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Business Link Northwest Outplacement Support Programme

RETURN DATE FOR SUBMISSION Not later than 10.00am on 6th May 2011


21st April 2011 Dear Sirs TITLE OF TENDER: Business Link Northwest Outplacement Support Programme You are hereby invited by Business Link Northwest (BLNW) to submit a tender for the above services. Tender Timetable The programme should be fully completed by no later than 31st March 2012 as follows: Invitation to Tender isssued Tenderers’ clarification questions to be submitted by The return date for this tender is 10.00am on Tender Evaluations and Final Scoring by The anticipated contract award Contract Mobilisation Meeting Contract Period commences

21st April 2011 29th April 2011 6th May 2011 W/C 9th May 2011 W/C 9th May 2011 W/C 16th May 2011 W/C 23rd May 2011

Documentation You are required to return two hardcopy proposals of the response to the Invitation to Tender Document. Tenders must be returned to the address below in accordance with the ‘Instructions and Information for Tenderers’. TENDER BOARD Ref: Business Link Northwest Outplacement Support Programme Business Link Northwest Brian Johnson Way Off Bluebell Way Preston Lancs PR2 5PE Whilst Tenderers are preparing their responses, questions will inevitably arise. It is requested that all queries be referred in writing to . In order to allow BLNW time to offer appropriate answers, Tenderers must submit any queries by 29th April 2011. If BLNW considers any question or request for clarification to be of material significance, both the query and the response will be posted on BLNW’s website at (please copy and paste into the address bar) in an anonymous form. It is the responsibility of the interested party to check this website periodically before the tender return date to check for any updates and to incorporate these updates into its tender submission.


We look forward to receiving your tender response. Yours faithfully

Priscilla Coen Human Resources Business Partner



Instructions for Completion


Responses should be returned by no later than the date and time stated on the front of this document. Completed documents will be received up to the time and date stated. It is the Supplier's responsibility to ensure that their documents are received on time. BLNW does not undertake to consider documents received after that time unless there is sufficient evidence to pre-suppose its due delivery.


Completed Invitation to Tender Documents must be submitted in the form of two hardcopy proposals. Documentation must be returned to: TENDER BOARD, Ref: Business Link Northwest Outplacement Support, Business Link Northwest, Brian Johnson Way, Off Bluebell Way, Preston, Lancs, PR2 5PE


If BLNW considers any question or request for clarification to be of material significance, both the query and the response will be posted on BLNW’s website at (please copy and paste into the address bar) in an anonymous form. It is the responsibility of tenderers to check this website periodically before the submission date for any updates and to incorporate these updates into its submission. All questions must be addressed to and be received at least 5 working days before the submission date, otherwise a response cannot be guaranteed.


Envelopes/packages should be plain and must not show any reference to the Supplier's identity. Documentation in envelopes which in any way identify the Supplier may be rejected.


Documents must be returned either by post, or by hand to the reception desk ensuring that a member of staff notes the time and date of receipt.


Submissions may be rejected if any of the requested information is not completed and/or supplied. If any of the requested information is missing or is incorrect, the proposal may be rejected on that sole basis and the submission will not be evaluated further.


Suppliers must not try to obtain any information about any other party's submission or proposed submissions before the contract is awarded.


Suppliers must not arrange with any other party the submission of any documentation, except in the cases where sub-contracting and/or joint ventures are applicable.


All responses must be in English.



Important Notices 1.2.1 The information in this document provides an outline of the procedure that BLNW intends to follow, although it reserves the right to amend this process or cancel the procurement at any stage without prior consultation. Under no circumstances will BLNW be liable for any costs or expenses incurred by Suppliers during the procurement process. Expressions of interest are only sought from organisations that are agreeable to these arrangements.


The information provided is intended only as an explanation of BLNW’s requirements and is not intended to form the basis of a Supplier’s decision on whether to enter into any contractual relationship with BLNW. The information provided shall not form the basis of or be relied on in connection with any contract.


Whilst all materials supplied have been prepared in good faith the information provided has not been independently verified and does not purport to be all-inclusive or to contain all the information that a prospective supplier may require. Suppliers are responsible for making such checks and investigations as they consider appropriate. The supply of the information provided to Suppliers does not constitute an obligation to give further information or to update the information provided or to correct any information that is incomplete or inaccurate.


