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ENERGY

CYBER SECURITY

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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

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ISSUE 27.6

Business Information for Local and Central Government WASTE MANAGEMENT

WASTE AND LOCKDOWN What have been the challenges for the waste management industry during a year of lockdowns?

E-BIKES

THE BENEFITS OF E-BIKES EXPLORED Should the government make e-cycling a more realistic and viable option for transport?

PLUS: ASBESTOS | DRONES | G-CLOUD 12 | HOMELESSNESS


CYBER SECURITY

www.governmentbusiness.co.uk

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

|

ISSUE 27.6

Business Information for Local and Central Government WASTE MANAGEMENT

WASTE AND LOCKDOWN What have been the challenges for the waste management industry during a year of lockdowns?

Comment

ENERGY

E-BIKES

THE BENEFITS OF E-BIKES EXPLORED Should the government make e-cycling a more realistic and viable option for transport?

PLUS: ASBESTOS | DRONES | G-CLOUD 12 | HOMELESSNESS

Can 2021 be the year of Net Zero progress? In the last few weeks, the eye catching announcements have been numerous - Brexit trade talks ongoing; more than 70 per cent of the country set to be Tier 3 restrictions; and community testing rolled out to Tier 2. All of this, whilst of the upmost importance, means that other news stories have been overlooked. One of which was made by UK100, who announced that 38 regional leaders, including city mayors and council leaders, are signing the UK100 Net Zero Pledge, explicitly committing them to neutralising their emissions by 2030 and those of their residents and businesses by 2045 - essentially, pledging to move quicker than Whitehall. With the coronavirus pandemic hitting public services hard and shifting government focus away from other areas, it is possible that some of the climate awareness and support that came to the fore in 2019 has dropped this year - which makes pledges such as this even more important. Ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, let us hope that next year we can see more local efforts to reach Net Zero. As Polly Billington, director of UK100, said: ‘Local leadership, alongside funding and powers, is key to winning the Race to Net Zero’.

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We wish all of our readers, contributors and supporters a safe and enjoyable Christmas and best wishes for a happy New Year in 2021. Michael Lyons, editor

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Issue 27.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Contents

Contents Government Business 27.6 07 News

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£2.2 billion funding increase for councils next year; Parliamentary Constituencies Act passed into law; and extra dependency support announce for rough sleepers

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13 Environmental health

Ross Matthewman, head of Policy and Campaigns at CIEH, explains the vital role environmental health professionals play in keeping our communities safe and protecting our environment

17 Asbestos

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Does your commercial building have an asbestos management survey? Craig Evans, general manager at the UK Asbestos Training Association, explores

22 e-Bikes

Daniel Gillett from Sustrans urges the government to seize the opportunities e-cycles offer by helping to make them a more realistic way of travelling for more people

24 Energy

We take a look back at some advice from Jack Dobson-Smith, public affairs advisor at the Solar Trade Association, on why rooftop solar can play a large role in delivering the government’s net zero ambitions

27 Waste management

Lee Marshall, Chief Executive Officer of the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee, looks at the current state of local authority recycling, and why lockdown provided an opportunity as much as a challenge for those in the waste management sector

47 The latest iteration

The G-Cloud 12 framework was due to be announced earlier this year but was delayed by the Crown Commercial Service to allow customers and suppliers to focus resources on responding to the coronavirus pandemic

57 FAQs

32 Homelessness

65 G-Cloud: A history

34 Drones

Elena Major, from ARPAS-UK, the UK Drone Association, looks at the role of asset management for local authorities and why now is the time for technology investment to drive acerbated, long-term assessment management once the pandemic is over

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The Crown Commercial Service provide an introduction to this G-Cloud 12 section of the magazine, with Technology Pillar Director Patrick Nolan sharing some thoughts on why G-Cloud continues to be a great public sector success

How do I do a search on the Digital Marketplace? What is the maximum length of a Call-off Contract? Can I ask the supplier for references/details of previous experience as part of our evaluation?

Trevor Hampton explains why a predict and prevent strategy is vital for preventing people slipping into homelessness as unemployment surges due to the pandemic

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45 Introduction

31 Generators

A reliable and continuous power supply is essential to many activities, across both industry and the public sector. AMPS has some advice on meeting those needs

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G-CLOUD 12

36 Procurement

From 1 January, government departments will have to use a new social value in procurement model to assess a supplier’s social impact. Government Business explores

39 Cyber Security

This month, our sister publication Counter Terror Business caught up with Roderick Jones, executive chairman at Concentric Advisors and former member of Scotland Yard’s Special Branch, to discuss all thing cyber security, coronavirus and the recent US Election. Here, we share his thoughts

Government Business magazine

With G-Cloud 12 now on the Digital Marketplace, we take a look back at the cloud journey to date, beginning in 2012 to the latest iteration, released in September 2020

81 The challenges

Romy Hughes, director at Brightman, outlines some of the many reasons why the public sector still shuns the G-Cloud and other frameworks

85 Public sector trends

As we head into a new year, digital transformation will continue to be at the top of the agenda for public sector bodies. Here, Martin Riley identifies the biggest technological trends to impact the sector in 2021

91 Off-the-shelf services Jos Creese, CEO of digital consultancy business CCL, looks at why digital public services means a move away from ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions

www.governmentbusiness.co.uk Issue 27.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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News FINANCE

£2.2 billion funding increase for councils next year

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced that councils across England will receive £51.2 billion next year – an increase of £2.2 billion from last year.

The government says that the financial package will provide councils with additional resources to deliver effective local services and continue to support their communities during the pandemic, while protecting council taxpayers from excessive increases. It includes a £2.2 billion increase in core funding – including a £1 billion increase in social care funding to ensure councils can meet rising demand, fund more care home places and social workers, and protect some of the most vulnerable in society. The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has also announced the allocations for £1.55 billion of unringfenced funding for councils to continue to support their communities during the coronavirus

CORONAVIRUS

PROCUREMENT

Community testing offer rolled out to highest risk Tier 2 areas

New plans set out to transform procurement

The government has announced that community testing programmes will be offered to the worst-affected Tier 2 areas, in addition to Tier 3 areas, to help prevent areas moving into the toughest restrictions. As such, local authorities who are deemed at high risk of entering Tier 3 will be invited to submit community testing proposals to help drive down transmission rates based on their in-depth knowledge of their local community. Tier 3 areas will continue to be prioritised for community testing, with 67 local authorities in Tier 3 having already signed up to the first wave of the enhanced testing support programme, with more roll outs expected in the new year. More than 1.5 million tests have already been deployed to Tier 3 local authorities to start community testing, with testing in Warwickshire, Darlington and Medway already underway. Following the announcement of London moving into Tier 3, community testing initiatives have been rapidly approved for all boroughs to start from next week, to help stop the spread of the virus. The government says that more than 500,000 tests will be immediately deployed to London boroughs with many more to follow. The announcement preceded the news that a number of regions across the UK have moved into Tier 3 restrictions. The Health Secretary announced that Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, amongst others, will now face the tougher restrictions. READ MORE

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The Cabinet Office has launched new plans to overhaul procurement rules, cutting red tape and making it easier for smaller businesses to win government contracts. Every year, the government buys some £292 billion of services from the private sector. The latest measures will transform the current procurement regime to put value for money at the heart of the new approach, by allowing more flexibility for buyers, enabling government to be more strategic and save the taxpayer money. This will also drive increased competition through much simpler procurement procedures. The government says that the changes will make UK procurement rules more modern, flexible, innovative and diverse, by allowing government to consider wider social value when picking suppliers, in turn ensuring

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pandemic and lead the recovery in their local areas. The allocation of this money has taken into account a range of factors including population and deprivation, as well as the varying cost of delivering services across the country. On top of this, £670 million has also been confirmed to enable councils to continue reducing council tax bills for those least able to pay, including households impacted financially by the pandemic. The total funding will also help tackle rough sleeping, provide support for rural communities and provide rewards for welcoming new homes. READ MORE

that taxpayers money goes further and has more of a wider benefit for society. The government will also allow the public sector to buy British for contracts not subject to international trade rules, by allowing competitions for government contracts under £4.7 million for public works and £122,000 for goods and services to be limited to small businesses, voluntary, community and social enterprises, or to a certain geographical area. These new rules will support SMEs by opening up new opportunities to them and making it easier for them to win contracts, in turn helping to drive local growth, promote innovation, support local recruitment and level up communities across the UK. READ MORE


ELECTIONS

Parliamentary Constituencies Act passed into law

The Parliamentary Constituencies Act has received Royal Assent, which means the geographical boundaries of the UK’s 650 constituencies will be redrawn to each contain a near equal number of eligible voters.

The updated constituencies will reflect significant changes in demographics, house building and migration - the current ones having been defined using outdated data from two decades ago. The government

says that this means every vote cast in a general election will carry equal weight. Starting their review in January 2021, the Boundary Commissions will use the most up-to-date data on the current UK electorate available, to determine the average number of electors that will be in each constituency and their new boundaries. The government’s new legislation will strengthen the independence of the process further, ensuring reviews take place every eight years and the subsequent proposals are implemented automatically. This will stop any potential for political interference or further delays to updating constituencies, protecting fair representation of the British people for the future. READ MORE

HOUSING

ROAD MAINTENANCE

Much-needed new homes part of levelling-up measures

Poor state of local roads is drivers’ number-one concern

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has set out new measures to level up England’s cities, recover from the pandemic and help provide much-needed new homes. Following a consultation launched in the summer that sought views from planners, councils and the wider public, the government has announced its plan for enabling the delivery of more homes across England. As part of this, an updated housing need formula will be introduced to help councils to enable the delivery of 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s, while prioritising brownfield sites and urban areas. Under the proposals, cities will be encouraged to plan for more family homes

The RAC has reported that the poor state of local roads is officially the UK’s most widespread motoring concern in 2020. Despite a dramatic fall in car use seen during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, some 38 per cent of the 3,068 drivers surveyed listed the condition and maintenance of local roads as a concern, up from 33 per cent in 2019. This put it ahead of other issues such as drivers using handheld phones (32 per cent), the poor standard of other motorists’ driving (27 per cent) and the aggressive behaviour of other drivers (26 per cent). In particular, the RAC says that there has been an increase in the number of drivers who say local roads have deteriorated, with 52 per cent saying conditions are worse than 12 months ago, compared with 49 per cent who said this in 2019. In fact, only six per cent of drivers think the state of local roads has improved, a dramatic fall on last year’s 11 per cent. The third quarter of 2020 – July, August and September – saw 1,871 call-outs for damaged shock absorbers, broken suspension springs or distorted wheels – breakdowns that are most likely to have been caused by poor road surfaces. This is the highest third-quarter percentage of all RAC breakdowns seen since 2015. The Pothole Index, which is the RAC’s most accurate long-term indicator of the health of the UK’s roads, now stands at 1.57. This means drivers are nearly 1.6 times as likely to suffer a potholerelated breakdown as they would have been in 2006 when the data was first analysed in this way.

and to make the most of vacant buildings and underused land to protect green spaces. The plans will encourage more homes to be built in England’s 20 largest cities and urban centres, boosting local economies by supporting jobs in the building sector, and revitalising high streets with the footfall new residents bring. The government has also said that it intends to revise the so-called ‘80/20 rule’ which guides how much funding is available to local areas to help build homes. This will establish a new principle to ensure funding is not just concentrated in London and the South East. READ MORE

DEVOLUTION

Devolution deal for West Yorkshire laid in Parliament West Yorkshire is closer to becoming a Mayoral Combined Authority as the Order for its multi-million-pound devolution deal was laid in Parliament. Subject to parliamentary approval, the region’s first ever Mayoral elections will go ahead on 6 May 2021, with the newly elected Mayor and Mayoral Combined Authority given control over an annual £38 million investment fund as well as new powers over transport, education and housing and planning. The £38 million per year for 30 years is on top of further investment including: £317

million from the Transforming Cities Fund; £101 million government funding for West Yorkshire flood risk management schemes; £25 million Heritage Fund; £3.2 million to support the development of housing sites across West Yorkshire; up to £500,000 for the Bradford Station Masterplan and funding for the Outline Business Case for Leeds station redevelopment; and £75,000 for a West Yorkshire Local Digital Skills Partnership. READ MORE

READ MORE

Issue 27.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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News

HOMELESSNESS

Extra dependency support announce for rough sleepers services. This is in addition to wraparound support, such as access to mental health and substance dependence workers and peer mentors, who are key to working with vulnerable people in treatment services. Tolhurst has also confirmed an initial £10 million funding for nineteen areas, plus the Greater London Authority, under the government’s £15 million ‘Protect Programme’. This is to provide accommodation for rough sleepers during the pandemic in areas that required extra support during the restrictions and throughout winter.

Kelly Tolhurst has announced that rough sleepers across England will receive extra support to help them recover from drug and alcohol misuse. The Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing confirmed that 43 areas across

England will receive support from a £23 million government fund designed for those with drug and alcohol support needs to get the help they need to rebuild their lives. The programme will be boosted by a further £52 million in 2021 to 2022. Rough sleepers who are being provided with emergency accommodation during the pandemic as part of the government’s ‘Everyone In’ programme, and people who are currently rough sleeping, will be eligible for support. In partnership with the Department for Health and Social Care, and managed by Public Health England, the funding will enable them to access drug and alcohol treatment, including detox and rehabilitation

AIR QUALITY

FLOODING

New network of air pollution sensors across London

Starmer calls for flood preparedness taskforce

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched a new network of sensors at key locations across the capital as part of his Breathe London air quality monitoring project. It means that hospitals, schools and businesses across London will be able monitor levels of air pollution in their local area, after it was announced that more than 100 sensors to be installed at priority locations next year. For the first time, Londoners will also be able to ‘buy in’ to the network at a low cost and host sensors in locations of their choice. This will revolutionise Londoners’ access to reliable data including for community groups, charities, businesses, individuals, academics and boroughs. This will significantly reduce the costs of sourcing reliable air pollution data for local projects or schemes like School Streets. Community groups and charities will be able to access the service at a discounted rate. The new network will have a community focus and complement London’s existing, highest quality, reference grade monitors - most of which are owned and funded by London boroughs. Khan launched the Breathe London project in January 2019, making it affordable to access reliable air quality data for the first time. It has just received backing to run for another four years. READ MORE

Keir Starmer has urged Boris Johnson to urgently convene a taskforce on flood preparedness during the pandemic, following a year of ‘broken promises to flood-hit communities’. The Labour leader is calling for the Prime Minister to include regional leaders and frontline services on the taskforce, to ensure communities across England are protected from the combined dangers of flooding and Covid this winter. The Environment Agency recently warned people to prepare for possible floods as Met Office forecasts showed the next two months may be wetter than usual. According to Labour, the Prime Minister has not returned to flood-hit communities in South Yorkshire, despite making it a key part of his campaign trail before the last

READ MORE

General Election. New research published by Labour reveals ‘12 months of broken promises’ to flood-hit communities, including: continued cuts to emergency flood response; the failure to fully distribute the £5,000 grants promised by the Prime Minister to people whose homes and businesses were affected by floods; and an 11-month delay to the Yorkshire Flood Summit. Government figures show over five million homes in England are at risk from flooding and coastal erosion. The floods in November 2019 and February 2020 saw thousands of people forced to leave their homes, with 1,900 people evacuated in Doncaster alone last year. READ MORE

CLIMATE EMERGENCY

Climate-related incidents affecting majority of councils

Eight in ten councils surveyed by the Local Government Association have been affected by a climate-related incident in the last five years. The LGA said councils have been working hard to develop policy and action to tackle climate change since the government laid plans in June 2019 to reach net zero

carbon emissions by 2050. Approximately 80 per cent have set an official target for the authority to become carbon neutral, with nine out of 10 councils having declared a climate emergency. The Climate Change Survey 2020 asks what policy changes would enable councils to mitigate and/or adapt to climate change more effectively in the future. The most frequently identified barrier to tackling climate change was funding (96 per cent), followed by legislation or regulation (93 per cent) and lack of workforce capacity (88 per cent). READ MORE

Issue 27.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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News

BUSES

Don’t overlook county areas in bus strategy, says CCN The two organisations say that only a fair share of resource will bridge this funding shortfall, and have therefore called for the gap to be filled and for further long-term investment into the 2020s from the government’s £4 billion National Buses Strategy, due to be unveiled in the coming weeks. Looking at the issue regionally, the report finds that county areas in the North West saw a decline of -39.5 per cent in funding for bus routes, whilst counties in the South West saw a decline of -36.9 per cent, followed by county areas in the East Midlands (-32.5 per cent) and the West Midlands (-31.2 per cent). Equally, annual journeys in North West counties in 2019 declined by 25.1 million (-29.7 per cent) and the East Midlands 21.1 million (-17.9 per cent). Over the same period, counties in the West Midlands saw a reduction of 17 million (-26.6 per cent), and counties in the North East a reduction of 10.9 million (-15.1 per cent).

Council leaders have urged the government to not overlook counties in its forthcoming bus investment strategy, as a new report lays bare the scale of decline in public transport in rural and remote areas. Published by the County Councils Network (CCN) and the County All-Party Parliamentary Group, the new report finds that services in counties are operating at minimum levels following years of funding reductions. The analysis reveals there were 97 million fewer bus journeys in 2019

across 36 counties compared to a decade ago due to a £348 million funding gap. Councils subsidise bus routes that are not commercially viable for operators but have found it hard to maintain subsidies due to cuts in funding. Between 2009 and 2019, council and central government funding for bus routes declined by £233 million, some 30 per cent, in the 36 county areas. At the same time, costs in that period are estimated to have increased by £115 million due to population increases. This creates a funding gap of £348 million.

