DELEGATED POWERS REPORT NO.

1782

SUBJECT: Procurement of a specialist Rating Consultant to represent the Council All of the following actions MUST be completed at each stage of the process and the signed and dated report MUST be passed to the Governance Service for publishing
All reports 1. Governance Service receive draft report Name of GSO Date 2. Governance Service cleared draft report as being constitutionally appropriate Finance clearance obtained (report author to complete) Name of GSO Date Name of Fin. officer Date Name of Res. officer Date Name of SPO Date Name of Legal officer Date Name of P&P officer Date Name of officer Date Name Date Name of GSO Date Name of GSO Date Name of GSO Date Key decisions only: 13. Expiry of call-in period 14. Report circulated for call-in purposes to Business Management OSC members & copied to Cabinet Members & Head of Service Date Name of GSO Date N/A N/A Praful Ladwa 01/06/2012 Joanna Kromidias 07/06/2012 Andrew Nathan 20/08/2012 Andrew Nathan 20/08/2012 Lesley Meeks 03/09/2012 John Murphy 7/09/2012 John Murphy 7/09/2012 John Murphy 7/09/2012 Paul Frost 29/05/2012 John Murphy 20/08/2012 Jayne Fitzgerald 20/08/2012 N/A

3.

4. Staff and other resources issues clearance obtained (report author to complete) 5. Strategic Procurement clearance obtained (report author to complete) 6. Legal clearance obtained from (report author to complete) 7. Policy & Partnerships clearance obtained (report author to complete) 8. Equalities & Diversity clearance obtained (report author to complete) 9. The above process has been checked and verified by Director, Head of Service or Deputy 10. Signed & dated report, scanned or hard copy received by Governance Service for publishing 11. Report published by Governance Service to website 12. Head of Service informed report is published

ACTION TAKEN UNDER DELEGATED POWERS BY OFFICER (EXECUTIVE FUNCTION)

Subject Officer taking decision Date of decision
Summary

Procurement of a specialist Rating Consultant to represent the Council Director of Commercial Services 3rd September 2012
This report seeks permission for Estate Services to proceed with engaging a specialist Business Rates consultant to manage and act on the Councils behalf for appeals that have been made in respect of the offices at North London Business Park building 4. Jonathan Arnold – Interim Transition Manager Public N/A None N/A

Officer Contributors Status (public or exempt) Wards affected Enclosures Reason for exemption from callin (if appropriate)

Contact for further information: john.arnold@barnet.gov.uk Serial No: 1782

1.

RELEVANT PREVIOUS DECISIONS None

2. 2.1

CORPORATE PRIORITIES AND POLICY CONSIDERATIONS The importance of delivering value for money through the use of Council Assets underpins the Corporate Plan through the priority of a “relentless drive for efficiency”. By ensuring that the Council is paying the correct amount of business rates the Council is ensuring that the public money it spends on its property is correct and efficiently managed. RISK MANAGEMENT ISSUES It is not considered that the issues involved are likely to raise significant levels of public concern or give rise to significant policy considerations. The Council do not currently have a specialist consultant engaged to review the rateable values of the property they use to deliver services. The consultant will be engaged on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. If the rateable value is not reduced the Council will only incur a minimal review fee which would be no more than £700 (seven hundred pounds). Additional costs will only be incurred if it is proved that the level of business rates currently levied is inaccurate. The rating appeal for NLBP Building 4 is scheduled to be heard between May and September 2012 and due to the short timescale, this is a single appointment for this building only. EQUALITIES AND DIVERSITY ISSUES The Equality Act 2010 requires all Public bodies and all other organisations exercising public functions on its behalf to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Act; advance equality of opportunity between those with a protected characteristic and those without; promote good relations between those with a protected characteristic and those without. The relevant protected characteristics are age; disability; gender reassignment; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion or belief; sex; sexual orientation. It also covers marriage and civil partnership with regard to eliminating discrimination The Council is committed to improving the quality of life and wider participation for all in the economic, educational, cultural, social and community life of the Borough. All preferred suppliers under the Government Procurement Service (GPS) ‘Estates Professional Services framework agreement RM397 including Lambert Smith Hampton Limited have confirmed through the formal tender process, that they comply with all their statutory obligations, including under the Equality Act 2010. USE OF RESOURCES IMPLICATIONS (Finance, Procurement, Performance & Value for Money, Staffing, IT, Property, Sustainability)

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4. 4.1

4.2 4.3

5.

