Sunderland shoots for £500m ICT deal

A proposed alternative service delivery model for ICT could eventually bring together £500m of spending across public bodies in the North East.

Sunderland City Council has launched a tender to find a technology partner for the new arrangement, which is aimed at improving economic growth within the city through the innovative use of technology and data.

The contract and associated framework agreement would cover the provision of ICT and related services including technical and professional advice, along with the development of a number of business cases to promote economic development priorities outlined by the council and partners.

The tender said that the appointed supplier would oversee “the full transformation of the Authority’s ICT services to ensure they are scalable and on-demand, flexible and agile, consolidated, cost-effective and financially efficient and transparent in order to meet the future business needs and demands of the Authority and any of the contracting authorities…”

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Separately, the partner will design and implement a model to establish and advise a “City Thought and Action Leadership Capability” which would facilitate data and technology collaboration between partners.

An associated framework agreement would allow partners to call off orders for supplies and services.

The estimated total financial value of both the partnering agreement and the framework agreement is between £30m and £500m, depending on how many public sector bodies join.

The proposed partnering agreement and framework will have an initial term of six years but could be extended up to 10 years.

Call off orders placed under the framework agreement may have an expiry date which occurs after the expiry of the framework agreement.

As part of the conditions of the tender, the technology partner will be required to promote social and economic objectives of the council by running apprenticeship programmes and committing to recruitment and training commitments.

They will also be required to promote digital inclusion and the use of technology in schools and local communities, and give supply chain opportunities for local small and medium sized firms.

The closing date for expressions of interest in the tender is 20 November.

Colin Marrs

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