INDEPENDENCE

HOMELESSNESS

Plaid Cymru pledges Welsh independence vote

London homelessness pressures reaching ‘worst-ever levels’

Adam Price, the leader of Plaid Cymru, has promised that his party would offer a referendum if it formed a government and got a Senedd majority to back it. It is a first for the party, which has never previously promised to offer an independence vote in the first term of a Plaid government. The UK government in Westminster allowed a vote to take place in Scotland in 2014 after the SNP won a majority in the Scottish Parliament elections three years earlier, so a similar decision could be made for Wales. Price says that something ‘new and better’ must come out of the coronavirus crisis and ‘independence is the most radical idea in Welsh politics today’. He believes that Wales is in real danger of being be left behind as part of a ‘rump United Kingdom’. His policy change, having previously pledged that a referendum would take place in the second term of a Plaid government and before 2030, follows a report commissioned by the party which recommended two referendums on independence. The first to be a ‘multi-choice’ exercise to gauge opinion, and the second a vote on the preferred option in the referendum. READ MORE

London Councils has warned that homelessness pressures in the capital are approaching their ‘worst-ever levels’, urging a rethink of national policy if the government is to have ‘any hope’ of meeting its homelessness reduction targets. Highlighting the highest temporary accommodation figures for 15 years, the organisation says that 62,670 London households are homeless and living in temporary accommodation, with London accounting for two thirds of England’s total temporary accommodation numbers. Furthermore, the figures show that 89,850 London children don’t have a permanent home and are set to spend Christmas in temporary accommodation organised by their local council. The figures are a stark warning, especially given the unprecedented challenge of

READ MORE

sheltering rough sleepers through both coronavirus and winter. The latest estimate suggests there are just over 700 rough sleepers on London’s streets and boroughs are providing emergency accommodation for 2,500. Boroughs and the GLA have provided ‘move on’ accommodation for more than 3,300 former rough sleepers since March. London Councils is calling on the government to: improve the welfare system’s ability to prevent homelessness from occurring in the first place; confirm long-term funding arrangements for sustaining local homelessness services; and boost councils’ resources for building social housing. READ MORE

Issue 27.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Advertisement Feature

Solutions for Business Continuity in an Age of Pandemic Andrew Smith reflects upon some challenges presented to different customer in both the private and commercial sectors, who both needed to ensure continuity of workflow processes, explaining how OPEX were able to support them in challenging circumstances over UK lockdown to achieve their required outcomes

Society in the UK has been deeply impacted and affected by Covid-19 during recent months. As Autumn approaches, the news continues to focus on Covid matters like never before. At the time of writing, the UK looks to be on the cusp of returning to heightened measures and further impact upon our daily lives. This article doesn’t seek to dwell upon the negative aspects within society associated with Covid, but rather offer insight around how organisations have rethought their working practices, diversified, and ensured their continued operation whilst ensuring the continued safety of their workforces with OPEX’s support. Medical Records In 2020, the NHS has faced its biggest challenge in a generation. Whilst it’s impossible for society to perform many of the lifesaving tasks undertaken by front-line NHS staff, the completions of many ‘behind-the-scenes’ administrative functions and non-patient facing tasks remain undiminished. The country’s need to ‘Go Digital’ is greater now than ever before, with instantaneous access to patient information becoming crucial. This scenario was exemplified by one NHS trust, who were amidst the process of installing multiple OPEX Falcon machines to enable their ‘digital’ drive for clinicians and medical staff to access invaluable patient files and information, traditionally hand-delivered to clinics. The project continued relatively unabated over Spring 2020 seeing successful deployment of the newly installed machines, plus recruitment and training of a new workforce to deliver this new digital workflow. The

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trust recognised the project was a priority, and aside from the countrywide pause to prioritise growing numbers of patients as pandemic numbers accelerated, the Trust’s background desire to change working practices for the good - remained intact. Throughout the pandemic, OPEX’s team across UK and Ireland worked shoulderto-shoulder with our customers, ensuring continuity of their operations. Ultimately this ‘behind the scenes’ service supports and enables NHS Medical Records teams to digitise and share patient information with NHS colleagues wherever they might be, to help save lives. Over 30 NHS trusts now rely upon the expertise of OPEX for handling the digitisation of their Medical Records, having adopted this model as their preferred solution. OPEX’s Falcon workstation enables the quick, accurate and cost-effective capture and transformation of poor-quality medical records into structured digital content, ready for onward ingestion into EPR systems. Even notoriously challenging ‘Lloyd George’ GP’s notes are handled with distinction. By creating a solution significantly different to other manufacturers, OPEX has identified and solved key issues surrounding this monumental task faced by an already overstretched system to deliver labour-saving benefits. OPEX leads the field in digital conversion of ‘legacy’ archives and ‘dayforward’ hard copy patient medical record files, seeing OPEX Falcon’s unique combined prep-and-scan workstation as the scanner of choice for capturing complex patient files. Digital Mailroom During the pandemic, the delivery of ‘Digital Mail’ to employees enterprisewide has become an absolute requirement for business, whilst addressing risk management and mitigation concerns. An international outsourcing company recently set up a new office serving their UK clients from offices near London, and their timely investment in OPEX’s FalconV RED machine enabled their service provision to continue relatively unhindered; ensuring they could remain at the forefront of service delivery for ‘digital mail’. The range of services provided included diverting incoming business mail intended for employees who were all working from home remotely – yet still needs access to the mail. Other workflows for the client included diverting and receiving incoming mail

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containing financial information, invoices and payments (AP) local authority workflow documents, etc – again all of which needed to be handled on behalf of their clients to ensure timely continuity for business workflows. The FalconV RED machine proved invaluable in handling incoming mixedsize unstructured mail envelopes, opening the mail automatically, and enabling an operative to categorise, scan and capture the images with inbuilt state of the art software solutions, ensuring items such as original and fragile documents were handled securely to complete the process. All being achieved against stringent SLA’s, in a timely and secure manner for their clients. For over four decades, OPEX has been a global leader in Document Imaging and Mailroom Automation solutions. OPEX serves a variety of industries including financial services, insurance, healthcare, local and central government, educational, legal, utilities, service bureaus and BPO’s. OPEX® one-touch scanning technology can be integrated with your software and customised to your job requirements, giving you greater flexibility and control. This, coupled with our expertise in the marketplace and strategic account management, allows OPEX to become a valuable partner and provide the right solution to any organisations scanning requirements.L FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: +44 1204 388838 info@opex.com digitiseyourdocuments.co.uk


Environmental health

The importance of environmental health Ross Matthewman, head of Policy and Campaigns at CIEH, explains the vital role environmental health professionals play in keeping our communities safe and protecting our environment The environmental health profession has Considering the central role local authorities never been more vital than it is today. The twin were playing, and the pressure they were under challenges of the United Kingdom’s imminent to deliver on these policies, it was regrettable exit from the European Union, and of the that implementation plans and guidance were Covid-19 global pandemic, has shone a light initially being drawn up solely in Whitehall on the essential role environmental and disseminated with limited input health professionals (EHPs) play from local authorities and key in supporting our businesses, stakeholders with valuable In light keeping our communities knowledge of their safe, and protecting communities. However, this Covid-1 of our environment. has greatly improved, Brexit, W 9 and From food safety to and government estmins seems t ter housing standards, is now showing a and from public health real willingness to awaken o have e to environmental work closely with d t o n eed to the protection, EHPs are local authority s environ upport the at the forefront of partners in a more m ent efforts to improve the coordinated approach. profess al health health of our country. There has also been i o n This year has made a growing appreciation their role all the clearer. of the importance of the The impact of the Covid-19 environmental health profession by pandemic has been monumental central government. EHPs have been on in highlighting the need for local authorities the frontline in enforcing business compliance to be properly resourced and for their local with lockdown restrictions and providing expertise to help shape central government’s guidance and support for businesses to become approach to public health. The response to Covid-secure. EHPs have also proven to be a Covid, by governments across the United valuable resource in supporting test and trace. Kingdom, of imposing a series of national and Earlier this summer, CIEH created a voluntary regional lockdowns, alongside mass testing and register of EHPs eager to utilise their specialist tracing, necessitated a significant reliance on knowledge to help Public Health England local authorities to implement these policies. set up a successful test and trace system.

Environmental Health Together The growing recognition of the role of environmental health in combatting Covid by government led to a public commitment from the Prime Minister, in the House of Commons, to create a national register of EHPs for local authorities to use as a vital additional resource. This pledge saw CIEH working in partnership with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), and the Local Government Association (LGA) to create and promote this register to local authorities across England. Now named Environmental Health Together, and officially launched at the end of October, the register is hosted by the LGA, quality-assured by CIEH, and backed by MHCLG and NHS Test and Trace. Aimed at anyone who has environmental health qualifications and is available for work, the register provides a resource for local authorities to match EHPs against their specific requirements for additional capacity to tackle Covid-19 in their areas. While currently only local authorities in England will be able to recruit from it, it is anticipated that many roles will be based remotely, allowing registrations from across the UK. Already hundreds of applications have been rolling in. A testament to the profession. E Issue 27.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Environmental health

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been monumental in highlighting the need for local authorities to be properly resourced and for their local expertise to help shape central government’s approach to public health  The Brexit conundrum Dealing with a global pandemic, unprecedented in modern times, is a challenge on its own. However, the environmental health profession also has a key role to play in the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. The essential issues of imports and exports, of food supply and crime prevention, are those that again rely heavily on EHPs. With the fate and nature of trade between the UK and the EU, and between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, dependent on the result of ongoing negotiations, a visceral sense of confusion and frustration pervades all attempts to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period. What tariffs will ultimately be applied to goods moving to and from the continent? What food will now need to be inspected on arrival in the UK? How will businesses and ports cope with the extra paperwork? How will food inspectors ensure that food crime doesn’t explode as the new systems are being put into place? All of these questions highlight the importance of the environmental health profession to our nation’s food supply and in ensuring the safety of our food.

CIEH has been vocally campaigning to not just protect, but to enhance the UK’s food and environmental standards after we leave the EU. Improving air quality has been a central tenet of our approach. It is estimated that outdoor air pollution causes 40,000 deaths in the UK every year. In addition, poor air quality currently costs the UK government £16 billion annually due to effects of poor health and reduced labour productivity. It is something that desperately needs addressing. Historically, EU Directives have driven our environmental standards, including legal requirements on air quality. Leaving the EU means we will now be responsible for setting our own environmental standards. Our members are clear, the UK must use this opportunity to pursue an ambitious programme of improving our nation’s air quality. This will require legallybinding targets and the provision of proper resources to local authorities and EHPs working on the frontline to deliver environmental projects. Through our membership of the Healthy Air Campaign coalition, CIEH has been working hand in hand with organisations such as Client Earth and the British Heart Foundation

to engage with the UK government and fight for improvements to the Environment Bill. The environmental health profession is committed to working with government to usher in an era of higher environmental standards. The need for support With the spotlight finally falling on the importance of environmental health to our country, it is imperative that the challenges facing the profession are outlined too. With successive reductions to local authority budgets over the last decade, the workforce capacity of environmental health has dwindled. Fewer people being increasingly called upon to take on ever more responsibility is an unsustainable situation. The ability of EHPs to ensure food, housing, and environmental, standards are upheld in our communities is being curtailed. In light of Covid-19 and Brexit, Westminster seems to have awakened to the need to support the environmental health profession. However, this can only come through protecting local authority budgets that fund EHPs, and by improving recruitment through modernising the professional qualification routes to becoming an EHP. It is a long road, but a necessary one if the profession is to survive, thrive, and meet future challenges, such as climate change, poverty, and an unsustainable food system. For now, CIEH will continue to beat the drum for our members and to highlight the crucial role they are playing in the historic issues facing our country. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.cieh.org

Issue 27.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Asbestos

Commercial concerns when it comes to asbestos in buildings Does your commercial building have an asbestos management survey? Craig Evans, general manager at the UK Asbestos Training Association, explores The responsibilities for those required to where it is present, it is correctly managed manage asbestos in any non-domestic and a management survey completed. property are set out in the Control of Asbestos The Duty to Manage Asbestos is enshrined Regulations (CAR), 2012. If you are a building in regulation 4 of CAR 2012, approved Code owner or are responsible for the maintenance of Practice published by the Health & Safety and repair, you have what is called the ‘Duty to Executive (HSE). It is not possible to do more Manage’ the asbestos in that building. than cover the basics here, but the duty This covers all non-domestic holder must find out if asbestos is commercial properties, present; make a record of the There including factories, type, location and condition are six b warehouses, offices and of the asbestos and assess categor asic shops and of course the risk of exposure. Once asbesto ies of public buildings such this is done, a plan must as hospitals, schools be prepared on how to friable s and with types m and leisure centres. manage the risks. Once danger ore Reports of Asbestos put into action, the Containing Material plan must be monitored others, ous than k (ACM) in commercial and kept up to date the diff nowing buildings is never far and provided to anyone erence from the headlines, and who might encounter or m atters the problem is extensive. work on the asbestos. From hospitals and schools, In general, the duty all the way through to the Palace holder can conduct the management of Westminster itself (where asbestos survey in cases where this is likely to be was widely used for insulation), many simple and straightforward, but if in any buildings contain the substance in some form. doubt, a surveyor is the best option. UK Asbestos was only banned in late 1999, so Asbestos Training Association (UKATA) any property constructed before this date members offer Duty to Manage courses for almost certainly houses ACM. Estimates anyone with these responsibilities and such suggest that 1.5 million buildings in the UK a course is a must if considering conducting could contain asbestos and it is vital that, the management survey yourself.

Awareness training This is where a working knowledge of asbestos provided by training is vital. Breathing in asbestos fibres can lead to diseases such as mesothelioma and asbestosis. Unfortunately, asbestos related diseases take the lives of over 5,000 in the UK each year. The majority of those diagnosed with mesothelioma have a life expectancy of just nine to twelve months and knowing the difference between standard asbestos and the more dangerous forms like crocidolite can be a lifesaver. There are six basic categories of asbestos and with friable types more dangerous than others, knowing the difference matters. Friable is the term for how likely ACM is to release asbestos fibres when worked on. Where crocidolite, more commonly known as ‘blue asbestos’, is found, leaving it in place is rarely an option, as the more lethal forms involve licensed work. If it cannot be categorically said there is no asbestos, a sample should be taken and analysed by a UKAS accredited laboratory. Asbestos awareness training can aid in the identification of ACM in buildings, which can be found on anything from thermal insulation on pipes, boilers, ducts and tanks, to joint compounds, cement, pipe block, valves, gaskets, pipe coatings. E Issue 27.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Advertisement Feature

Risk management – Not just a bureaucratic exercise We recently had the privilege of serving a client that is going through a period of change and needed some short term interim support to help it through the process. As part of that we took on their risk management systems, both administratively and strategically

This client presented an interesting challenge not because they had poor or weak risk management systems. On paper at least they looked strong. However, there were a number of gaps in the application of risk management processes that meant the opportunities and benefits of effective risk management was being missed. Do any of these look like you? Firstly, risk reviews were very much a tick-box exercise, with risks updated without input from risk owners or subject matter experts. This gave the false impression that risks were being actively managed. The Board believed risks were being properly managed when in fact risks were being ‘updated’ based on a timetable rather than events or milestones. Like many organisations, our client did not have a clear idea of their appetite for or

tolerance of risk. Organisations must take risk to grow and deliver, but of course taking too big a risk can cause organisations to fail. However, there was no definition of where the floor and ceiling of risks were. What was the most amount of money the organisation could afford to lose if a financial risk materialised, for example? In addition, and partly because of this, risks were being created and recorded without any kind of oversight, discussion or sign off, often in response to a deadline to report risk to one meeting or another. When reported to the Board it looked ultimately as if it could take assurance from risk management activity when in fact the risk register belied the real situation. Finally there was a lack of distinction between risks and issues. A risk is an uncertain event and an organisation’s risk strategy can be couched in terms of its proactive stance to manage uncertainty. For example, there was a risk recorded that operational performance in one area could drop below an acceptable threshold, and detailed mitigating actions set out. Yet in reality performance had dropped below that threshold some time ago and had no real prospect of achieving the standard again in the foreseeable future. But it remained on the risk register. An organisation that effectively manages risks knows the amount of risk it wants to take, and the maximum amount of risk it can afford to take. Risk management is an effective tool to evaluation progress and look forward to where threats and opportunities may arise. What was behind the poor management

of risk? The organisation had developed a bureaucracy around the management of risk that focused on hitting deadlines rather than enabling action. Governance should be pragmatic, reducing barriers and supporting people. Great risk management allows leaders and subject matters experts to explore and implement solutions. The organisation was very much in the area of hitting the target but missing the point. What did we do about it? Firstly we stopped risks being updated without input from risk owners and leads. Instead we worked with each risk owner/lead and challenged them firstly on their risk (is this the right risk? Is it a risk or an issue? etc.) and their controls (how will this reduce the impact or likelihood of the risk? What is your risk management strategy – avoid, mitigate, accept? etc.). We changed the culture so that risks were only updated when milestones or key activity were approaching. We also separated out issues from risks to leave the organisation with a smaller number of live, core risks. As part of this an issue management strategy was also needed to deal with them, as a separate but complimentary piece of work. This enabled risk owners and managers to be accountable for the effective and focused management of risk on an ongoing basis as a tool to support the delivery of their objectives. Ultimately, like any governance system, risk management only works if sustained high quality effort is put in. It becomes difficult to keep this up if you have complex and bureaucratic systems. Your processes should enable and empower people to move forward toward their and the organisation’s goals. This means not only designing systems with a view to what you can strip out, rather than add in, but also training people in both the letter and the spirit of risk management. Our advice to any organisation thinking about how effective its risk management activities are is to: • • • •

