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Lincolnshire dangles ICT cash carrot over hungry suppliers

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Lincolnshire county council is to launch a procurement exercise later this year to investigate the provision of various support services, including ICT systems.

A pre-tender document issued by the council says the estimated value of the deal is between £100m and £150m over five years.

The contract – or contracts - which will run from April 2015, will be a successor to the council's current outsourcing partnership with the business services group Mouchel, which began in 1999 with an initial contract value of £487m. In February 2009 the council awarded Mouchel a further outsourcing contract extension for the provision of HR, IT, finance, property and catering services.

The proposed procurement, for which Mouchel may bid again, is for the provision of a range of support services including ICT systems support, people management, financial services, property management, management consultancy and ancillary business support.

To test the reaction of markets to its tender, Lincolnshire plans to hold a supplier engagement workshop on 11 September to communicate its plans and intentions for successful delivery. It is also seeking market input and feedback on how the procurement opportunity can best provide value for money.

Lincolnshire intends the workshop to provide an opportunity to detail how services are currently let, what delivery options are being considered as well as an overview of how the contracts may work.

In its pre-tender document, Lincolnshire says that the use of lots has not been determined as a definite requirement, but may be considered at a later stage. The contract may also be extended to include the seven district councils and other public sector bodies within the Lincolnshire area.

Lincolnshire's chief information officer, Judith Hetherington Smith, said the pre-tender document would drive a series of preliminary discussions, with options on the table including the possibility of some services being delivered in-house.

"Since we contracted with Mouchel in 2000, the world has clearly changed, and it makes sense to engage with the market," she said. "Investment in the local economy will be a factor that will form part of the considerations."

This article was originally published at Government Computing.

Government Computing covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

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