Consideration was given to a report of the Director, Place and Economic Growth which sought approval from Cabinet to award and to enter into contract with each of the successful bidders for the Temporary Accommodation Framework (following on from the recent Temporary Accommodation tender).
The Council’s Temporary Accommodation (TA) Strategy was approved by Cabinet in October 2021. Consequently, this put the accompanying delivery plan into motion and the first priority was to develop a TA framework to help the Council deliver sustainability and cost-efficiency to the Council’s TA portfolio.
Given the demand for TA and associated costs of managing a compliant statutory service, the identified service requirements were separated into three lots, including sub-lots for additional clarity.
The procurement exercise was administered in accordance with the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules (CPR) incorporating the Public Contract Regulations 2015 and the successful procurement exercise motivates the recommendations set out in the report namely, to appoint the successful bidders under Lot 1 & 3 frameworks
In October 2021 the Council approved its inaugural Temporary Accommodation (TA) Strategy 2021-24. The accompanying delivery plan committed to conducting a procurement exercise to create a TA framework to increase housing supply and deliver housing repairs and maintenance to TA dwellings.
Following the approval of the strategy, further work commenced to develop detailed tender documents to help progress priorities of the delivery plan and support the development of a TA framework.
Based on qualitative and quantitative assessments of the Council’s TA needs, three service requirements had been identified and had been categorised into three separate lots:
· Lot 1 – A framework of providers that could help increase the Council’s supply of nightly paid accommodation for a range of property sizes broken down within the following sub-lots:
o Lot 1.1 – Bedsit accommodation
o Lot 2.1 – One Bedroom accommodation
o Lot 2.3 – Two Bedroom accommodation
o Lot 2.4 – Three Bedroom accommodation
o Lot 2.5 – Four bedroom accommodation
· Lot 2 – A framework of reputable contractors that could undertake housing repairs and maintenance work on the Council’s TA stock. The type of contractors required were set out in the following sub-lots:
o Lot 2.1 – Building and Joinery work
o Lot 2.2 – Plumbing, Heating, Gas and Boiler work
o Lot 2.3 – Electrical work
o Lot 2.4 – Clean and Cleanse
o Lot 2.5 – Painting and Decorating
· Lot 3 – A housing supplier framework which is also described as a private sector lease (PSL) framework. Bidders for Lot 3 could range from traditional Registered Social Landlord (RSL) to property investors and consultants. The overall objective and desired outcome was delivery of suitable dwellings that the Council could take a short, medium or long-term leasehold interest in for the purpose of providing much needed self-contained and family sized TA. The Council has not negotiated any bespoke leases with bidders just yet, this process will be progressed following contract award and prior to the identification and on-boarding of suitable dwellings. Should the Council agree to this it will enter into an agreement whereby it agrees to pay a guaranteed monthly rent in accordance with proposed lease terms irrespective of whether the property is occupied or vacant, similar to the existing TA dwellings currently under lease between the Council and First Choice Homes Oldham for example.
The tender documents were published on the Chest Portal on 9th September 2022 and bids were to be returned by 12pm 10th October 2022. The 4 weeks’ period granted bidders sufficient time to compile detailed submissions to support a competitive tender process.
The most notable shortfall of the tender exercise was that only a single bid was received for Lot 2, specifically Lot 2.3 – Electrical Work. As a result, the decision was taken not to evaluate Lot 2 on this occasion, instead take the opportunity to market again to cultivate additional bids and stimulate a more competitive process.
Given the interest received from Lots 1 & 3, a panel consisting of Housing and Procurement colleagues proceeded to evaluate all the responses received for Lots 1 & 3.
The award criteria for Lot 1; Price (50%) and Quality (40%) and enlisted weightings were intended to filter through providers that understand the nuances of providing nightly paid accommodation and the unique expectations that accompany this sort of provision. The Council has a number of vulnerable households, particularly single people that need higher levels of supervision and support. Hence, the opportunity emphasised the need to produce a framework of providers that could not only deliver quality housing, but more importantly, had the capability to also provide quality housing management.
Though immaterial for this particular exercise, Lot 2 was heavily weighted towards Price (70%). A detailed pricing schedule, widely acceptable and recognised standards of workmanship in the sector helped determine the weighting for Quality (20%). Social Value (10%) rounded out the scoring criteria for Lot 2.
The approach taken for Lot 3 was to increase the supply of self-contained dwellings and help the Council meet a growing demand for family and self-contained accommodation. It was considered beneficial to place an emphasis on Quality (90%). Therefore, bidders had to explain how their processes and methods would help them deliver outcomes – for the purpose of Lot 3, outcomes were clearly identified as supply of suitable dwellings.
In order to achieve a high quality score, bidders were expected to demonstrate a robust and fundamentally sound approach for identifying, acquiring and consequently providing properties to the Council on leasehold terms. Social Value (10%) rounded out the scoring criteria for Lot 3.
Following detailed and thorough evaluation and moderation meetings, the evaluation panel were able to successfully rank bidders for Lot 1 and Lot 3.
There was sufficient reassurance that the provider Contractor solutions would remain competitive for the duration of the contractual term and ultimately help the Council deliver its strategic aims and objectives. Also, the solutions would ensure the Council continued to meet its statutory obligations.
Subject to approval to enter into framework agreements, contractors would be monitored against key performance measures with the aim of maintaining high standards of service delivery across the board.
Option 1 – Do not approve the appointment of the successful bidders under Lot 1 and Lot 3 onto the respective framework agreements and conduct another procurement exercise.
Option 2 – Approve the appointment of each of the successful bidders under a framework agreement for Lot 1 and Lot 3 in the order of ranking and authorise the Council to enter into call-off contracts under the respective framework agreements as and when required.
Option 3 – Approve the appointment of each of the successful bidders to Lot 1 only and defer the appointment of successful bidders to Lot 3. This will allow time for the Council to explore self-delivery of Council owned dwellings in bulk.
Option 4 - Approve the appointment of each of the successful bidders to Lot 1 only, immediately halt all further progress in respect of Lot 3 indefinitely and promptly commit necessary resource to self-delivery – whereby the Council purchases dwellings directly at market value on an invest to save basis.
RESOLVED – That the Cabinet would consider the commercially sensitive information at Item 13 before making a decision.