Benchmark all risks against your strategic objectives. Decide how much risk you are comfortable taking. Proactively review risks against upcoming milestones and events, not internal timetables. Ensure risks are owned and managed by the right people. L

FURTHER INFORMATION www.wudo.solutions

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Asbestos

 Insulating board (AIB) lagging, insulation and sprayed coatings need particular attention because they usually contain the more dangerous forms of friable asbestos. Lagging was widely used for the thermal insulation of pipes and boilers throughout the 1960s and 1970s and disturbance of such lagging can release fibres easily into the air. Unwittingly drilling into such materials or otherwise causing fibres to be released in the form of dust, puts contractors at risk of inhaling any asbestos fibres released, which is why a survey is so essential and why asbestos retains its status as the silent killer, because the danger it poses continues to be underestimated. Asbestos is the biggest killer in the UK workplace, with related lung cancers and mesothelioma making up 40 per cent or two fifths of estimated current annual deaths. This is why the need for the management survey is taken so seriously and the penalties for failing the Duty to Manage are so severe. The management survey must ensure no one is harmed by asbestos in the building and as such must be a comprehensive risk register of what ACM is present in the building and where. This is vital when considering ACM that could be disturbed by normal day to day activities, essential building maintenance or installation of new equipment. As such, the survey cannot be regarded as a mere box ticking exercise and must be a reliable, comprehensive working document. Once the management survey is complete, the duty holder should have a clear picture of the asbestos situation within the building and be better placed to make decisions about safe containment and management of any ACM present – if things can be left or in the case of high risk ACM, if this needs to be safely removed by a licensed contractor. Asbestos management is one field where a one size fits all approach is hard to apply. Serious cases may need removal, but in others, a policy of watchful waiting may be

Asbestos awareness training can aid in the identification of ACM in buildings, which can be found on anything from thermal insulation on pipes, boilers, ducts and tanks, to joint compounds, cement, pipe block, valves, gaskets, pipe coatings fine, if there is confidence the asbestos can remain safely undisturbed. UKATA agrees with the HSE view that, providing ACM is sealed and well maintained, staff and visitors should not be at risk during normal activities. While the risk posed by asbestos is very real, it needs to be kept in perspective. So long as proper regular reviews are undertaken and the Management Survey and resulting plan are seen as working, active documents and staff are aware of their role, asbestos can be managed safely. Protection from exposure In summary, if you are the duty holder, or are about to become one, you must make sure you obtain the existing Asbestos Management Report for the building or be ready to undertake the necessary management survey yourself or have it completed by a competent surveyor on your behalf. Either way, it is your responsibility to protect everyone from exposure to asbestos in your property. This means: finding out if ACM is present, how much and its condition/sate of repair; presuming materials may contain asbestos unless you have clear evidence they do not; keeping and maintaining up to date records of the ACM; completing a risk assessment of the likelihood of people coming into contact with ACM; having a clear plan of how you will manage the risks – and putting the plan into action; and providing anyone

who may need to work in the building with the details they will need to stay safe. If this sounds daunting, the HSE website is a good place to start and contains the information duty holders will need and where to source further advice. For Duty to Manage and other asbestos training, the UKATA website contains the information you will need to find a UKATA approved trainer in your area. The right training can be the difference between compliance with the regulations and falling foul of the penalties for not doing so. The regulations are enforced by the HSE and for duty holders who fail to adequately manage the asbestos in premises, the penalties are severe. The basic fine is £20,000 and 12 months imprisonment. If the breach is considered serious enough, the fine is unlimited and includes up to two years imprisonment. Asbestos awareness and Duty to Manage training does not prepare people to carry out work with ACM. Awareness training is only intended to help employees avoid carrying out work that will disturb asbestos or ACM. If work is planned that will disturb ACM, further information, instruction and training appropriate to the work being done will be required. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.ukata.org.uk

Issue 27.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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e-Bikes

The potential of e-bikes to transform British travel Daniel Gillett from Sustrans urges the government seize the opportunities e-cycles offer by helping to make them a more realistic way of travelling for more people

From pulling home a week’s worth of shopping to an active commute, e-bikes are transforming journeys all over Europe as sales boom and could create a long-lasting impact on transport and society in the UK. With leadership and urgent action from government, e-bikes could also help tackle the public health emergency of poor air quality by making cycling a realistic travel choice for many more people. Sales During the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, Halford’s sales of cycles and cycling equipment were nearly 60 per cent higher than in 2019, with demand for electric bikes alone soaring by 203 per cent. Across Europe, over three million electric bikes were sold between January and July. Although most electric cycles that are sold are two wheelers, hence the popular ‘e-bike’ moniker, a whole variety of electric cycles are available, from cargo-bikes to trikes,

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folding bikes and recumbents. These types of electric cycle have a potential to make cycling accessible for more people.

When these criteria are met, an e-cycle can legally be ridden on roads, cycle paths and tracks, and anywhere else conventional pedal cycles Legal definition are permitted. They can We nee In a nutshell, an e-cycle is a be ridden by anyone make c d to conventional (non-electric) over 14, a licence isn’t pedal cycle with a small required to ride one, the pla hanges to nning s electric motor, which and they don’t need w ystem hich fu can be used anywhere to be registered, encour ndamentally conventional cycles are taxed or insured. age wa permitted. To be legally In practice, lking and cyc classified as an e-cycle the 250 watts of l i n g ,a make c (or Electrically Assisted power provided by ar use l nd Pedal Cycle) and be used the motor is enough e s s conven anywhere, an electrically to make it easier to ient assisted cycle’s motor must carry heavier loads, have a maximum power tackle hills and keep output of 250 watts, provided momentum with far less by a rechargeable battery. When effort, while maintaining a very the cycle is travelling more than 15.5mph, similar speed to a conventional cycle the motor must not be able to operate. due the motor cut-out feature.

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Potential to create better, more inclusive transport Thanks to the motor assist, the barriers that some people can experience when using a conventional cycle, such as terrain (extreme gradients), ill-health (fitness and joint issues) and function (carrying heavy loads), are much easier to overcome with a motor assist, opening up the opportunity to make more trips by cycle. E-cycles can also help make transport more inclusive in towns and cities. Our research shows that 31 per cent of disabled people who do not cycle would like to start, and e-cycles could play a huge role in this. Research undertaken by Transport for Quality of Life shows that about half of all trips by e-bike would otherwise have been made by car. Considering that 68 per cent of UK trips are less than five miles, a distance than can be cycled in 25 minutes, in the context of the physical inactivity, air quality and climate crises, the more tools that we have to reduce the number of journeys made by car, the better. Substantial benefits for health and the environment Researchers from the University of Leeds found that e-bikes, if used to replace car travel, have the capability to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in England by up to 50 per cent, or about 30 million tonnes per year. This underlines the fundamental need, stressed by research from Transport for Quality of Life, that reducing carbon emissions needs to go hand in hand with fewer, vehicle trips, regardless of a significant shift to electric vehicles. And the potential for shifting journeys, according to an analysis of existing riders’

habits, is promising; research from Gocycle found that 62 per cent of e-bike users used their car less since owning the bike, with 27 per cent saying they had reduced their monthly car mileage by 25-50 miles. We also know that physical inactivity costs the NHS £1 billion a year. Our research shows that if cycling trips were doubled every eight years across just seven major cities in the UK, 34,000 long-term health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, strokes, breast cancer and depression, would be averted, saving the NHS £319 million. A more physically active population will also have a reduced risk of suffering from underlying health conditions which can lead to more severe cases of diseases such as Covid-19. The good news is that despite the motor assist, physical activity benefits very much remain when using an e-bike, as riders are physically active for 95 per cent of riding time. Fewer driving trips, and more cycling trips, could also help to combat poor air quality in towns and cities; road transport is responsible for 80 per cent of roadside NO2 pollution where legal limits are being broken, with 45 per cent of particulate matter coming from tyre and brake wear compared to just 15 per cent from exhaust emissions. Given that brake and tyre wear will remain with a switch to a more electrified vehicle fleet, this again highlights the importance of reducing vehicle trips and the potentially important role e-cycles could play in improving air quality. Costs and savings But what about the big question - cost? A good quality e-bike costs around £1,000. Following that, annual expenses amount to around £100 a year on servicing and 10p per battery charge. Also factor in sundry purchases such as spare inner tubes, which cost around £2 each. £1,000 may seem like a large outlay, but an e-bike can quickly pay for itself when factoring in savings made on the maintenance, parking and fuel costs if switching from car travel. Depending on commute distance, engine size and location, these savings vary. But using a real life case study to get an indicative figure, savings made by switching from car to e-bike for a 28 mile each way commute into Bristol meant that a £1,000 e-bike had paid for itself in four months. For some, an e-bike will be eligible for purchase via an employer cycle to work scheme, which operate as a salary sacrifice employee benefit, saving money compared to buying the bike outright. The salary sacrifice is subtracted from gross salary, meaning a reduction in Income Tax and National insurance

e-Bikes

The government recently announced £2 billion for walking and cycling over the next five years in tandem with their Gear Change vision for cycling, which is a fantastic start, but the figure needs to be increased to meet the targets set by government in the vision payments. Approximately 25 per cent of the value of a cycle can be saved using a salary sacrifice scheme, depending on your salary. Policy The case for e-bikes, and e-cycles more broadly, is clear, and demand suggests that more people are recognising that. To capitalise on this and make it easier for everyone to cycle, or walk, we need to think strategically about joining up transport, planning, health and fiscal policy. In terms of transport infrastructure, this means making sure our streets and places look, feel and are safe for cycling for everyone. To reach the government’s targets set out in the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, we need to gradually build capacity in local authorities so that they can design and implement high-quality dedicated infrastructure, cycle parking and communications on routes. Sustrans, with our partners in the Walking and Cycling Alliance, are calling for £6-£8 billion investment over the course of this parliament. The government recently announced £2 billion for walking and cycling over the next five years in tandem with their Gear Change vision for cycling, which is a fantastic start, but the figure needs to be increased to meet the targets set by government in the vision. As part of this, the government are establishing a ‘national e-bike support programme’. Details are to be confirmed, but the scheme is likely to comprise direct a system of subsidies offering around 30 per cent off the price of an e-bike launched initially on a trial basis. Whilst this is a good example of a government commitment, the scheme will be truly inclusive if it is made available to groups who currently can’t take advantage of cycle to work schemes and are unable to afford up-front costs, even with a discount. The scheme should also apply to e-cycles more broadly and could be weighted towards model types, as trikes and recumbents, for example, can be more expensive. Thinking of the bigger picture, we need to make changes to the planning system which fundamentally encourage walking and cycling, and make car use less convenient. This means ensuring that new developments are designed to the 20-Minute Neighbourhood principle, where housing is a short walk away from everyday services and amenities, homes are built with ample or communal cycle storage, and vehicle access is not as convenient as walking, cycling or public transport. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.sustrans.org.uk

Issue 27.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Energy

Local authorities continuing to shine a light for solar We take a look back at some advice from Jack Dobson-Smith, public affairs advisor at the Solar Trade Association, on why rooftop solar can play a large role in delivering the government’s net zero ambitions Local authorities are driving the deployment of renewables across a range of scales. From prolific deployment across the rooftops of homes and schools, to grand projects on iconic buildings, and large, subsidy-free solar parks which produce significant sums of power and revenue, innovative councils are leading the charge with projects of all shapes and sizes. Raising revenue with solar parks For starters, many local authorities are turning to large-scale solar parks as potential sources of income, in addition to their penchant for cutting carbon and energy bills, but accolades for the most innovative project so far go to Warrington Borough Council, which is developing two at sites in York and Hull, with a combined capacity of 60.4MW of sun tracking bifacial solar panels – the first time this technology has been deployed in the UK. The York site will also feature a 27MW battery storage facility, the largest co-located solar and battery project in the UK so far. The £62.34 million project will produce enough clean electricity to power over 18,000 homes, supply the borough itself with 100 per cent green electricity and cut its bills by £2 million a year.

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The Warrington project is being funded by a on a disused rubbish tip, following closely Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) where the in the footsteps of West Sussex County local authority signs a long-term agreement Council, which unveiled the UK’s first truly to buy the electricity generated by the solar subsidy-free solar park this time last year. park to power its own operations. This The 7.4MW array is sited on a former landfill secures a revenue stream for the project site and includes 4.4MW of battery storage. to get financed, with no need for any government subsidy, and guarantees zero Cutting energy bills carbon electricity is being used by the local with solar roofs authority. Similar PPAs are being considered Various projects making use of public in many local authorities, including the City roof space have sprung up over the years, of London. However, for it to contribute to including Hounslow Borough Council’s additional carbon reduction it is important Western International Market which has that the PPA is for electricity from a new the largest rooftop array put up by a local renewables development. There are many authority at 1.73MW plus 240kW of battery renewable PPAs being offered that effectively storage, and Ashton Gate Stadium, home contract electricity from existing sites, which of Bristol City FC, where a 117kWp array will not displace any fossil fuel generation was funded by Bristol City council a PPA. and therefore not contribute towards meeting West Sussex and Portsmouth City councils net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. win plaudits for prolific deployment, Solar parks are typically based on the having put solar on more than 130 schools lowest grade agricultural land, or brownfield between them, with many others, such as sites. Several are being developed Wokingham Borough Council, on repurposed sites unfit looking to follow suit. for human habitation or Tackling rising fuel Tackling farming, such as Torfean poverty is a challenge rising fu Council’s 3MW project that rests high up el poverty set to be deployed the agendas of many councils, that res is a challenge t s and alongside h ig agenda energy efficiency s of ma h up the and som ny coun approaches such cil e as insulation and solar te have turned t s double or triple o chnolog help ho glazing, some useholdies to have turned to s cut energy solar technologies bills to help households cut energy bills. Hackney Borough Council have bold plans to deploy solar PV on 15,000 council houses following the formation of its very own ‘publicly-owned municipal energy company’, which intends to drive the supply and generation of renewable energy in the area and offer ‘significantly cheaper, clean energy to residents and generate income for the creation of a ‘social dividend’ from which all of the borough’s residents will benefit’. Nottingham City Council continue their roll-out of EU-funded hyper-efficient Energiesprong retrofitting, with another 155 homes to benefit in 2019 following a successful pilot scheme in the previous year. These homes feature well insulated roofs with integrated solar PV, enabling households to generate their own electricity.

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Driving building standards and the EV future More than half of all local authorities have utilised planning powers to enforce building

With climate change and the need for rapid decarbonisation to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 firmly in the hearts and minds of the public, many local authorities see solar as a solution standards higher than those set by national government. One in six of these local authorities have designed policies which go well beyond national building standards, encouraging the development of properties that have considerably smaller carbon footprints than the average home. These new dwellings are less expensive to run owing to higher energy efficiency and the deployment of renewable energy technologies such as solar and battery storage. Examples of these standout new build developments can be found across the UK, in the likes of Plymouth, Milton Keynes and Nottingham. Councils are also increasingly looking at the challenge of decarbonising transport. Dundee are driving this agenda by investing in three electric vehicle (EV) charging hubs to power the 130 electric taxis, and their fleet of electric cars and vans, which is the largest of any local authority in the UK. These hubs, which are solar powered and feature battery storage, provide 300 charge points across the city, providing the infrastructure necessary for the impending EV revolution. Similar

Energy

In other, harder to reach areas of the country, connecting to the gas grid costeffectively can be a challenge. One in three social homes in Mid-Devon District Council lack such a connection, and the local authority have turned to solar thermal in order to provide heating and hot water to almost 100 of these. Additionally, more than a third of social homes have had solar PV installed to cut electricity bills. For existing, privately owned homes, councils in London, Manchester and East Anglia have facilitated collective purchase schemes under the name Solar Together to deliver solar PV to thousands of households at below market rates. Dutch group buying experts iChoosr work with the local authorities to establish the level of interest in getting solar, then use this to inform and run a reverse auction. The economy of scale works in everyone’s favour – local authorities have solar deployed in bulk which cuts the carbon emissions tallied up in their locality, solar companies are able to factor in demand and bid for a significant batch of work, and homeowners get the most competitive deal possible on a new solar PV system, enjoying from savings made from ordering wholesale, and the assurance that their system is being installed by well-established and trusted businesses.

projects are in development in York and Braintree, which are set to gain the UK’s first ever solar-powered EV forecourts, which will have rapid charging points capable of taking modern EVs from zero to 100 per cent in ten minutes. With climate change and the need for rapid decarbonisation to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 firmly in the hearts and minds of the public, many local authorities see solar as a solution. This affordable, popular and proven technology is increasingly being used by councils to cut carbon and energy bills, drive innovation and the transition to new technologies such as EVs and battery storage, raise revenue, and inspire a wealth of households to take their own action on climate change. In this subsidy-free era, the economics increasingly stack up. The opportunity is there for the taking. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.solar-trade.org.uk

Issue 27.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Waste management

Managing waste and recycling during lockdown Lee Marshall, Chief Executive Officer of the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee, looks at the current state of local authority recycling, and why lockdown provided an opportunity as much as a challenge for those in the waste management sector If the world had been a different place then Waste centres by now it is likely the Environment Bill would While most organisations of a decent size be law and the second set of consultations maintain contingency plans for a variety of on consistent collections, Deposit Return situations the sheer scale and size of the Scheme (DRS) and Extended Producer impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic was a Responsibility (EPR) on packaging would different level and required a great deal have been published. The Bill and subsequent of work, effort and ingenuity in order to consultations, that will contain the detail keep services going. For local authority behind the Bill, are the biggest changes waste services, the immediate impact to how councils operate waste was the almost total shutdown services in a generation. of the Household Waste and LARAC had been Recycling Centre (HWRC) Where involved in stakeholder network across the UK. we onc discussion with The weekend before Defra and devolved the national lockdown about ae talked governments that was imposed the w a ste industr had started taking HWRCs had seen y , w e now talk of place across the usage at the levels v waste industry at normally only seen at resourc alue chains, e efficie the start of the Easter, their busiest ncy and pro year. The intention time. There was a lack d u c er was to gather of social distancing respons ibility views based on generally and the councils responses to the first had not had the time and set of consultations in resources to put in suitable 2019 to inform the second measures to aid the social set of consultations in 2020. distancing that we were all, at the Of course, these meetings were abruptly time, still getting used to. Some councils halted as the Covid-19 pandemic unfolded were already reviewing their operations and all resources and efforts were before the lockdown decision but when directed towards dealing with that. that was made and a ‘trip to the tip’

was not included in the list of allowable journeys closing them was the logical thing to do from a public health viewpoint. Stories quickly emerged that this was causing issues with increased fly tipping and maybe a health hazard as people could not get rid of certain items. Surveys of local authorities showed a varied picture though, some reporting no increases in fly tipping, some a decrease and some an increase. There really was no concrete conclusion or trend you could draw nationally. The closure of the HWRCs choked off the supply of wood and electrical waste to the respective reprocessors and caused them huge problems, with plants having to close and the financial knock on that caused. This was not ideal in any way, but it was one of many knock-on effects to many many industries of the unfolding situation and the consequences of lockdown. From a public health viewpoint, reopening the HWRCs was not the right way to provide support to those industries, that needed to come through the various government support programmes. Local authority collections In terms of the waste collections at the doorstep, there were issues in the first week of lockdown as councils and contractors E

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Waste management

How much do we design our future waste systems for a Covid type world? It is a question the industry has not really grappled with yet, as I am sure many others have not as well. drafted. It is anticipated that the consultations will be released in the spring, with governments saying that regulations will still kick in in 2023. That means these consultations will be the last real chance to formally tell government our thoughts on their proposals.

