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Item_15_-_Interpreting_Services_Corporate_Contractv2

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					                                            Report for: ACTION




                                            Item Number:
                                            15


Contains Confidential     No
or Exempt Information

Title                     Interpreting Services Corporate Contract
Responsible Officer(s)    Mark Newton, Director of Business Services Group
Author(s)                 Barbara Ratnayake, Procurement Officer
                          02088256873 Ratnayakeb@ealing.gov.uk
Portfolio(s)              Cllr Yvonne Johnson, Finance and Performance
For Consideration By      Cabinet
Date to be Considered     26th April 2011
Implementation Date if    10th May 2011
Not Called In
Affected Wards            All
Area Committees           All
Keywords/Index            Procurement, Contracts, Translation, Interpretation

Purpose of Report:

The purpose of this report is to seek authority from the Cabinet to:
   1. Extend the current contract for the final 12 months from 1 st August
      2011 until 31st July, 2012
   2. Invite and evaluate tenders for a new contract for the services on
      behalf of all service areas commencing 1st August 2012. A separate
      decision to award the new contract will follow upon completion of the
      tender process.


1. Recommendations
It is recommended that Cabinet:

1.1 authorise the allowable extension to the current contracts with ITLS
Limited, Language is Everything Limited and London Borough of Hounslow
Translation Unit for a final period of one year from 1 August 2011 to 31 July
2012

1.2 authorise the Director of Business Services Group to invite and evaluate
tenders for a new contract for the services on behalf of all service areas
commencing 1 August 2012.

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Following the evaluation for the new contract, a report will be submitted to
Cabinet with recommendations regarding the award of one or more corporate
contracts.

2. Reason for Decision and Options Considered
2.1 Following a tender process in 2008, the Council set up a framework
contract commencing 1st August, 2008 with three external contractors to
provide translation, interpretation services, including BSL (British Sign
Language). The contract period was 2 years with a possibility of two
extensions, each of one year.

2.2 Strategic Procurement wish to utilise the final extension in the current
contract, which was competitively tendered to meet Ealing’s requirement.
There would be no change to current hourly rates, as well as maintaining
visibility and management of the Council-wide spend and demand for these
services. Users of the contracts are more than satisfied with the current
suppliers’ performance and no adverse issues have been reported.

2.3 Ealing currently spend approximately £250,000 per annum on interpreting
services; this is predominately made up of requirements from Children’s &
Adult Services 88%, Housing Business Units 8% and the remainder 4%
comprising of Finance & Audit & other Council departments. This figure
includes a very small off-contract spend of £ 2,170 for requirements that were
unable to be fulfilled by the current contracts.

2.4 Forty-five foreign languages including BSL (British Sign Language) have
been procured in the last thirty months of the contract. The top ten languages
being: Tamil, Punjabi, Polish, Somali, Farsi, Arabic, Urdu, Bulgarian, Hindi
and Russian.

2.5 Prior to the current corporate contract, there were over a dozen ad-hoc
suppliers. Off-contract spend of approximately 9% did continue during the
first twelve months of this contract but as a result of close monitoring of the
contract, this is currently less than 1%.      Users are assured of sound,
accredited suppliers.

2.6 For the new contract, we will review the market for interpreting and
translation services, including frameworks open to Ealing for interpreting and
translation services, in order to identify the best approach to sourcing the new
contract. Buying Solutions have various Framework Contracts, which offer
Face-to-Face Interpreters, telephone interpretation and written translation
services.

2.7 We will be working with our internal clients to scope the new contract
requirement in order to find further efficiencies for the new replacement
contract.




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3. Key Implications

3.1 The existing contracts offer an inclusive fixed price per hour. Users and
finance officers do not have to worry about the travel time and travel cost
charges for face-to-face interpreting, which consists of approximately 75% of
the contract value,. This saves officer resource and time when monitoring the
charges for services used. Initial estimates of comparisons of alternative
pricing model (also utilised by the Buying Solutions frameworks) of an hourly
cost, plus charges for incurred travel time and travel cost, suggest that this will
be more expensive than Ealing’s current arrangements.

