Report of the Director of Housing and Transformation
The Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Housing and Transformation that sought authorisation for a procurement process to establish a new contract for the supply of ICT Hardware, software and associated services, to the Council.
Within a corporate ICT environment, it was normal practice to have an agreed refresh cycle for equipment based on the effective life of the equipment, warranty period and budgetary constraints. The refresh cycle normally ranged between 3 and 5 years in most organisations. Once devices went past a warranty period, the total cost of ownership rose rapidly, especially with laptops and tablets. Best practice advice from organisations such as Gartner, suggested that a 3 to 4-year refresh cycle was more appropriate, as once past the 4-year mark, staff could waste up to 3 days per year waiting for their computer to start up.
ICT and Digital worked to restrict the equipment provided to staff to a single manufacturer, as this simplified the overall support process and reduced the Total Cost of Ownership. ICT and Digital issued a range of models from Lenovo to suit the workload of the user, but the costs of the different types were very similar. Some users needed high specification kit (e.g. PAs who were accessing multiple calendars and mailboxes needed bigger processing capability) and other users less so. Due to the Authority’s size and nature of the market, the Council could not transact directly with manufacturers and had to contract with a distributor instead.
The existing hardware contract was supplied by CDW Limited and was procured via a further competition under a Crown Commercial Services public sector procurement framework. The contract commenced on the 27 April 2017 for a 3-year term with the option to extend for a further 1-year period, which had been taken. The contract was due to expire on the 26 April 2021 and so to ensure compliance with the Public Contract Regulations 2015, the Council was required to procure a new contract for its future ICT hardware expenditure.
Procurement Services had identified the Crown Commercial Services RM6068 Framework as the most suitable procurement route for a new contract. The framework’s Lot 1 covered Hardware and Software and Associated Services framework, allowing the purchase of hardware such as end user devices, infrastructure hardware, consumables and peripheral equipment. ‘Close to the box’ services were also included such as image load, asset tagging, delivery, installation, user handover, removal of packaging and disposal of old equipment which were services CDW currently provided as part of ‘zero touch’ allowing minimal to no work from ICT on devices arriving before they could be used by staff. The Lot also allowed for the purchase of software which would be an extension of the scope of the current hardware contract, but it was felt that this would be advantageous to include. This would support the compliant procurement of ad-hoc and off the shelf software where it was identified as being value for money to do so.
It was proposed to undertake a further competition via the suppliers on Lot 1 of the RM6068 Framework for a new ICT Hardware contract. The contract would be awarded for a period of 3 years with the option to extend for 2 further years for the value of up to £12.5m over the maximum 5-year contract term. It was envisaged that spend on ICT hardware would increase. This was due to increased demand for the organisation to be working agile but also increased in supply chain costs due to the global economic position and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
The further competition process would be commenced to ensure that a new contract was in place for April 2021.
The Cabinet took the opportunity to place on record their thanks for the work of ICT over the months since the COVID-19 lockdown. The support they had provided to Members and Officers was greatly appreciated.
RESOLVED that the Cabinet:
1) Authorises a procurement process to establish a new 3-year contract, with the option to extend for two further years, for the supply of ICT Hardware, software and associated services to the Council.
2) Delegates authority to the Director of Housing and Transformation to agree the award of contract following a further competition process using the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) RM6068 Framework Lot 1: Hardware & Software & Associated Services.
3) Authorises the City Council to enter into a Contract with the successful supplier for a potential maximum 5-year period.