î † had to put in place completely new safe systems of work and working practises, some of which had never been considered before. By and large residual waste collections and recycling collections were maintained. To do this there was disruption and cessation of some food waste, garden waste and bulky waste collections. Broadly speaking it was these collections that were sacrificed to keep the residual and food waste collections going in the early weeks. A weekly survey of local authority collections showed that even in the first weeks of the lockdown over 95 per cent of residual waste collection were operating normally or with only minor disruption. The figures for recycling collections were at similar levels. For food waste only around 10% of services were withdrawn in the early weeks, with another 10 per cent showing severe or moderate disruption. The ability to keep service levels as high as they were is probably one reason that we witnessed the high public support for refuse collectors alongside the NHS staff and other workers. It was interesting to see the genuine support and thanks for collection crews across the country with stickers on bins and pictures in windows. Most council officers who work in waste services will tell you that they are quick to be told when they miss a collection but rarely get thanks for all the collections that go without a hitch. It is worth remembering as well that during this period not only were councils grappling with staff absence, new working practises, increased costs and new health and safety systems, but the sheer quantities of waste they were collecting increased. With everyone working from home the levels of commercial waste that needed collecting dropped off a cliff, but the amount of waste collected at the household increased, food, garden, recycling as well as residual waste. The official figures have yet to work their way through so it will be interesting to see if these increases in tonnages resulted in an increase in the recycling rates. There were some problems early on with incidents of masks and gloves finding their way into the recycling containers. These are not recyclable and cause problems at the sorting plants so there were communication campaigns to make sure the public were aware of the need to put these in their residual waste. There has also been the opportunity to push more normal recycling and waste messages out to households and perhaps engage with people who do not normally take much notice of their recycling collections. Again, time will tell if these opportunities bear fruit and we start to see good recycling behaviours more embedded than before the pandemic. It may be something that ultimately is hard to measure as what the public say they do with their recycling and what they actually do may not always mirror each other. The stakeholder discussion on the second set of consultations restarted over the summer and have continued at pace, trying to make up for the lost time. They are now coming to an end as the government look to get the second set of consultation documents

Post-Covid It will be interesting in the new Covid world how people view a DRS with its need for people to take recyclable packaging back to vending machines, the queuing and the close proximity to others that is inherent in the way a DRS currently works. How much do we design our future waste systems for a Covid type world? It is a question the industry has not really grappled with yet, as I am sure many others have not as well. What we do know is that large changes are coming and where we once talked about a waste industry, we now talk of value chains, resource efficiency and producer responsibility. With brands, retailers and manufacturers more invested than ever in what happens to their products when they have served their primary function, council waste services are becoming part of a much bigger picture. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.larac.org.uk

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A reliable and continuous power supply is essential to many activities, across both industry and the public sector. AMPS has some advice on meeting those needs Imagine the effect of a power cut on a hospital operating room. Or in a data centre, where constant power is needed to maintain the availability and protection of vital information on which organisations and individuals depend. These are just two illustrations of why diesel and gas-powered generator sets, or ‘gensets’, have such a vital role to play in our world. In cases where an interruption in power cannot be allowed, the need is met by a fixed standby generator. Then there are mobile gensets, deployed as and when necessary. You may see them, for example, on construction sites, or powering pumps during major flooding or providing power at large public events and festivals. The variety of genset brands, models, specifications and ancillary items is enormous, and each comes with its own operating and maintenance requirements. To those responsible for buying or hiring gensets in any organisation, the first piece of advice from AMPS is to talk to an AMPS member. Read on to find out why.

High standards The Association of Manufacturers and suppliers of Power-generating Systems and ancillary equipment (AMPS), represents the UK’s world-leading companies in this field. Before joining AMPS, companies receive a personal visit from director general and all members are requested that they follow good working practices. Buyers can therefore be confident of receiving good equipment, along with advice and service from professionally trained and certified engineers. When it comes to providing advice on anything related to power generating systems, the pooled knowledge and experience of AMPS members cannot be equalled. If AMPS doesn’t have the answer, it’s highly unlikely that anyone else can provide the answers to certain questions. Individual members can advise on the latest technology, the best choice for a given set of circumstances, and how to maintain the system so it can be counted upon to work whenever needed. They will help with the paperwork and ensure the user stays within the law.

Generators

The importance of securing your power supply

Members can also call on others, including the AMPS Technical Committee, to supplement their advice with the best possible information and authoritative views. The Technical Committee and its working groups bring together experienced specialists from across the membership to address key issues. Their work not only supports AMPS members but informs other bodies. They provide input and guidance to the National Grid, the UK government and – via their pivotal role in Europgen (the European Generating Set Association) – the European Parliament. AMPS has been involved in the consultation process for important industry changes, such as the G52 grid code legislation, and is represented on a variety of national, European and international standards committees. Future needs This industry has been at the forefront of developing technology to lower emissions and has invested heavily in producing cleaner and greener gensets. Although there is a trend toward renewable sources of power, there will always be a demand for gensets to fill gaps in supply. They will also be needed to support renewable generation in the distributed power set-ups which will gradually reinforce or replace large grids. As energy consumption grows and the National Grid struggles to keep pace with it, genset providers can do much to ease the pressure. They contribute substantially to the Capacity Market set up by government to encourage extra generating resources, and to the National Grid’s Short Term Operating Reserve (STOR). In addition, they provide emergency cover when power supplies are hit by major flooding events. ‘Once-in-a-lifetime’ and ‘once-in-a-thousand-year’ storms and floods have become almost an annual occurrence in the UK, and that trend seems set to continue. And of course, on a global scale others experience worse conditions with frequent power outages on a regular basis. Advice for procurement officers If you are a procurement officer looking to buy a generator set or related services, AMPS should be your first port of call. The AMPS website contains an online directory with details of all members and their specialisms. Alternatively, you can contact the AMPS headquarters initially to discuss your needs and an AMPS member will give you advice on what equipment will be most appropriate for your situation. Also available in the AMPS website’s Knowledge Area are answers to the most frequently asked questions, along with a very useful downloadable Jargon Buster. This no-nonsense guide, helping you to navigate the genset industry’s technical terminology, is an accessible reference you will return to again and again. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.amps.org.uk

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Homelessness

Stopping homelessness before it begins Trevor Hampton explains why a predict and prevent strategy is vital for preventing people slipping into homelessness as unemployment surges due to the pandemic According to new government figures on homelessness in England, 63,570 households between April and June 2020, approached their local council and were found to be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The latest unemployment figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that a worrying 782,000 UK workers have lost their jobs since March due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. As people’s working situations become more precarious, increasing numbers of people will struggle to pay their rent. Although there is a temporary pause on evictions from 11 December to 11 January 2021, it’s never been more critical for housing providers to have the right tools and information to be able to provide the best support possible.

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Identifying signs of distress Better understanding The figures are bleak. But one way to of resident’s needs prevent a landslide of evictions, Social housing providers have as a result of financial always found the balance distress, is to give of keeping rental income If w e housing providers the coming in difficult, while want to ability to predict fulfilling their wider c r e a s te a ocial ho which tenants are social purpose. And u fit for a sing system at risk of falling with increasing social p behind on their issues like domestic world, t ost pandemic hen we rent payments abuse, mental health to use t need so they can offer and income inequality, e proactive and frontline housing to creat chnology appropriate support. officers are increasingly human e a more Having this holistic needing to do more respons view of residents to protect their tenants e and a true insight into who are impacted by the their individual needs is coronavirus pandemic. key for being able to help These social issues combined keep people in their homes. with the rising unemployment levels

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suggest the number of missed rental payments is likely to soar, meaning income managers will find themselves chasing more debt than ever. But if they can see exactly why a payment has been missed then there’s more chance of being able to put preventative measures in place to sustain a tenancy, avoid court action or having to put a family in temporary accommodation. A 360-degree view Data has been powering social housing for some time but information on its own is not enough to be able to make truly informed decisions. With such great strides being taken in the use of machine learning in the business world, the public sector is increasingly looking at how data can be analysed from multiple sources to help spot trends and anticipate where risk of homelessness exists before it develops. To make the biggest difference to a rental arrears list, we need predictive analytics, so patterns can be pinpointed, and risks can be highlighted. Let’s imagine we run an automated check to get a good idea of who is most likely to pay or those who may be late with their rent this month. But what if the list could be further segmented.

Having the ability to dig a bit deeper into the information to get a clearer idea of each tenant’s situation. Perhaps we discover one family is a single parent household that has a long history of paying their rent on time but have missed a few payments recently. Now without the cross-referencing of information, we have no idea if the late payments are the result of a job loss or if the tenant has changed jobs and the new employer pays on a different day of the month. The point is, the fact that someone has moved from being a good payer to a late payer often gets lost, but if we can drop this information into the hands of a housing officer we can eradicate a one size fits all approach to late payment and we can help providers to decide if more help and support is needed to keep someone in their home. Looking ahead Some organisations have already started using data analytics tools to overlay key information on households in order to get the right help in place earlier. It could be that offering household budgeting advice or putting a repayment plan in place or specialist guidance on finding a new job is all that is needed to get them back on track. Steps such as these can help individuals and families avoid a crisis and stay in their homes which, in turn, can save

Homelessness

Social housing providers have always found the balance of keeping rental income coming in difficult, while fulfilling their wider social purpose. And with increasing social issues, frontline housing officers are increasingly needing to do more to protect their tenants who are impacted by the coronavirus pandemic

public money by reducing the time and cost associated with property turnover. And in an era of greater personalisation, it’s important to take a closer look at engaging residents in a way that works best for them, whether that’s by telephone, email, text or social media. If the contact is already there, it is much easier to intervene sooner and help people avoid becoming homeless. Data analysis allows for dialogues to start. It helps providers deliver a targeted approach better suited to the tenants needs and prevents a destructive cycle of rent arrears from happening. By enabling tailored and timely interventions we are in a much better position to prevent vulnerable people from losing their homes. The right technology supports housing providers to focus on the individual and allows for a more holistic approach to tenant welfare, which ultimately creates more sustainable tenancies. If we want to create a social housing system fit for a post pandemic world, then we need to use technology to create a more human response. L

Trevor Hampton is director of housing product solutions at Northgate Public Services. FURTHER INFORMATION www.northgateps.com

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Drones

Knowledge is power: Asset management in local government Elena Major, from ARPAS-UK, the UK Drone Association, looks at the role of asset management for local authorities and why now is the time for technology investment to drive acerbated, long-term assessment management once the pandemic is over The World Economic Forum observes that: “Infrastructure is essential for sustained economic growth, competitiveness and social progress. While building new infrastructure assets ranks high on the global agenda, governments in both developed and developing countries often neglect their existing infrastructure assets—witness the increasing congestion, unnecessary operational costs and inadequate maintenance. Against the backdrop of increasing user demand, constrained financing and an ageing asset base, it is imperative for governments to make the most of their existing infrastructure assets—specifically, to increase the assets’ productivity and longevity.” One major area for local government is asset management: the practice of managing infrastructure assets to minimise the total cost of owning and operating these assets while delivering desired service levels. There are two schools of thought on this: reactive maintenance vs proactive maintenance. Proactive maintenance involves regular inspections and using predictive technologies to find problems before they occur. Reactive maintenance involves fixing equipment

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after it breaks. Operating within a reactive lengthened by using the data provided by maintenance protocol, local government drones. The data provides information to can expect costs to be two-three times more decision makers, allowing greater oversight than operating in a proactive environment. into decisions of maintenance, replacement A dvocates for proactive maintenance cite or build from new, assisting in compliance benefits such as improved planning, increased with standards and risk mitigation. worker efficiency, better inventory The data can be provided in control (parts and equipment), various formats to suit the needs: future cost savings, Drones improved safety and • Drones can allow views of f a cilitate lower asset downtime. multiple angles and close-up the ability t And when many of video of hard-to-reach projects o inspect those assets are assets that previously from a the voting public’s were difficult, dangerous a s ppropria ocially homes, schools, or expensive to inspect. te d and wit leisure facilities Advanced imaging h the a istance, ppropria and work places, cameras can zoom in to softwar e the re te the importance show the smallest details. su be shar of ensuring those • Thermal and LiDAR ed rem lts can Assets are safe is imaging provide data that otely too beyond measure and the naked eye cannot. can be calculated in both • 3D models can be political and economic terms. created from drone data Data is key to maintaining and with this being a core assets proactively. The lifecycle of such component of BIM (Building Information critical infrastructure as high-rise buildings, Modelling), it is easy to see how invaluable bridges and roads can be maintained and drones are to repeat inspections.

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For asset management to be proactive, regular inspections are necessary. Traditional methods involving scaffolding or cranes can be expensive and dangerous. Drones offer the solution: inspections that previously would have taken several people several days can frequently be done by just two people in a matter of hours. The time, money and energy saved only increases with each inspection. The data from each inspection builds a better picture, leading to greater knowledge of the asset, enabling better decisions to be made in calmer working atmospheres, rather than in stressed environments working against the clock to resolve a critical situation. Yet while the Covid-19 pandemic could be seen by councils to be an excuse for cutbacks, reducing services, scaling back on maintenance and inspections to reduce costs, now is actually an excellent time for councils to invest in new technology. According to a recent Forbes article: new technology increases efficiency; lowers current workload; can assist with remote working challenges; technology differentiates; and technology positions for future growth. Councils have large property portfolios, including housing, commercial properties, offices and recreational spaces. By using drones over traditional methods, one council has accelerated their inspection programme, minimised the health and safety risk of working at height and delivered multi-million pound savings. Drones facilitate the ability to inspect projects from a socially appropriate distance, and with the appropriate software the results can be shared remotely too, ensuring the safety of all users and greater buy-in by all those involved in the projects.