5.1

The Government Procurement Service (GPS) is an executive agency of the Cabinet Office. Their priority is to provide procurement savings for the UK Public Sector. The service provides OJEU compliant framework agreements covering a vast range of services that are available for public authorities to purchase from. The provision of a specialist rating consultant is available via framework RM397 Estate Professional Services. There are eight procured contracted suppliers and their fee structure is fixed for an immediate call off. The rules of the GPS framework provide the Council with two options to be able to appoint a Service Provider. The appointment can be made by either ‘direct award’ or following a further competition. Both options are compliant with current EU legislation. The preferred option in this case was to appoint a consultant by direct award and based upon the fixed fee structure. Based on the fixed fees for compiled list appeals (where appeals are made in the belief that the Rateable Value has been set too high) and taking into account the nature of the Councils property portfolio, it is considered that the fee structure of Lambert Smith Hampton is the best value for money. Lambert Smith Hampton’s pricing structure of an 8.5% of the reduction in the RV for properties with a value up to £100k and 6.5% for properties with an RV up to £500k is overall the cheapest price. Lambert Smith Hampton have provided and continue to provide this service to other London boroughs. Recent successes include cashable savings delivered to the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham in excess of £1m for appeals lodged on the 2005 Rating list and £400k cashable savings to London Borough of Tower Hamlets for appeals lodged on the 2005 Rating list. Due to the nature of the service it is difficult to place a value on the contract. If there is no change in the Rateable value there is only a review fee which will be £700 maximum. Based on the fixed fee schedule, the maximum fee payable for the 5 appeals made for NLBP Building 4 would be £29k. Should this fee become payable, the Council will have made significant savings. To reach the fee of £29k the capped fee for each of the Councils assessments (listed) would need to be reached as set out in the table below:LEGAL ISSUES Public Contracts Regulations 2006 defines framework as an agreement between one or more contracting authorities and one or more economic operators, i.e. a client and contractor or contractors or consultant or consultants (depending upon the nature of the framework), which establishes the terms governing particular calloff contracts that may be awarded during the term of the framework, in particular with regard to price and quantity. Where a framework agreement has been published in the OJEU, individual call-offs pursuant to its terms do not have to be. Framework agreements are referred to in paragraph 6.9 of the Contract Procedure Rules. Procurement processes are expected to comply with the fundamental principles of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) which are transparency, equality of treatment and non discrimination.

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6. 6.1

6.2 6.3

6.4

In accordance with the Council’s Contract Procedure Rules, there will be a need for the Council and the contractor to enter into formal contract. CONSTITUTIONAL POWERS Constitution Part 3 Responsibilities of Functions section 6, paragraphs 6.2 and 6.3 sets out the Powers Delegated to Chief Officers (i.e. Chief Executive, Heads of Service and Directors as listed in Article 12 of the Council’s Constitution can take decisions, in consultation with the Cabinet Member concerned (or without consultation where it is a decision authorised to be taken by the Chief Officer under the Contract Procedure Rules). Constitution, Part 4 –Contract Procedure Rules Table 5-1 - Authorisation & Acceptance Thresholds for Works, Supplies and Services - provides that authorisation by Head of Service is required for contract value up to £173,934. Constitution, Part 4 –Contract Procedure Rules, section 6.9 provides that before promoting the procurement of a new or joining a pre-existing framework agreement, the Commercial Director must be satisfied that such an approach represents the most economically advantageous solution for a service work, supply or utility provision and complies with the Relevant EU Rules on the use of such agreements. The Commercial Director shall before procuring or entering into a framework agreement be satisfied that, (a) the term of the arrangement shall be or is for a period of no longer than four years duration; (b) the terms and conditions of the arrangement do not compromise the Council’s contractual requirements; (c) the parties to the arrangement are recognised public bodies or providers from the private sector; (d) full, open and proper competition in respect of the creation of the framework agreement has taken or will take place in accordance with the Relevant EU Rules and/or Relevant Contract Procedure Rules (e) preference should be given to use of any Government Procurement schemes e.g. OGC BACKGROUND INFORMATION The level of specialist rating skills and experience required to deliver this service is not available in the Council’s Estates department. The current property services team do not have the required resources to carry out the volume of research and reviews that are required to ensure the RV of every Council property is accurate. The majority of Local Authorities procure specialist support to deliver this service and due to the maturity of the market, it is considered that the services on offer through the framework agreement offer value for money. LIST OF BACKGROUND PAPERS None. OFFICER’S DECISION I authorise the following action:

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9. 9.1 10.

10.1

To enter in to a contract for the duration of the 2010 Rating List with Lambert Smith Hampton using the Government Procurement Services Framework Contract RM 397. Assistant Director – Commercial Assurance (Lesley Meeks) 3/09/2012

Signed Date

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