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Kent to consult market over £25M design and consultancy contract

Kent  County Council is to hold a market engagement day ahead of tendering for five year design and consultancy services contracts worth up to £5M per annum.

The council intends to procure a contract or contracts for the provision of consultancy services including highways and related asset design; transportation design; environmental advice; waste consultancy; regeneration and public realms; planning advice; commercial and cost consultancy, surveys, investigations and testing works.

The council’s current arrangements expire at the end of March 2013 and wants a new arrangement in place to start on 1 April 2013. It intends to go out to tender in July and ahead of this will carry out a market engagement exercise during May to gauge the market’s interest and shape the final requirements that are to be procured.

Potential bidders are first invited to hear presentations by both the leader of the council and the director of highways and transportation on the 16 May. These will give an overview of the council’s requirements including the procurement strategy and desired solution.

The actual market engagement event will then take place over two days (24 and 25 May) and will incorporate informal group discussion sessions facilitated by a panel of senior council staff and technical leads. These discussions will encourage an exchange of views that will encourage and shape the development of the contract.

All parties who express an interest will be invited to the presentation on 16 May, and a selection of interested parties will be invited to the market engagement event on either 24 or 25 May, where they will have a one hour slot and can bring a maximum of six delegates each. The council stresses that invitation to the event is not part of the shortlist process and should not be construed as an indication of advancement in the procurement process.

Objectives of the Market Engagement Event

The purpose is to enable Kent County Council to finalise its contracting strategy in readiness for procurement of the professional services contract or framework of consultants for commencement in 2013. The market engagement event is designed to gather knowledge for the business in the following areas:

  • Feasibility: whether what is sought is actually feasible;
  • Capability: the ability of the market to achieve what is required;
  • Maturity: whether there is an established market for the requirement, and whether enough suppliers are in existence for a competitive procurement
  • Capacity: whether the market can achieve what is required quickly enough, or on a large enough scale.

Other additional areas of interest include the way supply chains would work, attitudes to customers, incentivising innovation and allocation of risk. The council is keen to understand the current thinking from the consultancy market, particularly around outcome based solutions.

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