Drones

Local government is not known for being early adopters of new innovative technology and currently only four per cent of local authorities have a policy and/or strategy to benefit from drone based services Local government is not known for being early adopters of new innovative technology and currently only four per cent of local authorities have a policy and/or strategy to benefit from drone based services. However the energy of such a person is crucial in getting a project such as introducing drones into local government. They need to work at various levels with those who will be using the technology on a day-to-day basis and there are several areas that will need to be addressed. A recent study by ARPAS-UK member, Agilio Ltd, discovered that 36 per cent of councils had procured external drone services, 17 per cent of local authorities have a lead officer with responsibility for policy and strategy relating to the council’s use of drones and only six per cent of local authorities have been granted CAA Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO). These are all areas that will need to be looked at.For all these reasons, it’s important for future-looking local government to recognise that surviving today’s pandemic isn’t just about cutting budgets. It’s about making smart business decisions. Investing in technology now is a smart decision that not only positions local government to survive over the short term of the pandemic’s impact, but is also an investment that will drive accelerated, long-term asset management once the pandemic is over. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.arpas.uk

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Procurement

Delivering value to society through public procurement From 1 January, government departments will have to use a new social value in procurement model to assess a supplier’s social impact. Government Business explores Towards the end of September, Cabinet Office Minister Julia Lopez announced that, in a bid to to unite and level up the country, including in places that feel left behind, a new social value model would be introduced to the procurement process. The announcement means that, in the new year, government departments will use the social value model to assess and score suppliers on the wider positive benefits they bring by delivering the contract, meaning that value for money for the taxpayer can be maximised while also building a more resilient and diverse supplier base. The social value model which departments will assess contracts on includes supporting coronavirus recovery, including helping local communities manage and recover from the impact of the pandemic; tackling economic inequality, including creating new businesses, jobs and skills, as well as increasing supply chain resilience; fighting climate change and reducing waste; and driving equal opportunity, including reducing the disability employment gap and tackling workforce inequality Improving health and well-being and community integration. The Cabinet Office says that the new approach will apply tests that all bidders, irrespective of their size and type, will be capable of meeting and therefore further levels the playing field

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with Arnab Dutt, the chair of the FSB’s Social for the UK’s small businesses, start-ups Value Policy Unit, saying that it marks a ’step and voluntary and community sector forward for public sector supply chains’ and organisations and social enterprises. has the potential to be ‘transformational’ in As part of the measures, commercial bringing opportunity to all parts of our country. teams in all government departments will The Business Services Association also labelled also be expected to complete training the policy change as ‘a good initiative putting courses in implementing the new model people first by focussing on social value’. and how to ensure the maximum social Making the announcement, Lopez said: value is derived from each contract. “Government has tremendous buying power, Taking all into account, the changes mean spending £49 billion each year on that central government will now be contracts for vital public services. required to go further than the Value to the taxpayer should Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 to ensure that all major lie at the heart of our Comme rcial procurements explicitly procurement decisions. teams i evaluate social value, Too often, however, all gove n where appropriate, rather ‘value’ has been r departm nment than just consider it. narrowly defined be expe ents will als This has been welcomed by price without o cted to by Baroness Barran, taking into account comple training the Minister for Civil other important t e Society, who said that factors such as the implem courses in ent the ‘hugely positive number of local jobs new m ing the change’ will ensure or apprenticeships a odel taxpayers’ money supports contractor will provide, the care they show the levelling up across the country, environment in their business encouraging businesses to give practices or the number of SMEs back to their communities and offering involved in their wider supply chain. more opportunities for our dedicated charities, “We want to see a greater variety of social enterprises and voluntary groups. companies deliver government contracts, As well as Baroness Barran, the Federation of from every corner of our country - not just Small Businesses has also welcomed the move,

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because that benefits local economies and communities but because it helps diversify our risk, create a more resilient supplier base and deliver some of our critical priorities. If we can use government’s buying power to drive that broader value, the better our chances of levelling up our country and investing in our people as part of our Covid recovery.” PPE prices Last month, a new report from the National Audit office revealed that price rises for personal protective equipment earlier this year cost taxpayers about £10 billion. The spending watchdog said that the government was initially reliant on stockpiles of PPE that proved inadequate for the coronavirus pandemic. In a rapidly deteriorating situation, the government made a huge effort to boost supply, but the NAO said it has paid very high prices due to unusual market conditions and many frontline workers reported shortages of PPE. Almost £12.5 billion was spent on 32 billion

items of PPE between February and July 2020. During the same period in 2019, 1.3 billion items were bought at a cost of £28.9 million. Had the government been able to pay 2019 prices, it would have spent £2.5 billion on PPE in 2020. The NAO said that each item had been ‘substantially’ more expensive in 2020, because of very high global demand, from almost triple the cost for respirator masks to more than 14 times as much for body bags. In addition to the increased prices, the NAO also reported that hundreds of millions was spent on ‘unsuitable’ items of PPE that could not be used, some because of expiry dates and some because they did not reach safety standards. Gareth Davies, head of the NAO, said: “As PPE stockpiles were inadequate for the pandemic, government needed to take urgent action to boost supplies. Once it recognised the gravity of the situation it worked hard to source PPE, but most of these orders were not received in time for the first wave of the pandemic and many

Procurement

Almost £12.5 billion was spent on 32 billion items of PPE between February and July 2020. During the same period in 2019, 1.3 billion items were bought at a cost of £28.9 million. Had the government been able to pay 2019 prices, it would have spent £2.5 billion on PPE in 2020 front-line workers reported shortages of PPE during that time. The price of PPE increased dramatically, and that alone has cost the taxpayer around £10 billion. “There are important lessons for government to learn as it continues to tackle the pandemic. This includes fully understanding not just the requirements of the NHS, but also social care providers so that they can be better supported in future.” Julia Lopez addressed some of these issues at a Westminster Hall debate on 9 December. She said that, admittedly, there was not an adequate stockpile, and the ‘lack of a central stock control system’ made it difficult to get a clear grip on the demand signal coming from the NHS, something that she expressed as an extremely important issue to rectify going forward. She also said that a new procurement green paper, to be launched soon, will include specific measures to strengthen transparency and make sure that there is a choice of direct award and more competitive tendering during crises. L

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Advertisement Feature

Ho Ho Ho – with our data off they go… Christmas isn’t the time to be losing sleep over data loss and cyber security – yes, it’s the obvious cliché, yet after the year we have just experienced in 2020, do you really want to be blasé over anything?

We have cyber covered… or so they thought. During this year Accordant has worked with a diverse range of clients, most of whom switched quickly to the remote working model and did so really well. Equipment and processes were rapidly worked up and deployed. Yet with that came a whole new set of threat vectors; unexpected ‘visitors’ to corporate zoom calls can be awkward! Within all of this chaos, policies, as well as processes, governance and resource management, often get forgotten. People are a vital component of any robust cyber security strategy and are often overlooked, with the focus on technology. Educating staff, both on the reasons for security, as well as the approaches to it, are vitally important. Equipment lifecycles and contract management are things that can blindside the unwary – Cisco recently announced the end of life for some of its IPS devices – so many organisations are left with last minute projects to replace them. However, last minute usually equates to expensive and risky. Contract renewals with outsourced companies were another feature of the summer; with everyone working remotely, some slipped through the net and either renewed automatically or worse, lapsed. All of this brings into sharp relief the need for Information Security Management Systems (ISMS), an integral part of ISO27001. If you layer on top the need

for compliance and audit, the argument becomes even more compelling. Don’t panic Before jumping onto ‘Dr Google’ and searching out your nearest and cheapest ISMS supplier, take comfort in the fact that you are likely to already have a lot of this stuff in place. GDPR for example pushed us to look at our data, categorise it and understand its purpose. PCI compliance closed the door on many haphazard processes around financial data and credit cards, and in the USA HIPPA took us to task on health information. The UK has a plethora of domestic and European laws that achieve the same, not least GDPR, as previously mentioned. The challenge is bringing all of this under a central strategy and approach. Contract management, equipment and staff awareness lifecycles also fall into this remit, and can all be quite easily managed, (although this isn’t a job for Excel). 2020 has been HARMful to many organisations… We know this has been a tough year, and we will remember the harm it has done to many people and businesses. With 2020’s experiences fresh in our memories, it will be simple to recall what we need to do to check our cyber security as we enter into 2021. We need to avoid HARM and that means: Have a look at your cyber security – What does it cover? What doesn’t it cover? Is it enough?

Assess your risk – You may have gaps, yet, if the risk is zero, do you need to close them? If so, how, and by what date? Remember risk can be political, and brand impacting, not just financial; assess it from all viewpoints. Respond to the findings – and close the gaps. Implement training and awareness programs; ensure your teams know what they can and cannot do. What data they can take home to work on, and what they cannot. Deploy policies, and ensure alerts are captured and responded to appropriately. Monitor your solutions – and learn from them. The threat vectors are not static, so your solutions cannot be either! Hackers getting access to your systems is just one vector. Data loss prevention is critical; staff training and good password discipline central; but what about Wi-Fi, 5G, Campus networks, USB sticks, and filesharing services, such as Dropbox and OneDrive. 2021 will be a good year It seems a hard thing to say, yet during this year we have learnt so much. We adopted remote working practices, new schooling approaches, and faced significant challenges head on - 2021 will build on these things. Cyber security threats have become more of a focus, yet we have good foundations in place. Take the next steps to extend these foundations throughout your organisation by empowering your people to become the agile and highly mobile teams you need. Accordant has built itself around three pillars:• • •

Cyber security; Transformation economics; and Service delivery.

In simple terms, whatever we do, we do it securely, with a mind on the economic and financial costs and impacts, and we do it well. Our Assessment Services will highlight and identify what needs to be done, by whom, and by when; what it will cost and what the magnitude of the risk really is. From the board through to the technologists, we do this in the language of the organisation, so that the journey is swift and appropriate. Click here to watch our video. L FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 0800 118 2390 Anja.Convey@accordantsolutions.co.uk Phil.Hyde@accordantsolutions.co.uk www.accordantsolutions.co.uk

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Cyber security

2020 and an increase in cyber vulnerabilities This month, our sister publication Counter Terror Business caught up with Roderick Jones, executive chairman at Concentric Advisors and former member of Scotland Yard’s Special Branch, to discuss all thing cyber security, coronavirus and the recent US Election. Here, we share his thoughts Cyber security has become one of the leading global considerations for the coronavirus crisis. In light of this, how important is it that organisations remain aware of the inevitable vulnerabilities that come from this?

Roderick Jones: Most organisations in the world had to rapidly stand up a remote IT infrastructures in response to the Covid crisis. For the most part this worked very well as people moved over to video conferencing and other mediums to manage their work. However, much of this infrastructure has been pieced together in a way, which potentially leaves it vulnerable to exploitation by hackers. The cyber security industry is responding to the new needs thrown up by remote working by these solutions will take time to fully get into market. Increased digital insecurity is likely to be a significant legacy of the covid crisis and a continued unwelcome cost on organisations seeking to repair the economic damage they’ve endured. It would seem likely that, even if a vaccine is available soon, remote working will be an increasing trend in 2021 and beyond. What role does devicelayer cyber security have in mitigating this threat?

Roderick Jones: The volume of traffic a personal device is expected to manage now is greater than before. Work, School, Food ordering, social life, gaming are often all managed from the same device. That opens up an enormous

new level of threat to most organisations and there isn’t as yet an easy to use cyber security product, which provides advanced security for your device. There are a number of enterprise solutions and significant activity in that space but these solutions will not reach the majority of the public due to the way cyber security is deployed for consumers. When we [CTB] spoke to you in September 2017, you said that terrorism had almost wholly virtualised in the period from when you were in Scotland Yard’s Special Branch to then. With many countries now experiencing their second form of lockdown, how has the digital threat evolved again?

Roderick Jones: One significant evolution in the digital threat has been the rise and impact of disinformation. So while threats to information remain, threats through information have been seen to have increasing impact. The functioning of a democracy relies on an agreement about the facts being debated. When you have a situation when society has become so vulnerable to disinformation that basic assumptions about whether the world is flat or round are being challenged there is a real problem. Arguably the lockdown combined with the power of disinformation has brought previously fringe domestic extremists back into a functioning form of popularity, which in turn has changed the nature of the terrorist threat for the first time since 2001.

In an age of misinformation and wide-ranging access, how can consumers maintain a cautious eye towards manipulation and cyber attack opportunities?

Roderick Jones: Fortunately, the dangers of misinformation are top of mind for a number of government and tech leaders. The labelling of misinformation was an important step to take and I’m sure there will be a number of policy changes attempted and suggested to re-introduce the editorial function into the media we consume. Lastly, the recent US election. The digital integrity of the US Presidential election took on new heights in November. What steps can the United States take to rebuild public trust in the electoral process, and, more importantly, ensure that its digital systems cannot be easily manipulated by foreign interference, disinformation and misinformation?

Roderick Jones: It would appear the establishment of CISA had an enormous effect on the security of the election and successfully did the job it was designed to do. There seems to be little factual reason to distrust the electoral process in the United States. President Trump notably questioned the integrity of the election he won in 2016 and the one he lost in 2020. At the same time CISA was established under his administration to defend the digital integrity of US elections, which it did. The damage being done to public trust in the US election system is all driven from within the country and mainly by elected officials making unsubstantiated claims about the system. Foreign adversaries of the USA may seek to amplify some of this language to further damage the USA but frankly, that their job is being done for them from within the country. Roderick Jones is a global security leader with over 15 years of experience operating at the highest levels of the international security environment. During his time as a member of Scotland Yard’s Special Branch, Roderick focused on international terrorism and the protection of a prominent British cabinet member. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.concentricadvisors.com

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Shield_PMS_2013

Version 1.1 – 25 October 2013

However challenging the current circumstances might be, businesses are still transforming at a rapid pace. Working from home is now destined to become much more prevalent wherever it’s applicable. Also, co-working spaces, open desks and similar nonfixed solutions are more and more common. This means the devices employees use have to reflect the needs of today’s and tomorrows’ world, too. Philips have developed a range of new, innovative monitors for businesses from its B1 series, with features that increase efficiency, security, convenience, accessibility and more, offering full adaptability wherever you need to work. Easily connected USB-C docking monitors are a convenient solution, ideal for a variety of applications, such as using in public spaces with different users. The Philips 243B1, for example, is a sleek, 3-side borderless 24” display, boasting a colour-accurate IPS panel, 75 Hz refresh rate and FHD resolution. The real killer feature is its built-in USB-C docking station with 4x USB 3.2 ports and a Gigabit Ethernet port. In this setup, the monitor can be connected with a keyboard and mouse via the onboard USB ports, as well as with a network connection via the RJ45 port. On a shared, public space, the only thing the user needs to do is connect their

laptop via a single USB-C cable. And as simple as that, video signal is transferred to the monitor, the laptop can be controlled via the external keyboard/mouse, connected to the network fast and securely, and USB Power Delivery (up to 65W) will power the laptop. This is extremely useful for instance when an employee shares a desk and their main workstation is their laptop. Focus on Privacy Also suited for flexible workplaces is the Philips 242B1H with its Windows Hello pop-up webcam. Especially helpful for instances where multiple user accounts run on the same computer/physical space, is the built-in Windows Hello capable 2 MP FullHD webcam. With its facial recognition capability using advanced sensors, users can log into their Windows accounts in less than 2 seconds, without typing a password, bringing convenience, speed and security together. To increase the security even more, the webcam can be manually tucked away in the back, physically blocking the camera’s view of the user. The Philips monitors mentioned above are great contenders for small/medium businesses or startups to large organisations, offering convenience, latest standards in terms of display technology (with IPS panels) and sustainability ratings (EnergyStar and EPEAT) in one package.

www.philips.com/monitors Issue 27.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Procurement

How your IT can contribute to your carbon net zero and other sustainability targets In this blog, Jason Liggins, Crown Hosting at Crown Commercial Service, explains how you can save money and the environment The professionalism and speed at which the public sector has adapted to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic has been and continues to be impressive and inspiring. One of the many strategies employed was the rapid deployment of modular buildings. The advancements made in such manufactured facilities are astonishing and are one of the reasons why we use them for the data centres used for our Crown Hosting agreement. So, if I told you Crown Hosting using modular buildings could cut your ongoing electricity usage and bill for your data centre information technology (IT) by at least 75 per cent, the carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (CO2e) by 99.9 per cent, significantly reduce your water impact on the environment, generally become an environmental good egg and release valuable space in your buildings, would you read the rest of this article?

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Data centres are for the IT widgets, servers, networks, security systems that very few people see, but we all use. They can be a cupboard, a room or a building. The cloud, the internet, our email, photos, banks, health records, payroll, pensions, the IT for everything our modern society relies upon lives in data centres. They need to be secure and reliable. The disruption caused when they go wrong could mean you can’t see your photos or at the other end of the scale, lives could be lost. The vast majority of organisations have a problem with a mismatch between the buildings they construct as data centres and the fast pace of change in IT. If you construct a building you expect it to last decades, but traditionally built data centres constructed even 10 years ago are obsolete.

BUSINESS INFORMATION FOR LOCAL AND CENTRAL GOVERNMENT | www.governmentbusiness.co.uk

The problem is that the IT is getting smaller and every year we need it to do more, the net effect of this is that we try to cram ever more into those cupboards and rooms, but the facility obsolescence becomes ever more costly to overcome. EURECA was a European study of public sector data centre facilities, including the UK, and it found that 97 per cent of them were tiny. The problem with tiny facilities is the energy wastage associated with keeping them reliable (so the IT stays on) and getting rid of the heat generated by the IT. Cupboards and rooms in buildings will either use an extension of the cooling system used for the building or bolt-on additional air-conditioning units. This has huge potential to be highly inefficient and that is what the EURECA survey found - on average for every 1kWh used by the IT, another 3kWh was wasted


within them consume so much and facilities can waste even more. The carbon footprint can be directly related to the electrical consumption, in addition over 40 per cent of global water withdrawals from the environment are associated with electricity production. Crown Hosting goes a step further than this, all of its electricity purchased from the national grid is green, so zero CO2e or water usage from the mains electricity. Crown Hosting came about to address these problems for public sector organisations that need data centre facilities and it does so using modular construction but on a huge panpublic sector scale. Crown Hosting is a CCS procurement framework and the single joint venture supplier of the services within it is called Crown Hosting Data Centres Ltd. The products and prices are pre-negotiated and benchmarked, and procurement is by direct award. Crown Hosting’s scale addresses the problem of the enormous number of ‘tiny’ facilities, scattered everywhere, all needing cooling and electrical plants. So rather than looking after the cooling and electrical plant of thousands of tiny rooms, it looks after tens of rooms each of which is able to contain the same quantity of IT as hundreds of tiny rooms. This changes the provision from a multitude of cottage industries to mass production on a few sites, the cost drops enormously on a number of fronts including land cost, construction costs, building operation (facilities management), but the aggregation reduces IT costs too in areas such as networks and IT support. Modular construction in sustainability terms is a huge boon simply because the

Procurement

by the facilities. When you put more IT into these tiny rooms, such as when it is refreshed, the facility problem gets worse, not better. The so what, ‘I’ve just one room/cupboard/ server room’, is that everyone has lots of them, scattered in every building, the cumulative problem is enormous. DEFRA has been tracking electricity use in central government ‘server rooms’ for nearly a decade. The last report in 2019 estimated that 56 per cent of all electricity consumed by central government IT was within data centres. This percentage will likely be similar across the public sector and is an enormous electricity bill just for the IT, but then think about the three times amount wasted through inefficient facilities. The cooling technologies employed by Crown Hosting data centres are simple, but the application of them is advanced and it means that less than 0.2kWh is wasted by the facility for every 1kWh used by the IT within it. We also encourage our customers to look carefully at what IT they put in our data centres. There is an environmental manufacturing cost to replacing IT, but electricity usage is an important factor. newer IT uses less electricity than older, a lot less to do the same work. The team behind the EURECA study illustrated that if you replaced nine-year-old IT with new and it did the same job in the same timeframe, then you needed just 15 per cent of the IT. The sustainability message from this is that you need to take charge and calculate when the environmental cost of changing the IT is lower than keeping the old. Saving electricity is an important environmental message for data centres because the IT

buildings can be recycled. The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has consistently reported that traditional bricks and mortar construction and demolition are by far the biggest contributor to landfill sites in the UK. Globally, cement, steel, aluminium and plastic used in construction are responsible for 39 per cent of the CO2e emitted and 30 per cent of the water used in the UK every year. Clearly, buildings that can be removed to another site and re-used can only be a good thing for the environment. The fast on-site assembly of the data centres used by Crown Hosting takes about four months which is much faster than the bricks and mortar approach that takes about two years after you have agreed on the design. In an IT-centric world where the IT changes every year, reducing construction time to months means that the data centre buildings are just right for the IT that is about to be deployed and for as far in the future as we dare to gaze. If in the future the buildings are not right for the IT anymore, they can be reassembled in a way that is. The multiple Crown Hosting data centres are located in the UK across diverse sites are enormous, containing thousands of racks of public sector IT. In the UK our climate favours modern IT expecting an ambient temperature of no higher than 25oC, our 24 hour average never goes above 20oC. In sustainability and carbon footprint terms this is good because we can make use of the low outside air temperature to keep our IT cool without putting energy into things like air-conditioning and refrigeration, but simply recycle some of the heat given off by the IT. On those balmy August afternoons where the outside temperature is above 25oC, drip fed evaporation of water into the air-stream provides enough cooling for it to be above 36oC outside before any energy intensive top up cooling is needed. The 4th industrial revolution is defined as the application of smart technologies to traditional production methodologies and this is precisely what Crown Hosting does. Customer’s using Crown Hosting save money, the environment and have a greater understanding of how their IT supports their business than before they moved. L

If you are interested in saving money and the environment, consider relocating your IT to one or more of the Crown Hosting facilities. You have the power to make a difference so please, be a good environmental egg. To find out more, get in touch and speak to a member of our trusted team today. Issue 27.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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G-CLOUD 12 After some delay, G-CLoud 12 went live in September. But what are the details, the benefits and the challenges of one of the Crown Commercial Service’s most successful framework agreements?