None of BLNW’s directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or advisers (together the “Issuers”) make any representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the accuracy, adequacy or completeness of the information provided. Neither do they make any representation or give any warranty, express or implied, with respect to this document or any matter on which it is based (including, without limitation, any financial details). Any liability is therefore expressly disclaimed.


BLNW shall not be liable for any loss or damage arising as a result of reliance on the information provided. The subject matter of this document shall only have any contractual effect when it is covered and contained in the express terms of an executed contract.


The issue of this document in no way commits BLNW to award any Contract pursuant to the bid process nor does it constitute an offer to enter into a contractual relationship.


In no circumstances shall BLNW incur any liability whatsoever or be liable for any expenses incurred by applicants at any time. Any and all liability in relation to this document is hereby expressly disclaimed and excluded to the maximum extent permissible by law. The exclusions of liability contained in this paragraph do not exclude liability for death or personal injury caused by the Issuers’ negligence and/or to fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation by the Issuers.


BLNW does not bind itself to accept any Tender.


It should be noted that any information given at this stage by the Supplier will be subject to verification at later stages of the procurement process. If any error, omission or misrepresentation is discovered, BLNW reserves the right to disqualify the Supplier from further participation in the process, no matter what stage the process has reached.

1.2.10 In the event that none of the responses are deemed satisfactory, BLNW reserves the right to consider alternative procurement options.



Freedom of Information Legislation

1.3.1 BLNW may be obliged to disclose information provided by Suppliers under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, all subordinate legislation made under this and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (“the Freedom of Information Legislation”). 1.3.2

BLNW will proceed on the basis of disclosure unless an appropriate exemption applies. Suppliers should be aware that despite the availability of some exemptions, information may still be disclosed if the public interest in its disclosure outweighs the public interest in maintaining the exemption. No response to this tender should be covered by a general statement regarding its overall confidentiality; instead any specific areas of confidential information should be highlighted in accordance with paragraph 3 below. BLNW accepts no liability for loss as a result of any information disclosed in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Legislation.


Suppliers should highlight information in their responses which they consider to be commercially sensitive or confidential in nature, and should state the precise reasons why they consider this.


BLNW will use reasonable endeavours to consult with Suppliers over the release of information which is highlighted by them as commercially sensitive or confidential.


Anti-Collusion Instructions


Confidentiality of tenders: The Tenderer, whether an individual supplier or a member of a consortium bid, must not inform anyone else of their tendered price. The only exception is if the Tenderer is required to obtain an insurance quotation to calculate the tender price then the Tenderer may give details of their bid to the insurance company or brokers, if requested


The Tenderer must not try to obtain any information about any other party’s tender or proposed tender before the contract is awarded.


The Tendered must not to arrange with any other party the submission of a tender, except in the circumstances where sub-contracting and/or joint ventures are applicable.


Prices & Payment


Prices shown must be exclusive of VAT.


Trading names/invoicing. Where invoices will be rendered by, or payments made to, an entity whose title differs in any respect from the title in which the tender is submitted, full details must be provided in a letter accompanying the tender. Successful Tenderers who fail to provide this will experience non payment of invoices.


Outline Timetable for the procurement Anticipated Invitation to Tender issue date Anticipated Invitation to Tender return date Anticipated contract award date


21/04/11 06/05/11 13/05/11


Queries about the procurement process

1.7.1 All questions must be addressed to and be

received at least 5 working days before the submission date, otherwise a response cannot be guaranteed. All queries should include the key contact name and contact details of the individual. 1.7.2 Except where BLNW considers the questions are not material to the procurement

process and the fullest understanding of its objectives, such questions and their subsequent replies will be disseminated to all Tenderers. Tenderers should note in relation to all responses in connection with this Invitation to Tender that BLNW makes no guarantee that such information in response to questions will be made available and are not warranting its accuracy. Both the query and the response will be communicated on BLNW’s website (please copy and paste into the address bar)in an anonymous form. It is the responsibility of Tenderers to check this website for information on a regular basis. 1.7.3

Tenderers should note that during this tender process they should not contact any of the Agency’s respective Board Members, Executive Directors, employees or advisers or any third parties connected to BLNW or any advisers to this procurement, outside of the process outlined within this section and elsewhere within this document.


