Contract Management Status. RAAC 2 December 2013

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1 Contract Management Status RAAC 2 December 2013

2 Background Concern had been raised that for several reasons poor/ insufficient contract monitoring was a theme for some contracts. The committee requested an update be provided regarding the approach the County Council is taking to improve contract management. The following slides are intended to introduce to RACC the criteria that can be considered best practice contract management and to provide commentary as to how the contract management in place for the Support Services Outsource (SSO) / Information Technology Outsource (ITO) contract meets these criteria. A summary slide is included to highlight on-going and future activities that could help develop the County Council s contract management.

3 Introduction For clarity there is a difference between managing a contract and contract management. The former is short term focussed, tactical in nature and can create an adversarial approach within a supplier / customer relationship. The latter focuses more on collaboration to achieve a longer term strategic and value added outcome. As the County Council moves to becoming a commissioning organisation, probably with more strategic partners, effective contract management will be essential and it is these requirements that have been reviewed. The Support Service Outsource contract was tabled as being an example of good practice, and being relatively recent, this contract has been used to identify where best practice is already in place and where further development is possibly required.

4 Best Practice Contract Management The National Audit Office (NAO) has identified the following operational delivery area s as being key in delivering best practice Contract Management. Planning and Governance People Administration Managing Performance Managing relationship The extent of how successful contract management can be however, is strongly influenced by how effective the contract document is in the concise definition of the required outcomes and how clearly the expectations of both the customer and supplier are stated. A slide for each of the above stated areas follow, in which the NAO criteria is first stated followed by a commentary as to how SSO / ITO meets these requirements in red

5 Planning and Governance Preparing for contract management and providing governance, this would include: There is a planned transition from procurement / contract award into contract management and the cost of on-going contract management is included within the business case and a budget set aside As part of the SSO contract there was a detailed transition plan, including activities undertaken by the County Council to recruit and develop a contract management team, the costs of which were included prior to any savings being calculated. A formal governance structure is in place and issues and performance are reported through this route with active senior level engagement A formal governance structure was a pivotal part of the mobilisation process. The SSO structure continues to evolve as the contract moves forward, the Governance structure includes Service Assurance meetings for each service area through to a Member attended Partnership board to ensure correct balance. Professional contract management guidance is available to contract managers A Contract Management course has recently been developed and is now being delivered. Following the initial tranche of modules being delivered a formal review will be undertaken to ascertain learning outcomes and to identify any revisions to the course if required.

6 People Ensuring the right people are in place to carry out the contract management activities The Contract Manager has continuity (ideally through involvement in the tendering / contract award process) SSO Contract Manager was fully involved in the tendering process. This is not always possible, and if not, a robust handover process needs to be further developed and consideration given to ensuring subsequent knowledge transfer happens. The contract management team have a detailed knowledge of the contract such as service level agreements This is key responsibility of the SSO Service Assurance Managers. Contract management has adequate resource (people and budget) and is in proportion to the importance of the contract to the County Council It is important that any savings realised by a new contract can be continually delivered over the contract lifetime by keeping adequate resource within the contract management team. The amount of resource to effectively mobilise and transition into a new provider should not be underestimated and these are learning points that should be used in the future. There is a contract management community allowing Contract Managers to share good practice This has been identified as a possible requirement and will be reviewed at the same time as the Contract Management training course review. Effective Contract management requires several different roles, within SSO contract these have been filled by very capable individuals who have developed in line with the Contract. As these roles are relatively new there is not currently an extensive experienced pool of resource from which to draw.

7 Administration Managing the physical contract and the timetable for making key decisions. Hard copy contracts are readily available, for complex contracts a summary is available. In SSO hard copies are available (although restricted in circulation), these are regularly used as reference documents. A summary does not currently exist but will be of benefit once completed. Contract management software is used for recording key information with search functions available Sharepoint is used. Contract Management team have both open and restricted folders. Mechanisms are in place to identify trigger points such as notice boards As the SSO is still in transition phase all key milestones are reviewed weekly, post transition notice boards can be reviewed for use. Mechanisms are in place around administration for contract closure and / or termination. Sufficient coverage is in place within the formal contract across most contracts. Consideration is in place for the cost of contract management activities to the supplier and that the cost is proportionate. For SSO this is not formally reviewed. Once into post transition phase this can be considered as an annual review subject with Capita

8 Managing performance Ensuring the service is provided in line with the contract A performance management framework is in place when the contract is signed. The framework is comprehensive, objective and encourages the supplier to meet or exceed agreed performance standards. For most if not all contracts now being set up, the required supplier performance is well defined. The on-going supplier performance however needs to remain dynamic with the County Council s on-going needs. Provision should now be included in all contracts to ensure this is the agreed combined expectation. Service levels agreements are in place, and are linked to business needs, understood by the supplier, and monitored by the contract manager and/or end users. As above. The SSO contract now have an on-going audit and review process for all Key Performance Indicators (KPI s) to ensure they remain both relevant and accurate. Reporting is as far as possible on a focused, by exception basis. Contract Governance process is based on this principle Clear processes are in place to handle operational problem resolution and resolve issues as quick as possible. For SSO this was initially complicated as the SSO contract succeeded the ITO contract that already had processes in place. This is now better aligned but has taken some time to achieve this. There are formal performance reviews with suppliers, with documented improvement plans agreed. Service Improvements for areas of concern are discussed and agreed at monthly service reviews

9 Summary Contract Management course to be developed upon and wide and diverse attendees encouraged West Sussex County Council best practice contract management guidelines to be prepared and issued Wider contract management forum to be considered to provide both networking and best practice discussion Key contracts to be audited using consistent baseline for best practice Effective contract management necessary for delivery of desired outcomes the cost of which has to be recognised and supported for the life of the contract.

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