G-Cloud 12

The G-Cloud framework and local authorities The Crown Commercial Service provide an introduction to this G-Cloud 12 section of the magazine, with Technology Pillar Director Patrick Nolan sharing some thoughts on why G-Cloud continues to be a great public sector success

Since its launch in 2012, over £440 million of cloud services have been purchased by the local authorities using the G-Cloud framework, with over £5.5 billion by central government. This is growing annually. With 5,224 suppliers awarded a place on G-Cloud 12, over 38,000 services are available for customers to access. Patrick Nolan, Technology Pillar Director at Crown Commercial Service, said: “G-Cloud continues to be a great public sector success. It encourages innovation and improves services for UK citizens, by allowing customers and suppliers to find each other easily. Now, more than ever, SMEs have a crucial role to play in our economy, and G-Cloud is a proven method through which they can grow their businesses and support the national recovery.” G-Cloud provides easy access to a range of smaller suppliers, owing to the

government’s commitment to spend £1 who have questions about procuring through in every £3 with small businesses. G-Cloud and there are monthly webinars CCS has worked to empower customers to explaining how to use the framework. achieve their target of 33 per cent spend with CCS has brought on board new Strategic SMEs by providing them with the information Business Managers to help engage with the they need to make informed decisions and by wider public sector and assist customers. This making it easier for SMEs to join the framework. team engages with individual organisations, By removing some of the barriers to entry clusters, and umbrella bodies to build that small and micro businesses awareness of CCS’s commercial solutions, encounter, this has resulted identify customer requirements in 91 per cent of all and deliver expert support suppliers on G-Cloud to enable the wider public G-Clou d being SMEs with 80 sector to access CCS offers. provide per cent of those As well as investing in s e a a s c y cess to being small and additional headcount, ar smaller micro businesses. we’re helping our supplieange of rs, owin to the g We have achieved customers by providing this through resources such as commit overnment’s g ment to making the framework webinars and £1 in e spend application process guidance documents, ve easier (while providing advice small b ry £3 with usiness still completing through blogs, news es ongoing assurance articles and whitepapers, works) and by as well as regularly providing a transparent attending industry events. purchasing platform. G-Cloud 12 has now made Service C CS spend data is published monthly Definition Documents mandatory for through a publicly accessible dashboard all services.. This provides a greater level on the CCS website. We’ve also worked to of detail to public sector bodies when make the Digital Marketplace (DMp) more evaluating services and helps our customers transparent and clear in terms of the services make a well informed decision. L on offer, so customers can review a multitude of services to ensure they award the best FURTHER INFORMATION service to suit their needs. CCS’s team is on hand to provide support to any customers www.crowncommercial.gov.uk

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G-Cloud 12

The G-Cloud 12 framework has now been awarded The G-Cloud 12 framework was due to be announced earlier this year but was delayed by the Crown Commercial Service to allow customers and suppliers to focus resources on responding to the coronavirus pandemic Finally going live at the end of September, In total, more than 38,000 services will be G-Cloud 12 offers public sector organisations available for customers to access, subject to a a straightforward and compliant way to find process of additional assurance, with the CCS and purchase cloud based services, such confirming that 5,224 suppliers have each as hosting, software, and support. This is been awarded a place on the agreement. This provided through the Digital Marketplace, an is a growth of over 25 per cent from online catalogue, with the new agreement G-Cloud 11. now including service definition documents, Of the overall suppliers on G-Cloud 12, which provide detailed service information over 91 per cent are small and medium to support evaluating services – empowering sized enterprises (SME), and, of the you to make better buying decisions. suppliers new to G-Cloud 12, over 80 per The basic benefits of using G-Cloud 12 cent are micro and small organisations, include: straightforward contract award demonstrating that G-Cloud continues to using a quick and easy six step process on offer opportunities to suppliers of all sizes. the Digital Marketplace; transparent As of 28 September, the prices – catalogue shows agreement will run for 12 suppliers, services, prices months, although there and supplier terms and remains the option to T conditions; access to the extend the agreement G-Clou he d latest innovation and up to a maximum b u ying process technologies; the ability of 12 months after c o mprises six imp to move away from this date. Any calllong term contracts – off will have an These s ortant steps. t e maximum duration is initial maximum p s followe m 24 months, which is duration of 24 d to en ust be a comp sure tha then easily refreshed months. Customers liant pr or can be extended by are allowed two ocess is t a d hered t two, 12 month periods; extension options of o and clauses to help you up to 12 months each address both modern slavery and must specify this in and corporate social value. the initial contract terms.

Lot 1: Cloud Hosting Cloud hosting suppliers provide cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) that can help customers do at least one of the following: deploy, manage and run software and/or provision and use of processing, storage or network resources. The customer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network servers, operating systems or storage, but has control over the deployed applications and possibly configuration settings for the application-hosting environment. Lot 2: Cloud Software The capability provided to the customer is to use the provider’s applications running on a cloud infrastructure. The applications are accessible from various client devices through either a thin client interface, such as a web browser (e.g. webbased email) or a program interface.The customer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, storage or even application capabilities, with the possible exception of limited user-specific application configuration settings. E

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G-Cloud 12

 Lot 3: Cloud Support Cloud support provides services to help customers set up and maintain cloud software or hosting services. This can involve: planning; set-up and migration; testing; training; and ongoing support. G-Cloud buying process The online catalogue ensures that all service information is available up front to enable customers to evaluate services based upon best fit and/or price. This functionality facilitates a direct award following the prescribed buying process, therefore if a customer deviates from this process through mini competition RFP, RFQ, RFI, negotiation or issuing an ITT, they will actively breach the terms of the framework. Non-compliant buying will directly impact the legality and reputation of the framework and call-off and is strictly prohibited. Customers who do not follow the correct buying process will beat risk, and the terms of the framework will be null and void.The G-Cloud buying process comprises six important steps. These steps must be followed to ensure that a compliant process is adhered to. Step 1 - Prepare Before exploring the Digital Marketplace, it is essential for you to understand what it is you are looking to buy. Therefore, we would recommend partnership working between procurement and technical professionals to establish highlevel requirements/service outputs and timescales.Procurement expertise is essential in ensuring a compliant buying process is adhered to, whereas technical experts are required to evaluate the​​

Before customers begin their shortlist evaluation process, it is important for them to understand that terms are fixed at the point of tender and therefore are non-negotiable capabilities of the service​​offerings available to buy within the Digital Marketplace. You may wish to consider the following: what funds are available for the purchase of the service?; high level understanding of your requirements – without limiting yourself to specific details; ensure that both technical and procurement interests are covered in the requirements; what selection criteria will your choice be based upon? – best price or Most Economically Advantageous Tender (MEAT); and is G-Cloud the correct framework for your needs? Creating an extensive list of search terms will help you when proceeding to the long list stage. Therefore, market research would be advisable at the start of your buying process. Step 2 – Search & longlist The purpose of formulating a longlist is so that you can refine the broad range of services available and find the service which best fits your high-level requirements within the DigitalMarketplace.At tender stage suppliers are restricted as to how they describe their service offerings. This means that the short description is formulated by suppliers using their own language and terminology to best describe their service.

Therefore, in order for you to formulate your longlist of services and not to exclude any potential suppliers, it is essential to run multiple searches using different semantics and terminologies e.g. eProcurement, eTendering and eSourcing ultimately mean the same thing. This in turn will ensure a comprehensive and robust longlist of services are filtered from the Digital Marketplace The results of these longlists must be shortlisted as per guidance in step 3 below. To help refine and assist with your searches please refer to section 4 – How to access and use the Digital Marketplace.When formulating your longlist, it is important that you keep an auditable trail of your search criteria so as to demonstrate how and why you chose a specific service. The audit trail needs to be done offline and away from the Digital Marketplace. However, there is a ‘save search’ button facility. It is important that you can provide sufficient evidence to mitigate against any risk of challenge. Step 3 – Developing your longlist into a shortlist On the Digital Marketplace there is a list of filters which will help to refine your search. Through applying multiple filters your E Issue 27.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Step 4 – Evaluation and selection Before customers begin their shortlist evaluation process, it is important for them to understand that terms are fixed at the point of tender and therefore are non-negotiable. Services which are available on the Digital Marketplace cannot be deviated from and are the only services available from the supplier. The supplier’s fully comprehensive information and documentation on the Digital Marketplace is what will form the contract and therefore needs to be evaluated accordingly. To enable customers to evaluate services they need to review the shortlisted services following their search and assess suitability against their requirements.

As a matter of best procurement practice, CCS would advise that customers build in a stand still period after they have notified the successful and unsuccessful shortlisted suppliers A supplier’s overall service offering will include the following: pricing document; service definition document; terms & conditions; and a modern slavery statement (If annual turnover exceeds £36 million). When customers are assessing shortlisted service offering documents they have to demonstrate that each service was evaluated in a fair and transparent manner. Shortlisted suppliers can be evaluated in two ways: most economically advantageous tender (MEAT) criteria; or direct award on lowest price only if they are comparable services. The most efficient way to compare services is using the MEAT evaluation criteria which will allow you to consider best functional fit, quality and whole life cost accordingly. If you seek a demonstration from a supplier then this can only be scored if you have evidenced this as a mandatory requirement and stated this in the award criteria. All shortlisted suppliers must be given the opportunity to demonstrate. Customers can include Modern Slavery in their MEAT evaluation within their non-functional characteristics criteria. Offboarding costs can be taken into consideration within the whole life cost. Social Value should be included within the ‘​after sales service management’ criteria. A minimum of 10 per cent must

G-Cloud 12

 longlist will reduce to a manageable shortlist of services, which can then be evaluated individually. You will need to establish which filters best suit your specific requirements and apply as necessary. Please be aware that buyers need to be able to justify the reasoning behind using the filters to mitigate any risk of challenge. Customers must ensure that they have captured and audited the filtering process for each catalogue search criteria. As mentioned in step 3, customers can use the ​G-Cloud 12 evaluation templates​to help capture this. ​If you have run multiple longlists these need to have the same filters applied to ensure fairness and transparency. Before proceeding with your shortlist evaluation, CCS would advise that you contact the shortlisted suppliers directly in order to confirm they hold the resource capabilities to deliver to your timescales, if they were to be successful in the shortlist evaluation.

be included in the evaluation. This applies to central government departments, their executive agencies and non departmental public bodies only. However, other organisations should consider this as part of their evaluation. Customers must ensure they capture and report how they evaluated in accordance with clause 3.20 (Award Criteria) of the framework and be able to evidence that this was done fairly across all services evaluated. Your final choice should be based on best fit, rather than ruling out suppliers that don’t meet either your current contract or an ideal set of terms.In the event that the services you are looking to purchase are comparable you may instead consider comparing in terms of lowest price alone. Your findings should be compiled into an evaluation matrix or similarly auditable format in order to identify the ‘best fit’ service. Ultimately how you weight/evaluate the suppliers is up to you; the overall selection process must be auditable, fair and transparent. Customers must remember all of the information they need to evaluate a supplier’s service can be found as attachments within the supplier’s service offering page on the Digital Marketplace. This information is fixed at the point of tender, and therefore cannot be materially E

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G-Cloud 12

 changed or negotiated. However, suppliers are allowed to reduce their service offering price at any time during the life of the framework. Therefore, before customers can accept the price reduction suppliers must update their pricing documents on the Digital Marketplace to reflect this new revised price. It is the information on a supplier’s catalogue which forms and defines your call-off contract, so this information must be correct and up-todate before you proceed to award. Step 5 - Award / buy Once you have evaluated and ascertained which service provision best meets your requirements, you are then in a position to award a contract. In order for you to proceed you are required to complete the G-Cloud 12 call-off agreement. Within the call-off contract, customers must clearly stipulate their service requirements up front inline with the service offering defined on the Digital Marketplace. Once complete, a copy of the call-off agreement must be signed by all interested parties (i.e. both the customer and supplier) before the call-off can commence. The initial call-off term of up to 24 months can be extended by one or two periods of up to 12 months each giving a maximum term of 48 months. Please note that customers must ensure they have a robust exit plan prior to placing any order to prevent supplier lock-in. The supplier must give an ‘additional exit plan’ to approve at least eight months before the contract ends. It is

worth considering raising this issue with the supplier before a call-off contract is finalised. Customers may also wish to consider the levels of data backup and restore, and disaster recovery provided by the supplier and whether this is sufficient, such as business continuity and disaster recovery plans. Implementation plans should also be taken into account before the completion of the call-off contract. Contracts Finder: All UK central government (CG) and wider public sector (WPS) bodies with the exception of devolved administrations and other exceptions mentioned in the PPN Action Note07/16 need to post contract award details when they exceed the thresholds of £10,000 for CG &agencies and £25,000 for NHS and WPS. For central government departments, prior approval must be obtained from the Government Digital Service (GDS) under the spend controls process before extending beyond 24 months. At the end of a call-off, if the customer’s scope has not changed and a service is still required, they must still conduct a re-evaluation of services available on the Digital Marketplace. This exercise is to ensure that the customer is still receiving the best value for money and no alternative services have been added through new iterations of the Framework. As a matter of best procurement practice, CCS would advise that customers build in a stand still period after they have notified the successful and unsuccessful shortlisted

suppliers. CCS would also suggest that in order to help aid the maturity of the marketplace customers should offer feedback relating to all of the supplier’s services offerings which have been evaluated. This feedback will help suppliers to implement improvements, if they choose to re-tender and improve their service offering, adding value to both new and existing services, which you in turn can then utilise in the future. Step 6 - Benefits Crown Commercial Service’s remit is to work with departments and organisations across the whole of the public sector to ensure maximum value is extracted from every commercial relationship and improve the quality of service delivery. In order to capture savings for the nation and monitor the performance of the G-Cloud Framework, it is essential that customers complete the​​ G-Cloud Customer Benefit Record​form every time that they enter into a call-off agreement. This is now an on-line process and o​ nce a customer has downloaded a saved search, they will see a link with ‘Tell us the outcome’ next tot he particular search in their list. CCS will not publish savings relating to specific procurements – it is purely to record and validate the benefits of utilising the G-Cloud framework agreement(s) in line with auditable savings for government and public sector organisations. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.crowncommercial.gov.uk