Supplier / Organisation contact point


Section 4.A requires Suppliers to provide a single point of contact in their organisation for their response to this tender. BLNW shall not be responsible for contacting the Supplier through any route other than the nominated contact supplied. The Supplier must therefore undertake to notify any changes relating to the single point of contact promptly to


Terms and Conditions of Contract


All goods/services supplied under this contract will be supplied under BLNW’s Standard Terms and Conditions available from BLNW on request. No variations to the Standard Terms and Conditions will be considered. Tenderers must note that bids tabling proposed amendments may be rejected by BLNW without further consideration.


Background Information Business Link Northwest is here to help by providing impartial, expert support to Northwest businesses. We offer a complete resource incorporating a business support and information service to help businesses find the right solutions. The service is government-funded and is completely free to use. Our aim is simple. We want to help businesses flourish and grow, and in turn, contribute to the competitiveness and prosperity of the Northwest.


Vision To close Business Link Northwest in a professional manner and be recognised as the best business support service, with customers achieving excellent results. Values Despite the uncertain political and economic times in which BLNW finds itself, our aims and objectives are underpinned by four corporate values: Trust – being there for each other, we will deliver Openness – sharing what we know, learning from every experience Passion – driven by belief and enthusiasm we add value where it matters most Keeping it simple – focus 2.2

Specification and Scope of Requirement Business Link Northwest is going through a period of change due to Government spending cuts where we saw 171 (48%) of its employees leave through voluntary or compulsory redundancy between 31st December 2010 and 31st March 2011. The workforce size is anticipated to be 138 as at 1st May 2011. The loss of jobs would directly impact on 34 job roles within the current structure segmentated as follows: Job Category

Number of Staff potentially to be placed at risk (as of 1st May 2011) 20 92 26

Managerial Remote Office based

An organization chart and breakdown of job roles within each job category will be provided to the successful provider. 1. The proposed support package BLNW is committed to providing a package of support for those staff that remain with the business and are critical to the service delivery to 25th November 2011, and closure of the business in March 2012. During the business restructure between September and December 2010 support was provided to staff who were exiting the business through a range of no cost solutions; a significant number provided by the staff themselves. The feedback overall was positive; but did highlight a number of areas where this could be tailored and improved upon. A staff survey has been undertaken to identify what the staff believe they need to help them find their next career move, and help to motivate them as we wind down the service. The 3 key areas identified in the survey are: • • •

CV writing aimed at all levels across the business, with practical sessions Career evaluation and 1:1 coaching carefully tailored to needs at all levels Practical lessons on the use of social media as a job seeking tool


The content of support for employees to access is clearly aligned with the feedback from the staff survey (Appendix A). We wish to work in partnership to assist in the delivery of an added value solution where there is a stong emphasis on quality and value for money. The successful provider will work with the HR Business Partners, members of the Employee Forum and will be expected to provide the following: • • •

• • • • • • •

Individual face-to-face or telephone coaching sessions Interview preparation and practice Participative group learning events on a range of topics (i.e. CV writing, interview techniques) to help employees share experiences on what they are learning (and applying), and provide peer support A specialist who will work with an individual to develop a programme that suits their needs and aspirations Online career management support and expertise leveraging social networking media Access to the latest market intelligence, articles and fresh thinking on a range of career management, self employment and retirement topics Training needs analysis Pre-retirement options Independent Financial Advice i.e Money Made Clear Work with our partner organisations to address individual training and career needs i.e. recruitment agencies, higher education institutions and others

2. Project Management In conjunction with the HR team to maximize the project management cost, the successful provider will be responsible for the introduction and delivery of all support programme activities including: •

Production of support programme literature to be available in electronic and hard copy formats

Co-ordination of support providers including o Business Link Internal Staff o Job Centre Plus o Friends Provident Pension Advisers o Universities, Colleges and training providers o Recruitment Agencies o Financial advice & Support o Skills Funding Agency o Voluntary Organisations

Sourcing funding support and completion of funding applications

Establishing access to employers and networking organizations, including o Networking events o Job fairs


Laising with providers of local or regional work based initiatives, including o Next Steps o Blue Orchid o Transition to Teaching o Franchising Development Services

Staff are based at our head office in Preston, Lancashire as well as being remotely based throughout the Northwest region. The support programme is to be accessible to all affected employees, including both physical and virtual support activites. While BLNW can provide meeting rooms/larger metting areas, including access to internet facilities at its Preston office it is envisaged that Suppliers may wish to make available their own offices and facilities at other places throughout the region where it is thought this would add value to staff and to the delivery of the Programme as a whole. Where appropriate, any costs of providing such facilities should be included in Supplier Tender Submissions.


