The model ensures that those activities that directly support the local agenda will be undertaken by dedicated regional and local teams close to the end user. The activities will include all relevant local procurement activity, contract management and demand management. Only those commercial activities where there is a case for addressing them nationally will be tackled on a national basis. The aim is to preserve the best of the local delivery and provide central coordination and expertise - through dedicated category management resource - where necessary.
Yes, forces will be able to manage their own contracts and lead on aspects such as understanding business needs and demand management. BlueLight Commercial will support the management of strategic suppliers to help avoid/tackle problems and drive improvement as part of helping to utilise overall policing buyer power. The approach is for local commercial teams to be able to use BlueLight Commercial outputs and support to help meet the needs of their force.
We are working closely with colleagues and partners, particularly in Fire, who are also interested in being involved in BlueLight Commercial. The intention is to explore whether there might be a joint approach for at least some categories, with the opportunity to converge more fully over time. BlueLight Commercial is designed to be scale-able so that other partners can easily join.
BlueLight Commercial is funded by the Home Office for the first three years. At the end of the second year there will be a strategic review to determine what has been delivered and how successful it has been. As a part of that review we will be looking at future funding options for BlueLight Commercial.
On IT collaborative procurements, the Police ICT Company will undertake that activity.
We have all 43 PCCs signed up as members of the company and Chiefs are on board, with the initiative being fully supported by NPCC. The Regional Commercial Directors will work with key stakeholders at force and regional levels to ensure that BlueLight Commercial meets their needs and the BlueLight Commercial team will be largely based locally and regionally with forces to ensure that the organisation doesn't become divorced from the needs of forces. Longer term support will be dependent on BlueLight Commercial delivering benefits for forces. This includes demonstrating how as one entity, BlueLight Commercial will provide one voice to the market, policing will be able to get better deals and improve its management of national suppliers and also how policing will be better able to mitigate the effects of potential supplier failures and provide support in areas such as commercial Brexit planning, Covid19 and dispute resolution.
It is envisaged that most of the procurement and commercial staff in policing will be unaffected. That said, it is expected that forces will want to take advantage of the central capabilities that are being provided and as such will be able to reconfigure their local teams over time to undertake other critical activities across the whole commercial lifecycle, which are currently under-resourced, such as contract management, and focus their resources on local priorities. Once BlueLight Commercial is embedded, over time that could potentially involve reducing the size of their procurement teams or redeploying resources, yet that would be a local decision.
In developing category strategies there will be a wide range of factors to consider to identify the best approach including security of supply, performance and contracting. The supply chain, including local delivery, will be a key element of any strategy, as will supporting social value objectives.
BlueLight Commercial will link to and share best practice from across the public sector, supporting local forces to help ensure that commissioning and Social Value objectives are met. Services will include: standards (terms and conditions, overall policy and procedures); contracting design principles; information on typical approaches, KPIs and case studies; etc.