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Traditionally, organisations training people in practitioner related skills, have been required to incur expensive costs for hiring training venues and paying staff travel and accommodation. Managing employee abstraction in the process has also often been challenging. Opportunities for experiential learning using specialised technology historically came at a high cost and were limited to a fortunate few, and whilst LMS platforms have their place, they do have limitations and are no substitute for the personal transition of knowledge and experiential learning. The challenges presented by ‘Zoom fatigue’ are now increasingly well documented. Although the concept of immersive learning is not new (and often exemplified by virtual reality), the idea of making experiential learning available globally, and at an affordable cost to multilingual participants, was a challenge that I set out to achieve when I designed the first iteration of our proprietary View360 Global™ platform in 2017. The benefits of this style of collaborative immersive learning are well documented as it

has been proven that information presented in mixed reality is retained more efficiently and reflected in improved learning outcomes and results. The opportunity to learn in a safe environment enables this and, as feedback shows, provides a much more enjoyable style of learning from the participants perspective. Fortunately, the technical challenges nationally and internationally have largely been overcome through reliable internet and computer & tablet technology. Training in one language is easily achieved, but what if we wish to train simultaneously in a multilingual environment? Cognitas Global has achieved this and present greater cost-effective opportunities. View360 Global™ - Tomorrow’s learning for today Our multilingual, immersive platform allows a client to create bespoke learning solutions and simulations, deliverable in one location or remotely through the integrated video conferencing facility, in over 90 languages. Whilst the platform is an excellent tool that has been used extensively in over 20 countries for delivering capacity building and technical assistance in the criminal justice sector, it continues to be used for crisis management, compliance training, business continuity, human resource related training, safeguarding and education, and many other areas. Its user-friendly interface and functionality are accessible through an internet browser and most importantly for many organisations that have security concerns, it requires no installation of third-party software. The cloud-based delivery and video conferencing

functionality makes it possible for facilitator led learning to take place in a local environment or remotely, with participants located globally. Video breakout room functionality means that multiple participants can participate as a team and can communicate and receive responses in their own language, which are translated using an advanced Google API. Amazon Web Space and our VPN encryption systems ensure security of data. So how does this relate to training in the UK where people have never routinely had access to this style of learning, but may now significantly benefit from this in the future? Imagine the knowledge and skills delivered on a training course being transposed into a simulated exercise, so that by blending real world with authentic digital content, learners experience true reality. The ability to engage remotely with other agencies on a national or international basis, where language is no longer necessarily a barrier to learning also provides unique opportunities, without the associated costs that traditional training events generated. Most importantly, as previously stated it just requires access to an internet browser and a suitable environment in the home or office in which to participate. Our ability to respond with agility to the needs of our global clients as if delivering in person using our immersive platform from our dedicated virtual training suite in Kent, has also enabled us to reach the clients, stakeholders, participants and other learners that we had been engaged with on many projects prior to Covid that were not able to progress key workplan activities due to the travel restrictions. As a CEO of two companies that are accredited Skills for Justice (SFJ) Training Centres and are ‘Kirkpatrick New World Model’ practitioners, it is important to me that our clients know that as a company, we approach all of our L&D projects and practitioner training by applying high academic standards and principles to achieve the outcomes. This has never been more important when value for money and a return on investment is even more critical in Covid times, where training budgets are also very much under pressure. L

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In many respects, Covid-19 has arguably been a significant catalyst for change in the area of learning and development. As John F Kennedy stated, ‘crisis presents a choice’ and perhaps now has never been a better time for organisations seeking to provide meaningful training or continued professional development to their displaced workforce, to make one and implement alternative longer-term learning delivery strategies

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G-Cloud 12

G-Cloud 12: Frequently Asked Questions How do I do a search on the Digital Marketplace? What is the maximum length of a Call-off Contract? Can I ask the supplier for references/details of previous experience as part of our evaluation? How do I know what is out of scope for G Cloud 12? The following are out of scope for G Cloud 12: • Services that aren’t cloud related • Consultancy for non-cloud purposes or for services outside those allowed in Lot 3 • Recruitment or contractor (contingent labour) services or services that are inside IR35 • Co-location services for example space the Buyer rents from a Supplier’s data centre • Hardware • Bespoke Application design or development • Any Cyber Security Services that have been assured by the following NCSC schemes are now out of scope for G-Cloud. This includes: Cyber Security Consultancy, Penetration Testing (CHECK), Cyber Incident Response (CIR), and Tailored Assurance Services. How do I do a search on the Digital Marketplace? Log on to the Digital Marketplace (https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk). Click on ‘Find cloud hosting, software& support’.

Click the ‘Start a new search’ button. Choose a Lot and click on the ‘Search for services’ button. Enter keywords related to your requirement in the white search box and click show services to produce a long list. If you use “ “ around your keywords, the search will look for all suppliers whose descriptions contain that exact phrase and this can help to reduce the sizeof your long list. Is pricing available? Pricing is available on each service offering page on the Digital Marketplace. Can I direct award on this framework? Yes, after you have followed the six step buying process.

around your keywords and used additional keywords to refine your search, you may also wish to use the filters on the right hand side of the screen under the keyword search box. What kind of financial due diligence has CCS done on suppliers on the G-Cloud 12framework and what do I need to do as a customer? As a customer you might want to use a Credit Reference Agency to carry out due diligence and assess a supplier’s economic and financial standing before appointing them. The CRA report should be used to determine the level of financial risk that appointing a supplier would represent. If the level of financial risk is above average, you can reserve the right not to appoint a call off agreement.

I’m getting too big a list Where can I get a copy of of suppliers when I the Call-off Contract search on the Digital for the G Cloud 12 Marketplace. framework? How do I refine A Call-o ff You will find a copy my search to Contra ct issue under the Documents get a more u n d der the heading in the below manageable G-Clou 12 fram link.https://www. list? d e for 24 m work is va crowncommercial. If you haven’t l gov.uk/agreements/ already used “ “ option onths, with id the to ext RM1557.12 E

end to 12 m onths o for up occassi n two ons

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Is there a minimum term for the Call-off Contract? There is no minimum term for the Call Off Contract. However, some suppliers may attempt to persuade buyers that a minimum term applies. Can I let a Call-off Contract for 36 months from the start? No, the maximum duration of the initial term is 24 months. However, you can put for example “Term: 24 months with the option to extend for up to 12 months”.

There is no requirement to have a standstill period when using G-Cloud. However, this is ultimately down to your discretion. Best practice would suggest that you have one to protect both yourself and the supplier. Can I use an extension period if the initial term is for less than 24 months? Extension periods can be used once the initial term is up, including when this was for less than 24 months. Can I combine the extension periods and extend for two years in one go? Extension periods cannot be combined and must be requested separately.

G-Cloud 12

 What is the maximum length of a Call-off Contract under the G Cloud 12framework? A Call-off Contract issued under the G-Cloud 12 framework is valid for 24 months, with the option to extend for up to 12 months on two occasions. The maximum duration of a G-Cloud 12 Call-off Contract would therefore be 48 months. However Central Government customers must agree any one year extension with GDS spend controls so they can check the buyer has a suitable and robust exit strategy.

Can I ask the supplier for references/ details of previous experience as part of our evaluation? No. References and previous experience should not be used to evaluate suppliers. I am using the same supplier to deliver multiple services for me. Do I need to let a separate Call-off Contract for each service or can I just let one to cover all of the services the supplier will provide? E

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 You can let one Call-off Contract covering all of the services delivered by the supplier. However you will need to ensure the Call-off Contract is completed in full and that all of the services being procured are described and all of the lots are detailed. When undertaking a search on the Digital Marketplace, ensure you run a long list and refine it for each individual service required. When completing the Customer Benefits Record, make sure you complete one for each service procured. I have followed the six step buying process for G-Cloud 12 and awarded my Call-off Contract which has been completed and signed. Is there anything else I need to do? You will need to publish your Call Off Contract to Contracts Finder and complete a ‘Customer Benefits Form’ and submit this to CCS. Where can I find a copy of the Customer Benefits Record form and where do I need to submit it to? The Customer Benefits Record is an online form that can be completed through the

below link.https://docs.google.com/forms/ d/e/1FAIpQLSfQ3VeAMCIYNur4FoZxzn1F5 BDkOTxFNK-4qbTlHVcyGqTgpw/viewform Can you please confirm that procuring through the Digital Marketplace is compliant with OJEU requirements? You can find an overview of the terms and conditions of the Digital Marketplace frameworks onhttps://www.gov.uk/guidance/terms-andconditions-of-digital-marketplace-frameworks where it was mentioned that they underwent a formal OJEU procurement process. Do we need to provide feedback to unsuccessful suppliers? CCS suggests that in order to help aid the maturity of the marketplace buyers should offer feedback relating to all of the supplier’s services offerings which have been evaluated. This feedback will help suppliers to implement improvements, if they choose to re-tender and improve their service offering, adding value to both new and existing services, which you in turn can then utilise in the future.

Is there a requirement to have a standstill period when using G-Cloud? There is no requirement to have a standstill period when using G-Cloud. However, this is ultimately down to your discretion. Best practice would suggest that you have one to protect both yourself and the supplier. Optional Extensions: Is there provision to extend beyond the initial 24 months? The maximum duration is 24 months with the option to extend twice by 12 months each time (subject to approval for central government customers)To contact GDS spend approvals, please email ​gdsapprovals@digitalcabinet-office.gov.uk​. Is there sufficient spend available on the framework for our call-off? Yes, there is sufficient spend available for your contract. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.crowncommercial.gov.uk

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The start of the cloud: Tracing G-Cloud back to its origins With G-Cloud 12 now on the Digital Marketplace, we take a look back at the cloud journey to date, beginning in 2012 to the latest iteration, released in September 2020 In February 2012 the CloudStore was framework, writing that he was aiming to launched, marking a big step change in the make developments that were ‘more dynamic, way that suppliers and buyers do allowing monthly refreshes to bring business on ICT services in the onboard new services or new public sector. Operating like suppliers’, and make high As speed change possible. an App Store, it meant that is alway s Just before announcing a full selection of over the cas his retirement, Chant 1,700 services, from e w i t h implem wrote in a blog on the some 257 suppliers, projects entation government’s G-Cloud became available for website that chief everyone to see in a save tim , the need to e information officers user friendly and easily a n d remain (CIOs) and fellow civil searchable catalogue. s a cha money llen servants were ‘hiding In his blog post for proc uremen ge behind the comfort detailing the launch, Chris t manag blanket’ and had to change Chant, programme director e r s how they buy IT. Citing himself for the programme, who then as an example, Chant said IT retired that following April, said leaders had been taking the ‘easy path’ that CloudStore was very much just for years, by agreeing expensive contracts with the first version of the organisation’s plans for big IT suppliers, therefore ‘failing to innovate cloud procurement, suggesting that it would and thereby causing end users to suffer’. possibly be seen in the future as the ‘Alpha Chant was not only the only one criticising release’. Even whilst celebrating its launch, methods. Despite the G-Cloud plan calling for Chant and his team were already looking 50 per cent of new government IT spending ahead to the next version of the G-Cloud

to move to cloud computing services by 2015, and aiming to reduce government IT costs by £200 million per year, a report released in May 2012 claimed that the government may miss its cloud computing targets because of a lack of enthusiasm from public sector IT staff. CloudStore prided itself in its infancy on making it cheaper and easier for public sector organisations to choose and buy ‘off the shelf’ IT services, such as email, word processing, enterprise resource planning and electronic records management, but Smart Savings 3, G-Cloud Progress, commissioned by VMware, showcased how 59 per cent of the IT staff surveyed for the report said they were undecided on whether to use CloudStore to buy cloud services. The main reasons were fears for being tied in to existing contracts, concerns about security and a lack of understanding about cloud technologies. Tracking changes in the cloud’s past The Home Office’s Denise McDonagh took over from Chant at the start of May 2012, E Issue 27.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Both the CloudStore and the Digital Services Store were to be replaced by the Digital Marketplace, providing one place for the public sector to buy digital and IT services and be the new home for G-Cloud services Covering buyer needs The government announced that it would be carrying out a review of the effectiveness of government ICT framework agreements in October 2012, meaning that all new planned frameworks, including proposals for Giii, were paused. At the start of 2013, the green light was given to G-Cloud. Both the G-Cloud framework and the CloudStore celebrated their first birthday in February 2013, although plans to produce Giii by April are already looking unlikely to be met. McDonagh again reiterated that G Cloud was ‘a game changer for the way government buys, manages, delivers and operates IT’. Discussing 12 months of operations, Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: “In just 12 months, G-Cloud has shown itself to be a model for efficient public sector IT procurement, establishing a dynamic marketplace for cloud-based IT services. We have simplified the procurement process through G-Cloud to make it more accessible to a wider range of companies, leading to more choice, better value for the taxpayer and growth for the economy. Suppliers are asked what they can offer government,

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 with G-Cloud team planning to launch the second version of the cloud within that time frame (Gii). The change would incorporate a new approach where the department would be able to add new suppliers and services on a quarterly basis at a minimum. Built as part of the government E-Marketplace and using an existing government platform, the catalogue was still made up of the services from the first iteration and included the services from the first round of the G Cloud OJEU. In mid-May, the benefits for buyers were outlined as improved search engine capabilities that allowed for free form search alongside the ability to filter on G-Cloud attributes, plus the ability to view supplier service definitions, terms and conditions, rate cards and other useful documents, compare services and standard configuration prices side by side, and purchase through the store (if you’re registered to use the eMarketplace). For suppliers, it meant the ability to make changes to CloudStore entry directly, a more open and fairer marketplace through side by side service comparisons, and quicker and easier payments. Furthermore, the value of the total procurement possible through Gii was increased from £60 million to £100 million and would run for 12 months not six. Although the limit of the contracts remained 12 months, contracts could run up to 24 months in exceptional circumstances. Once it opened for business, Gii had over 3,000 services available from 458 suppliers, double that of the first version. Of the 458 suppliers, 75 per cent were SMEs, a key part of making supplying to government simpler and opening up a more competitive marketplace. The first agreement, Gi, closed on 13 November 2012.

rather than being issued with complicated specifications that stifle innovation. This is the way we want government IT to be – simpler, quicker, cheaper and focused on matching solutions to business requirements, reducing waste and cutting costs.” Having survived its first year, sales then appeared to increase with nearly 1,000 invoiced purchases, sales of over £18.2 million to the end of March 2013 and McDonagh writing in May that the Home Office alone was putting through more than £6 million of orders due to the success of the CloudStore. With the Public Expenditure Cabinet Committee having agreed to put in place a Public Cloud First mandate for central government, whereby departments had a target to achieve 50 per cent of new IT spend on cloud and 25 per cent use of SMEs by value by 2015, G-Cloud iii went live on 4 May alongside the launch of a new CloudStore. With the commencement of the third procurement iteration, the CloudStore now offered more than 800 suppliers and more than 7,000 services across all types of cloud service models, including public, private and hybrid. E

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office

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 No longer stand alone Now that Giii was live, Denise McDonagh, the government’s G-Cloud director, signalled that it was right for G-Cloud to continue moving to ‘business as usual’, especially now that there had been three procurement frameworks successfully launched, as well as the CloudStore improvements, acceptance of the Public Cloud First mandate across central government and sales rising close to £22 million to the end of April 2013. Therefore, responsibility and instruction for G-Cloud moved across to the Government Digital Service (GDS) at the beginning of June 2013. The previous month had seen the publication of the Major Projects Authority’s (MPA) annual report, revealing the performance of the government’s most expensive and important projects for the first time. Amongst other things, the report highlighted some concerns about how the G Cloud programme was resourced, leading to GDS to increase the budget for the programme and to nearly double the size of the team working on the next iteration of the service - G-Cloud 4. At the start of August 2013, the Cabinet Office and GDS announced that G-Cloud 4 had been launched and welcomed the next procurement round for applications to join G-Cloud. In a blog post to mark the launch, the Digital Marketplace team said that improvements in the new agreement included clearer instructions on how to apply for suppliers new to G-Cloud, as well as clearer instructions on how to carry forward services for suppliers already on Gii or Giii. The department also highlighted the benefits of the Government Procurement Service (GPS) eSourcing suite for responses to mandatory questions to meet procurement regulations

and the GDS Service Submission Portal to make it easier for suppliers by ensuring documentation is a mandatory upload so there is no possibility of suppliers failing compliance for non-submission of documents. This made the process of uploading documents to the CloudStore simple. The opening of G-Cloud 4 also marked a further increase in sales. By the end of October 2013, there were 1,183 suppliers, 83 per cent of this being SMEs, as well as more than 13,000 services, and an impressive £44.7 million in sales up to September the same year. Approximately 63 per cent of these contracts were agreed with SMEs. More milestones paving the way for 5 October 2013 also saw the CloudStore reach another milestone, with sales figures having exceeded the £50 million mark, reaching £53.5 million by the end of the month. The percentage of spend on SMEs rose again, up from a reported 55 per cent to 58 per cent in the space of six weeks. A further rise of £10 million was recorded in November, with just shy of £63.5 million held in sales. In total, 70 per cent of the number of sales were through central government; with 30 per cent through the rest of the public sector. Total sales recorded towards the end of December 2013 reached £78 million. The end of 2013 also revealed the share of public sector IT business SME suppliers win, with 56 per cent of total public sector spend by value through the G-Cloud framework going to SME suppliers. The SME percentage share of central government IT spend including through G-Cloud was even higher at 68 per cent. This is in stark contrast to the 10.5 per cent of central government spend in 2012/2013. As well as sales, a Digital marketplace blog of the same time predicted

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Crown Commercial Service is looking to create a new commercial agreement covering cloud hosting services, which will likely launch next year and initially sit alongside the more generalist G-Cloud vehicle

that savings of between 25 per cent and 75 per cent are not uncommon when using SMEs. Entering the new year, Francis Maude gave a speech at the Sprint 14 event setting out plans for a further £100 million to be spent with SMEs offering digital services by the next General Election, which happened to be in may the following year. Despite the obvious successes, and plans for G-Cloud 5 (G5) beginning to take shape, research carried out by the 6 Degree Group in early 2014 claimed that nearly 90 per cent of local authorities had still not heard of G-Cloud. The GDS therefore set about sharing success stories from users and increasing awareness of G-Cloud across the wider public sector. G5 started accepting submissions in February and went live in May 2014 with 1,132 suppliers. The lots remained the same as previous framework iterations: Lot 1: Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS); Lot 2: Platform As A Service (PaaS); Lot 3: Software As A Service (SaaS); and Lot 4: Specialist Cloud Services (SCS). G5 brought the total number of suppliers on CloudStore to 1,518 and over 17,000 services, 9,236 of them new and 88 per cent of which were SMEs. By July, G-Cloud sales figures broke the £200 million barrier with a total spend of £217,455,674.39. CloudStore revealed that £116 million of this was with SMEs. The same month it was announced that the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead would be the first UK local authority to move to an entirely cloud-based infrastructure, with the authority spending just £100,000 setting it up. The solutions used to establish this included services bought through the G-Cloud framework. The next challenge Both the CloudStore and the Digital Services Store were to be replaced by the Digital Marketplace, providing one place for the public sector to buy digital and IT services and be the new home for G-Cloud services. The idea of the Digital Marketplace was initially conceived to simply replace, feature-for-feature, the existing CloudStore, but as G-Cloud developed the brief and requirements also progressed. With total sales reaching over a quarter of a billion pounds, the next iterations of the G-Cloud and Digital Services frameworks were given a launch date of the end of October, with the aim of getting the new frameworks in place as early in 2015 as possible (February 2015). The lots for G-Cloud 6 (G6) remained exactly the same as they were for all previous iterations, looking at Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, Software as a Service and Specialist Cloud Services to support transition to SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. At this point G-Cloud had been a resounding success, delivering a ground-breaking commissioning framework that provides businesses of all sizes the same opportunity to offer commodity cloud services to government. It helped create a transparent and competitive market that opened up barriers to entry for small and medium-size businesses. In August, sales continued to grow at a fantastic rate and hit £314 million. £168 million (53 per cent) of sales were with SMEs. The previous July, E Issue 27.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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New suppliers keep arriving G7 services went live on the Digital Marketplace on 23 November 2015, meaning the public sector now had access to more services and suppliers of different sizes across the UK. G7 attracted a higher number of new suppliers than any previous iteration of the G-Cloud framework. Crown Commercial Service now boasted of 709 new suppliers on the G7 framework, 95 per cent of which were SMEs. There were 516 for G6, 89 per cent of those being SMEs. The total number of suppliers on the G-Cloud framework (G6 and G7) now stood at 2,566 and the public sector now had access to 22,080 services. The Digital Market Place also began working more closely with Crown Commercial Service and the Government Legal Department (GLD) to find an efficient, legally compliant way for G-Cloud suppliers to update their services.