Evaluation Criteria BLNW will evaluate all Tenders on the basis of the “most economically advantageous tender”. The overall evaluation process will be conducted in a fair and equitable manner, so that BLNW is able to consider the value for money of each proposal. This means that different clarification/information may be sought from different Tenderers. BLNW will take up references and reserves the right to pay due heed to the Tenderer’s performance elsewhere and any past experience from BLNW or its staff. The evaluation criteria described in this Invitation to Tender document will be used to inform the final decision as to which Tenderers will be awarded the Contract. Evaluation of tenders is split between the criteria listed in the table below. Each section has an overall weighting reflecting the relative importance of each section to BLNW. The following weighting definition applies: FI – is perceived as For Information Only Pass/Fail – are perceived as mission-critical requirements and thus will not attract a score but will determine whether a Supplier remains in the process Questions A Organisation Identity

Weighting FI

B Data Protection C Statement relating to good standing & Discretionary grounds for rejection D Insurance


E Conflict of interests


F Prime Contractor/Sub-contracting G Technical Capability/Quality • Examples of similar projects/track record • Project Plan, including ability to meet timescales and resources • Method of work and content

FI 30% 15%


Pass/Fail Pass/Fail

20% 3%

• •


Health and Safety accreditations Quality accreditations


H Pricing, including value for money and added value


I Form completed By



Name of the company (prime or single contractor) in whose name the tender would be submitted Contact name (Single point of Contact): Address:

Telephone number: Facsimile number: E-mail address: Company Registration number, date of registration and registration address:

VAT Registration number: Website address (if any)

B. DATA PROTECTION In order to be considered for this tender you must agree to comply with the criteria detailed below. If a tenderer answers ‘No’ to any of the following questions they will not be considered : a) Do you agree to process any personal data in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations (including but not limited to the Data Protection Act 1998)? Yes/No b) Do you agree to take appropriate technical and organisational measures against the unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against the accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal data to ensure BLNW’s compliance with the seventh data protection principle of the DPA?


Yes/No c) Ensure that YOUR employees are reliable and have been adequately trained in the laws relating to the handling of personal data? Yes/No d) Indemnify BLNW against all losses it may suffer due to any failure by YOU to comply with any of YOUR data protection obligations under the agreed contract? Yes/No

C. STATEMENT RELATING TO GOOD STANDING & DISCRETIONARY GROUNDS FOR REJECTION All prospective tenderers are required to sign and return Statement C.1 and Statement C.2 . Any tenderer who fails to return the signed statements will not be considered.

STATEMENT C.1 - STATEMENT RELATING TO GOOD STANDING We confirm that, to the best of our knowledge, the Potential Provider is not in breach of the provisions of Regulation 23 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (as amended) and in particular that: The Potential Provider (or its directors or any other person who has powers of representation, decision or control of the named organisation) has not been convicted of any of the following offences: (a)

Conspiracy within the meaning of section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 where that conspiracy relates to participation in a criminal organisation as defined in Article 2(1) of Council Joint Action 98/733/JHA (as amended);


Corruption within the meaning of section 1 of the Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889 or section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906 (as amended);


The offence of bribery;


Fraud, where the offence relates to fraud affecting the financial interests of the European Communities as defined by Article 1 of the Convention relating to the protection of the financial interests of the European Union, within the meaning of: (i)

The offence of cheating the Revenue;


The offence of conspiracy to defraud;


Fraud or theft within the meaning of the Theft Act 1968 and the Theft Act 1978;


Fraudulent trading within the meaning of section 458 of the Companies Act 1985;


Defrauding the Customs within the meaning of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 and the Value Added Tax Act 1994;


An offence in connection with taxation in the European Community within the meaning of section 71 of the Criminal Justice Act 1993; or


Destroying, defacing or concealing of documents or procuring the extension of a valuable security within the meaning of section 20 of the Theft Act 1968;


Money laundering within the meaning of the Money Laundering Regulations 2003; or


Any other offence within the meaning of Article 45(1) of the Public Sector Directive.


