Sue Robb of 4Children talks to Julie Laughton and Alison Britton from the Department for Education about the role of childminders in delivering the 30 hours free entitlement.
A Model Contract
With pressure on local authorities to deliver a consistently high level of services to local people and with ever tighter budgets and increasing costs, the need to effectively manage both time and resources has never been more crucial. Service providers, such as enforcement contractors, are expected to deliver a quality performance and one thing that can assist in ensuring that best practice and performance measures are in place and are monitored is the British Parking Association’s Model Contract for Parking.
Originally developed in response to a perceived demand for a standardised contractual framework to be used by local authorities for outsourcing Decriminalised Parking Enforcement contracts, the Model Contract first launched in the summer of 2004 and was made available to all local authorities under a cost effective licensing regime.
The contract has now been redeveloped and updated and has been designed for use by all organisations that appoint service providers to manage their parking and associated services, including healthcare and higher education facilities, shopping centres, airports and railway stations.
The 2012 version has been through a process of consultation. The BPA, government, local contractors and service providers have all worked together on the project and amendments have been assimilated into the finished product. This has been recommended by the Transport Select Committee and is also included in the Statutory Guidance.
The contract assists organisations in easing their workload by reducing the time spent designing and preparing contracts. It also helps to improve the level of service delivered by these organisations by providing a standard template for the procurement of services. Best practice is encouraged by ensuring that performance is measured on the quality of service provided to ease negotiations for both supplier and service provider.
The contract is based on five principles - a partnering approach that is founded on openness and trust; a sharing of risk which is allocated to whichever party is best able to manage it; performance-related payments that are directly linked to actual measurement of performance through key performance indicators; incentives for service providers to seek out innovative ways of reducing target costs; and employing the right calibre of staff who are motivated, well trained and suitably remunerated.
Quality based enforcement
Austen Hunter, BPA council member and Head of Transport Operations at Brighton and Hove City Council says: “The BPA Model Contract has proved invaluable in helping us to demonstrate a real, practical commitment to quality based enforcement services. We are often asked about the nature of our contract and the key drivers. The Model Contract represents best practice and gives credibility to our message of a progressive, customer-driven service.”
The BPA Model Contract is an important document as it makes public procurement more straightforward and better value for money, as well as heading off adverse media scrutiny on parking related issues. Chris Galbraith, Dept. for Regional Development in Northern Ireland adds “
The BPA Model Contract provided an excellent framework for the first ever decriminalised parking enforcement contract in Northern Ireland in 2006. Due to the extensive geographical spread and the broad range of functions covered, it is a particularly complex contract, valued at over £8m per year. With the experience we have gained over the last four years and the ever-evolving nature of our service, we again hope to make use of the BPA Model Contract when our current contract expires this year”.
The contract can be provided both as a paper copy and in PDF format which also includes a user guide, a series of schedules and a template invitation to tender (ITT). The cost is £500 for BPA members (£950 for non-members) for each year the contract is in use. For example, for a three year contract, BPA members would pay £500 x 3 = £1,500. Income generated is reinvested in updating and refining the contract from time to time.