It said that it has listened to concerns raised by members and bidders about the Trades Services Framework and that there will be a revised framework and tender exercise process.
The new Trades Services Framework, which was advertised at the end of June 2019, was for repair, maintenance and minor works to maintain and improve its estate and to help deliver our property maintenance programme for domestic and non-domestic properties. The standstill period had been due to close with effect from 17th February, with the intention of a proposed go-live date with the new arrangements and contracts of 24th February. However, a number of questions were raised and so the standstill period was extended to 9th March.
The decision to terminate the original framework and tender process follows the extended standstill and further discussion. The council said that a significant amount of information was received during, from both elected members and those participating in the tender process.
In total, 193 contractors tendered for the framework.
A revised strategy will now be developed, with a view to bringing it forward for member approval in due course. As a result, all candidates and tenderers will be informed that the tender opportunity, in its current form, has been terminated.
A spokesperson for the Highland Council said: “The council is satisfied that it is reasonable and appropriate for us to make changes to the current procedure as currently exists. We also intend to have a further session with members in relation the revised strategy and tender process before issue.
“This is to try to provide the opportunity for members to raise any further residual issues, should there be any, and to allow for them to be discussed and addressed prior to issue.”
Highland Council now intends to issue a new tender to market, based on an alternative set of procurement criteria and a change in the evaluation approach, which incorporates the lessons learned by the local authority through the feedback received and the stand-still period.