3.2 Because of the sensitivity of the nature of the interpreting work and the
spend on the service by the Council, a continued replacement corporate
contract will ensure availability of a pool of qualified professional interpreters.
Children Services in particular have indicated that they have an obligation to
communicate to ensure children are safeguarded and in situations where
families do not speak English, the service needs to communicate in the
relevant language. Ealing would be subject to criticism if the service is not
provided. A recent OFSTED report commented favourably on Ealing’s use of
appropriate interpreting services at their last inspection.

3.3 The largest user of the current contract is Children’s Services. Those
teams most utilising the contract in this area are Children In Need, Looked
After Children and Referral and Assessment. The usage in numbers of
bookings in financial year 2010/11 equate to almost 90% for face-to-face
translation services, with telephone interpreting and translation equating to
around 5% each. Bookings are usually in relation to child-care and child-
school placements, as part of safeguarding & supporting vulnerable children
and unaccompanied minors. Some usage relates to school attendance, as
well as interpreting services for parent and multi-agency meetings (as
appropriate) on medical appointments, progress updates and counselling
services.

3.4 Strategic Procurement will continue to be responsible for implementing the
contract(s) in liaison with stakeholders, and for ongoing contract management,
including monitoring supplier performance and reporting savings.

3.5 Strategic Procurement will work with key stakeholders to identify
requirements for the future contract, as well as potential opportunities to
include innovation and cost-saving methods wherever possible.

4. Financial

4. 1 The current contract was tendered as a corporate contract at the request
of Children’s Services. The replacement new contract is also at the request of
Children’s Services, who are the prime users. 88% of the annual Council-
wide spend of approximately £250,000 for these services is accounted for by
Children’s and Adult Services. The level of expenditure anticipated by
Children’s Services, is managed within the overall context of the Children’s

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Services budget and Adult Services manage this spend within their non-pay
budgets.

4.2 Strategic Procurement expects that extending the current contracts and
re-tendering the service from 1 August 2012 will continue to deliver savings
(versus an ad hoc contract approach), restrict off-contract spend and provide
a high quality interpreting service to all relevant Council users.

5. Legal

5.1 There are a number of relevant statutory requirements. Human Rights
legislation requires the use of interpreting if a non-English-speaking person is
arrested or charged with a criminal offence. The Race Relations Act 1976,
now superseded by the Equalities Act 2010, requires that all parts of the
community should have access to local authority services. The Homelessness
Code of Guidance for Local Authorities July 2006, produced by DCLG to
accompany the Housing Act, states: “In order to ensure advice and assistance
are accessible to everyone in the district, it is recommended that information
is made available in the main languages spoken in the area, and that for
languages less frequently spoken there is access to interpreters” (Chapter
6.10).

5.2 The Level 3 Equalities standard requires the Council to “make available
language services appropriate to designated consultation groups”, and to
“specifically address the importance of barriers (which includes language),
accessibility and reasonable adjustment in delivery of services”.

5.3 Children and Families advises that if a child were to be taken into care or
placed on the child protection register without the Council attempting to
communicate with the parents, including non-English-speaking parents, the
Council would be strongly criticised by the courts.

5.4 The new contract(s) will be let in accordance with the Public Contracts
Regulations 2006 (as amended) and the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules.

6. Value For Money

6.1 The main purpose of the tendering exercise is to seek competitive bids
from suppliers, with the aim of further reducing the cost that the Council pays
for these services. It is also expected that the new contract(s) will yield
efficiency savings from improved processes, better supplier performance
based on clearly defined specifications, and better contract management
(including management information reporting).

6.2 The Council’s main requirement is for face-to-face interpreting, but there is
some smaller expenditure on telephone interpreting and document translation.
As part of assessing the best procurement route for the Council to take, the
Council will continue to review contracts already in place such as the Buying
Solutions and any other Local Authority Consortium framework agreements.

