Oldham Council and banking service

Background Info

Oldham Council carried out a tendering process which took into account social value when commissioning for a banking service.

Previously the banking service was provided by the Co-operative Bank, but instability of the organisation and opportunities to achieve greater value for money with a different provider led to a decision by Oldham Council to secure a new provider. Barclays Bank was awarded the contract, scoring higher than rival bidders Lloyds Bank and Nat West Bank on technical/service quality and pricing.

What did you do?

A tender process was developed in line with legislation and Oldham Council’s Social Value Procurement Framework which focused on the ability of contractors to provide innovation, sustainability and social value in their delivery of the banking service. A points based system was adopted, with pricing making up 40% and technical/service quality 60% of the overall award. In addition to supplying a proposed contract cost, bidders were required to demonstrate how they would provide a high level of technical/service quality, including how social value would be generated.

Barclays Bank was awarded the contract to provide a banking service, scoring higher than rival bidders Lloyds Bank and Nat West Bank on both pricing and technical/service quality.

Barclays Bank allowed the council to save 26% on the previous contract and demonstrated the ability to provide high levels of social value in their contract proposal through:

• LifeSkills – “Barclay’s target is to reach over 1million young people through LifeSkills by the end of 2015. Essentially, we are offering teachers a range of free resources designed to develop the skills employers most seek in young people covering topics such as CV writing, managing money and building self-confidence. After students have completed the modules in the classroom or online, teachers can then match students to local work experience opportunities. We use our contacts in the business community to find suitable placements. The take up from businesses has already been very high although stats on specific placements will not be available until the scheme has been up and running for a while longer.”

• Apprenticeships “With regards to apprenticeships in the Local area, Barclays have taken 32 apprentices to date in and around Manchester. 26 of which were in Manchester, 1 in Oldham and the other 5 around the rest of Greater Manchester. Barclays Corporate also has 9 apprentices at our Gadbrook Park centre in Cheshire and a further 76 apprentices were taken on last autumn as part of our Technology Apprentice Scheme in our Radbroke centre in Cheshire.”

• MoneySkills “Barclay’s have also successfully delivered our flagship UK community program, Barclays Money Skills, to 26 schools and colleges in the Oldham area. This is an industry leading initiative where we try to help people develop the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to manage their money more effectively and become more employable.”

• Other plans “Barclay’s are looking to link in with Terry Flanagan at Mahdlo to see if we can deliver some of the above programs and maybe have a monthly slot where we send volunteers from all areas of the bank to help teach things like interview skills (and maybe more fun things) to the young people there. Last week we held an event in conjunction with Salford Diocese, where we provided £ for £ matched funding for all money raised, at St. Edwards church in Oldham.”

What did you learn (things to avoid, things to do etc)

Providing bidders with documents including current requirements and sections outlining areas of potential for innovation, sustainability and social value creation allows for more informed decisions to be made in the procurement process.

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