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 2075272000
Internet address: www.islington.gov.uk

VI.5)Date of dispatch of this notice:19.3.2014