In September 2011, the London Borough of Waltham Forest was looking to re-tender a seven year contract for the provision of transport services. The contract included Special Educational Needs transport and adult day centre transport, as well as other local services.
What did you do?
In designing the tender, Waltham Forest’s procurement officers wanted to make sure they got as much value out of the contract for local residents as possible. To help evaluate the all-round contribution of potential providers, they included a question in the tender asking bidders to demonstrate how their operational model could contribute to efficiencies and gave added value to the service. This question counted for 10% of the final contract score and gave all bidders the opportunity to think about how they could achieve a wider impact from their services for the local community.
The contract was won by HCT Group, a social enterprise founded in 1982 in Hackney, and now runs transport services in a number of London Boroughs as well as elsewhere in the UK. As a social enterprise, providing community value is central to how HCT Group operates, with a focus on helping the most marginalised to access transport services and creating employment opportunities for those furthest from the labour market. However, all too often there is no opportunity for them to demonstrate this in bids for contracts.
The fact that Waltham Forest’s contract included ascored question about added value gave HCT Group the space to set out the additional social impact of their approach, explaining that any profits they made on the contract would be re-invested into a learning centre that would provide training for long-term unemployed people in the borough. HCT Group was therefore able to score very highly on this section, contributing, along with their competitive pricing and high quality delivery model, to the contract award.