Organisation’s name Signed Position Date

STATEMENT C.2 – DISCRETIONARY GROUNDS FOR REJECTION The Potential Provider confirms that it: (a)

Being an individual is not bankrupt or has not had a receiving order or administration order or bankruptcy restrictions order made against him or has not made any composition or arrangement with or for the benefit of his creditors or has not made any conveyance or assignment for the benefit of his creditors or does not appear unable to pay or to have no reasonable prospect of being able to pay, a debt within the meaning of section 268 of the Insolvency Act 1986, or article 242 of the Insolvency (Northern Ireland) Order 1989, or in Scotland has not granted a trust deed for creditors or become otherwise apparently insolvent, or is not the subject of a petition presented for sequestration of his estate, or is not the subject of any similar procedure under the law of any other state;


Being a partnership constituted under Scots law has not granted a trust deed or become otherwise apparently insolvent, or is not the subject of a petition presented for sequestration of its estate;


Being a company or any other entity within the meaning of section 255 of the Enterprise Act 2002 has not passed a resolution or is not the subject of an order by the court for the company’s winding up otherwise than for the purpose of bona fide reconstruction or amalgamation, nor had a receiver, manager or administrator on behalf of a creditor appointed in respect of the company’s business or any part thereof or is not the subject of similar procedures under the law of any other state;


Has not been convicted of a criminal offence relating to the conduct of his business or profession;


Has not committed an act of grave misconduct in the course of his business or profession;


Has fulfilled obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions under the law of any part of the United Kingdom or of the relevant State in which the organisation is established;


Has fulfilled obligations relating to the payment of taxes under the law of any part of the United Kingdom or of the relevant State in which the economic operator is established;


Is not guilty of serious misrepresentation in providing any information required of him under this regulation;


In relation to procedures for the award of a public services contract, is licensed in the relevant State in which he is established or is a member of an organisation in that relevant State when the law of that relevant State prohibits the provision of the services


to be provided under the contract by a person who is not so licensed or who is not such a member.

Organisation’s name Signed Position Date

D. INSURANCE In order to be considered for this tender you must be able to provide copies of the following insurance: • • •

Professional Indemnity Public and Products Liability Employers Liability

Can your organisation provide these Yes / No


CONFLICT OF INTEREST (a) Are you aware of any conflicts of interest between your company and BLNW? Yes/No

* Where there is any indication that a conflict of interest exists or may arise, then it shall be the responsibility of the Supplier to inform BLNW, detailing the conflict in writing as an attachment to this PQQ. BLNW will be the final arbiter in cases of potential conflicts of interest. Failure to notify BLNW of any potential conflict of interest will invalidate any verbal or written agreement A Conflict of interest is where a person who is involved in the procurement has or may be perceived to have a personal interest in ensuring that a particular supplier is successful. Actual and potential conflicts of interest must be declared by a person involved in a tender process.





Please select either a or b and answer as applicable a) Your organisation is bidding to provide all the services required Yes/No b) Your organisation is bidding in the role of Prime Contractor and intends to subcontract some of the services to third parties or to form a partnerships/joint ventures/consortium with third parties to deliver the services Yes/No


If your answer to 1 is (b), please identify below the % of the contract you propose to subcontract: %


If your answer to 1 is (b), please identify proposed subcontractors/ partners /consortia members for the bid (if currently known) below:

Organisation name

Organisation address and contact details


Elements of the service provision you propose to subcontract/ allocate to partner/consortia and details of legal arrangements between partners (if known)


Technical Capability/Quality

Please detail examples of similar projects you have completed.

Maximum of 3 pages (A4) using no smaller than size 11 font

Background to your organization including how its experience and track record relates to the tender requirements. Where you intend to work with other organizations/contractors/contractors then please include details accordingly Details of organizations capacity and resources to deliver the tender requirements. Please provide brief details relating to each key member of staff to be engaged in delivering the tender. An overview of content is to be provided including any specific support methods to be used and who will be responsible for deliverying each key aspect of content A project plan is to be submitted, outlining key milestones, key tasks and progress reporting methods to BLNW

Maximum of 3 pages (A4) using no smaller than size 11 font

Maximum of 3 pages (A4) using no smaller than size 11 font

Maximum of 2 pages (A4) using no smaller than size 11 font 2 pages

Maximum of 2 pages (A4) using no smaller than size 11 font

Please attach copies of the following to the back of your Tender • • • •

Membership to trade bodies Health and Safety accreditations Quality accreditations Dispute resolutions policy




The budget for the Support Programme is fixed at a maximum of no more than ÂŁ45k inclusive of VAT and all associated expenses. Please detail all costs in table format that you envisage to complete the project including project management fees and day rates for all staff. Where possible please demonstrate where there is flexibility to obtain best value for money.


Form Completed by Signature Name Position Date Telephone number E-mail address