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7. Sustainability Impact Appraisal

7.1 A separate Sustainability Impact Appraisal is not required for this report.
Impact Appraisals will be completed, as required, during project development
and implementation.

7.2 It is anticipated that suppliers shall support the Government’s Agenda for
Sustainability, for example including but not limited to, minimising travel and
encouraging travel by public transport.

8. Risk Management

Following consultation, the key service user departments for the services
under this contract have confirmed that their requirements will be on going.
Whilst alternative provision could be arranged very quickly, with minimal
disruption to the Council’s operations, this is unlikely to provide the quality
standards and value for money offered by the current contractual
arrangements.

9. Community Safety

Not applicable.

10. Links to the 5 Priorities for the Borough

10.1 The overall operation of the Strategic Procurement team is to support the
Council’s strategic objective of Delivering Value for Money. This contract will
ensure that the Council obtains fixed competitive rates from Approved
Suppliers and deliver the service to high quality standards.

11. Equalities and Community Cohesion

11.1 Strategic Procurement has noted the report of the Commission on
Integration and Cohesion, which makes recommendations about the use of
translation by local authorities. However, in seeking permission to invite
tenders for translation and interpretation services, our aim is to provide the
means for service areas to source these services cost-effectively, not to
influence the policy which directs how and when the services should be used.

12. Staffing/Workforce and Accommodation Implications

12.1 Any TUPE implications relating to the current contract will be managed
as part of the re-tender process. However, it is not envisaged that TUPE will
apply.

13. Property and Assets

Not applicable.


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14. Any Other Implications

None.

15. Consultation

15.1 For the new contract, the current stakeholder group, including
representatives from all the main user departments (Children and Families,
Adult Services, Housing, Education, and Audit and Investigation) will have
input into the drafting of specifications and evaluation criteria, and will be
continually consulted during the lifetime of the project. Other west London
boroughs and, where appropriate, incumbent suppliers will also be consulted.

16. Timetable for Implementation

Action                                         Date to be
                                               completed
Cabinet approval to invite tenders             26th April,
                                               2011
First draft of invitation to tender document   September,
available                                      2011
Advertise for expressions of interest and      October, 2011
OJEU
Closing of Expressions of Interest period      November,
                                               2011
Analysis of PQQ results and tender short       January, 2012
list.
Invitation to tender document issued           February,
                                               2012
Tenders deadline                               March, 2012
Evaluation completed by                        April, 2012
Cabinet approval to award contract(s)          May, 2012
(including calling-in period)
Contract award                                 June, 2012

17. Appendices

None.

18. Background Information

Not applicable.




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Consultation

Name of consultee Department                     Date sent   Date        Comments
                                                 to          response    appear in
                                                 consultee   received    report para:
                                                             from
                                                             consultee
Alka Kingham        Senior Lawyer (Contracts)    22.03.11    04.04.11
                                                                         Throughout
Kate Graefe/        Head of Strategic
                    Procurement/                 22.03.11    25.03.11    Throughout

Judith Finlay       Director of Children and
                    Families                     22.03.11    25.03.11
Matthew Booth       Head of Policy               22.03.11
Peter Morris        Director of Marketing and    22.03.11    25.03.11
                    Communications
Councillor          Cabinet Member for Finance   22.03.11
Yvonne Johnson      and Performance
Maggie Wilson       Head of Children’s           22.03.11    25.03.11
                    Commissioning


Report History

Decision type:                          Urgency item?
Key decision                            No

Date entered in forward plan:
14 March 2011



Authorised by Cabinet Date report       Report deadline:        Date report sent:
      member:            drafted:
    Cllr Johnson         22.3.11            24.3.11                 24.3.11
     Report no.:     Report author and contact for queries:
                     Barbara Ratnayake, Procurement Officer, ext 6873




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