If Spark works, the Crown Commercial Service will see a £20 million spend in the first year with 70 per cent of that spend being with SMEs As of March 2016, the total sales made through G-Cloud since its inception four years ago surpassed the £1 billion mark. This total was helped by a significant number of sales, totalling £47 million, for the first month of 2016. This continued use of G-Cloud suggests that the public sector was becoming increasingly involved with cloud based services, products and consultancy, quashing previous views regrading adoption, and also proving that government organisations had become accustomed to choosing the framework to procure these. The average deal made in January 2016 was £14,329, with the largest deal made between Deloitte and the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust for £1 million of undisclosed cloud services. This was followed by a £530,000 deal between the Ministry of Justice and Liberata, as well as a £400,000 contract between Maindec and the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust. The G-Cloud framework agreement continued to offer off-the-shelf, pay-as-you-go cloud solutions which span the same four ‘Lots’: infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, software as a service, and specialist cloud services. Infrastructure as a Service covers the provision of processing, storage, networks and other fundamental computing resources that allow the consumer to deploy software, such as operating systems and applications. This is effectively providing organisations with the capability to control their own operating systems, storage and deployed applications, without managing the underlying cloud infrastructure. Platform as a Service operates slightly differently, in that it provides the consumer with the capability to deploy onto the cloud

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 when G-Cloud moved into GDS, monthly sales were averaging £8 million. By August 2014, monthly sales have increased to £27 million – nearly two and half times more. The Crown Commercial Service also introduced a new tool (BravoSolution) as part of G6 to improve the G-Cloud procurement. This iteration saw 1,453 suppliers, up by over 15 per cent on G5 applications and 10,827 new services added to the Digital Marketplace. It also saw 516 new suppliers added to the framework, bringing the total number of suppliers on the Digital Marketplace to 1,852 (87 per cent SMEs), with 19,966 services available. By the end of the year, sales reached over £345 million, averaging £27 million a month. Nearly three yers on from the introduction of G Cloud, the department prided itself on the knowledge that 53 per cent of total sales by value and 61 per cent by volume had been awarded to SMEs. Crown Commercial Service then opened submissions for G-Cloud 7 (G7) at the end of August 2015. The G6 framework was due to end at the beginning of February 2016, but was extended several times to ensure that existing suppliers had time to apply to be on the G-Cloud 8 (G8) framework.

infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming languages, libraries, services, and tools supported by the provider. The consumer has control over the deployed application and possibly configuration settings for the application hosting environment, but does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure, which includes network, servers, operating systems and storage. Software as Service provides consumers with the capability to use the provider’s applications running on a cloud infrastructure. These applications are generally accessible from various devices through a client interface, such as a web browser (think web-based email), or a program interface. Consumers may have limited ability to manage userspecific application configuration settings, but the underlying cloud infrastructure, including network, servers, operating systems, storage and most individual application capabilities, are controlled by the provider. Lot 4, Specialist Cloud Services, continues to support the design and implementations of cloud based services and is split into a number of sub-categories: business analysis, legacy to cloud rationalisation, design/consultation, transition management and service management. Business analysis is the provision to offer skills to identify and analyse organisational needs and how transferring some or all existing IT systems to cloud based systems could increase efficiencies and savings. Legacy to cloud rationalisation is where suppliers offer the skills to identify which parts of a legacy system or infrastructure could be migrated onto a cloud based system. This kind of service is usually reserved for organisations that have identified potential efficiencies in moving to the cloud, but require some additional support in how to design and implement this transition. The provision to offer cloud based system designs inclusive of iterative design, development and ongoing maintenance of existing cloud services falls under the design/ consultation sub-category of Lot 4. These designs can include the specification of what a solutions could/should look like, and consumers can then purchase that solution ‘off the shelf’ via other Lots or designed by teams and development sourced from other frameworks. Once a customer had a system design in place, they could then call on suppliers to handle the transition management, in which they manage the actual transfer of services onto the cloud based system, including the the on boarding and off boarding of data, the migration of existing services between data centres and end user training. E Issue 27.6 | GOVERNMENT BUSINESS MAGAZINE

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Increased procurement confidence August 2016 saw the 8th version of G-Cloud (G8) go live on the government’s Digital Marketplace. Targeted at easing the procurement of cloud computing based information technology services by public-sector bodies, the G-Cloud consists of a series of framework agreements with suppliers, from which public sector organisations can buy services without needing to run a full tender or competition procurement process. It aims to offer simplicity and ease the procurement burden. Suppliers sign up to frameworks on the Digital Marketplace, a government online procurement store in kind, from which anyone in the public sector can select their services accordingly. The development of the G-Cloud was the government’s response to the potential efficiencies of the cloud and the need for the public sector to achieve more while spending less money. According to government statistics of the time, G8 attracted the largest number of suppliers since the creation of the G-Cloud, with 94 per cent of the 757 new suppliers being a SME. Over half of the £1.3 billion spent through the G-Cloud has gone to SMEs as of June 2016.

Meanwhile, Tony Singleton, best known for creating and developing G-Cloud, announced the day before G9 launched that he was to leave the civil service after 35 years. In a blog post on the Government Digital Service he said he would be looking for ‘new challenges’ that would involve ‘helping the public sector turn ideas into reality’. Singleton said his period in government had seen ‘incredible change’ that continues to gather pace, but that more dynamism is needed. Mike Bracken, the former head of the GDS, called Singelton ‘the man who, more than anyone, defined the digital transformation for public servants’ in a Twitter message. Node4 was one of the companies awarded a place on G9, with the N4 Private Cloud, Cyber Security Services, NetApp Private Storage as a Service (NPSaaS), Storage as a Service (STaaS), Backup as a Service (BUaaS), Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) powered by Cisco and Amazon Web Services (AWS) solutions listed on the framework, making these available to UK public sector organisations. Paula Johnston, head of Public Sector at Node4, said: “A number of public sector organisations are increasing their use of cloud services due to its flexibility and cost savings. G-Cloud 9 makes it easier for organisations to check which types of suppliers meet the CCS approval criteria and readily engage with them. Being a G-Cloud 9 supplier means that public sector services have better access to Node4’s solutions to run mission-critical systems and services.”

UKCloud was another vendor that celebrated its approval to the agreement. The company committed to delivering more for less on G9, offering further cost reductions across its service catalogue, including its Cross Domain Security Zone (CDSZ), which predicted price falls of up to 50 per cent. Simon Hansford, CEO, noted: “As a committed supporter of G-Cloud, we welcome the latest iteration which promises to be the best yet, thanks to the comprehensive consultation process undertaken by the Government Digital Service and CCSe. As a supplier to the framework since the very beginning, we are delighted to continue our tradition of releasing several new and enhanced service offerings on the innovative new G-Cloud 9.”

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 Customers could also use the G7 to find a supplier that offers continuous service management of their cloud solutions. This would likely include service integration, management of multiple cloud solutions and the integration of cloud and non-cloud services. Additionally, cyber security consultancy is also available on the framework, but this service varies considerably between suppliers based on their area of expertise, meaning that consumers should carefully consider if a supplier matches their specific needs. Services excluded from the G7 framework include co-location services, non-cloud related services, products or consultancy, bespoke digital project build services and hardware.

Reaching for G-Cloud 10 The 3,505 suppliers on the G-Cloud 10 framework, which expired on 2 July 2019, gave central government, local councils, NHS trusts and other public sector bodies a way to purchase cloud-based services such as web hosting from a single, central website. There were 649 more suppliers than featured on the previous iteration of G-Cloud 9 (this time there are more than 700 new suppliers on the new iteration). G-Cloud 10, which would eventually prove to be worth £600 million, remained for use by the UK public sector to buy cloud computing services covering hosting, software and cloud support on a commodity based, pay-as-you go service. E

Alongside Digital Outcomes and Specialists, the G-Cloud framework is transforming government procurement. These two frameworks mean government can buy the right technology and services from the right suppliers at the right price

On Cloud 9 The G-Cloud 9 framework agreement, launched in May 2017, was the latest iteration of the framework which allowed UK public sector bodies access to cloud computing services via a compliant procurement vehicle. New iterations of the framework were considered at a varying frequency of six-12 months, depending on the demand for and/or availability of new services as the IT cloud market develops. Launched with 2,847 suppliers, G9 underwent several changes with the aim of providing a more flexible maximum contract length. Earlier versions of G-Cloud were designed to run parallel with its predeceasing agreement by design. However, G9 was run as a single framework, requiring all aspiring and existing suppliers to have registered to offer services. This means that buyers and suppliers would be able to use one set of contracts for all their G-Cloud services. G7 and G8 were removed from the Digital Marketplace when G9 service went live.

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During their journey to the cloud, public sector organisation IT departments will need to refine their IT delivery models, based on an improved understanding of cloud technology and its potential  Alongside the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework, the G-Cloud framework is transforming government procurement. These two frameworks mean government can buy the right technology and services from the right suppliers at the right price. By making procurement clear and simple, they are opening up the marketplace to suppliers of all sizes and from all parts of the country. They are creating a level playing field that means that all private sector enterprises can be involved in helping government work better for everyone. Discussing the G-Cloud 10 framework agreement last year, Oliver Dowden, Minister for Implementation, said: “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, delivering innovative solutions in partnership with the public sector, fuelling economic growth and supporting the delivery of efficient, effective public services that meet the needs of citizens. The success of G-Cloud demonstrates how we are breaking down the barriers for SMEs who want to supply to government.” G-Cloud 11 At the start of July last year, G-Cloud 11 was launched. At that point, 4,200 suppliers were awarded places on the agreement with over 90 per cent of them small and mediumsized enterprises. More than 31,000 services became available for customers to access, subject to a process of additional assurance. At the London-based G-Cloud 11 Summit, organised by Public Sector Information in January, suppliers demonstrated their vast range of innovative services to public sector buyers, offering modern, flexible, low maintenance systems to help councils deliver improvements to the way they deliver services. But, delegates agreed that, as is always the case with implementation projects,

the need to save time and money remains a challenge for procurement managers. For the new iteration to be a success, G-Cloud 12, it’s the kind of products and services that will be found on G-Cloud 12 that will matter. Agility, flexibility and ultimately speed will be real winners as councils’ race to improve their services and find efficiencies. Chris Farthing, CEO of Advice Cloud, explains: “It all comes down to planning and delivering to the buyer exactly what they need in the least amount of time. Buyers can help this process run smoother by talking to their [potential] suppliers upfront, as well as talking to others who’ve used the technology they are choosing.” The culture of the companies providing the technology matters too. Suppliers now recognise that it is simply not enough to stop working hard to offer great service just by winning a slot on the G-Cloud marketplace list. Once listed the real work starts. Farthing adds: “Make sure you begin the planning process right from the start. Digital transformation in councils requires a large number of new human capabilities as well as technology ones. This is expensive, and they can’t afford to get it wrong. Support your customers from the very beginning so that together you can affect genuine change.” The role of SMEs That is not to say that the G-Cloud 11 framework did not provide a great platform for selling into a market desperate for this kind of support and it is hoped that under the 12th iteration of G-Cloud, entrant SMEs - which are often in a strong position to spend more time and effort on hardwon contracts - will be given more support to win digital marketplace business.

Over 90 per cent of all suppliers listed in the G-Cloud 11 framework are SMEs, a healthy amount indeed. Yet just 44 per cent of contracts awarded went to SMEs as they continue to struggle to win the business of G-Cloud spend as hundreds of new suppliers join with every new iteration. A classic case of supply outstripping demand. Moving forward, the outlook is somewhat different. Crown Commercial Service recognises the importance of the SME marketplace in the G-Cloud framework structure. As a result, it is working hard to develop an understanding of SMEs and how buyers can work with them. Georgina Maratheftis, head of local public services at techUK, argues: “The public sector needs to harness the expertise and innovation that SMEs can bring in order to ensure that public service delivery keeps pace with demand and expectations. By adopting a more strategic approach to market engagement and engaging with industry outside the procurement cycle, the number of SMEs winning contracts can be significantly increased and they can be in a position to enjoy the contract success rates currently seen by tech giants. Foster the partnership ecosystem and evangelise through your networks.” Additional developments Each iteration is an exercise in improvement. Under G-Cloud 12, service definition documents will be mandatory, making it easier for buyers to compare and contrast what is on offer. At the same time, it is hoped that this measure will incentivise suppliers to up the quality of their listings, says the CCS, as documents are essentially a guidance for buyers. Contracting issues are also being ironed out. Suppliers and buyers alike have long been confused by complicated and prolonged legalities, which only serve to delay the delivery period of infrastructure. Simplifying the process will – it is hoped – bring transparency and clarity to an historically convoluted sector. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.crowncommercial.gov.uk

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Five reasons why many in the public sector still don’t embrace G-Cloud Romy Hughes, director at Brightman, outlines some of the many of the reasons why the public sector still shuns the G-Cloud and other frameworks

The G-Cloud, along with the many other still bypassing the framework agreements framework agreements, were initially altogether. But why is this? Below are developed to keep procurement and the five most common reasons we hear suppliers at arm’s length. The aim was to from our public sector clients when they create a level playing field which would have chosen not to use a framework. stop government projects being awarded to the same large suppliers, again-and1: ‘It wasn’t built here’ again, irrespective of their performance. In Ultimately, the public sector likes to work turn, this removal of ‘cosy’ relationships with its own systems and people. In some would allow public/private sector business sectors there is still a general mistrust to be conducted on purely objective of private companies, or the ideological terms, delivering better value and a feeling that profit should never touch the better quality of service to the taxpayer. public sector. There is no room for ideology But the G-Cloud framework, in procurement. Achieving the outcome among many others, in the most effective way should continue to see much be the only ideology to work by. lower adoption In most instances the private There than they sector has proven itself is no ro should, with to be the most efficient, o m for ideo many major cheapest and effective l o p g rocurem y in procurements way to deliver services. e

nt. the out come inAchieving effectiv the mo be the e way should st only to workideology by

2: ‘We have strategic suppliers already’ The framework agreements are seen as artificial barriers to doing business, because that is exactly what they were designed to be. They were put in place to remove existing relationships from the procurement process so that contracts would be awarded on an entirely objective basis. That is fair enough, but it ignores how people actually do business. Ultimately, people want to do business with people, not frameworks. It also presupposes that business relationships built on years of shared experiences have no value in a business transaction, when in reality it is very important. Trust is an important factor in choosing a supplier which cannot be determined in a framework. E

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 3: ‘No one likes change’ As reliably as the sun will rise and set each day, you will find that most people will avoid change if they can. Change is uncomfortable, risky, unpredictable. But change is also necessary and inevitable. While most people naturally resist change, they will accept it if they understand why it is necessary. The G-Cloud and other frameworks were not introduced to make life more difficult, but that is often how they are perceived by those in procurement. The government needs to make the case that the change introduced by the frameworks is worth it. 4: ‘Each framework is costly to review’ Given the complexity of each framework agreement, no public sector organisation would risk signing up to one without their lawyers reading it first. G-Cloud’s Framework agreement spans 62 pages, while the basic call-off contract is 77 pages long – and this is before any contract-specific terms have been added. Multiply this by each framework that the public sector buyer is expected to use and it is not hard to see why many would simply choose to write their own terms. Why would you invest in legal advice for each and every framework when you can simply pay the same lawyer just once to write terms which address your specific needs? 5: ‘How do we know if its genuinely the right approach?’ Building on the last point, each framework must be individually assessed to determine if it offers good value. This is a time-consuming

The G-Cloud framework, among many others, continue to see much lower adoption than they should, with many major procurements still bypassing the framework agreements altogether. But why is this? process which many organisations simply don’t want to do, so they leave the frameworks on the shelf. Given the number of frameworks and the government’s propensity to continually introduce new ones or renew existing agreements (why the need to renew G-Cloud each year?) it becomes very difficult for organisations to know if they deliver good value or not. These five points address the most common reasons why many in the public sector remain reluctant to even consider using a framework agreement in the first place. Yet this article has not addressed the elephant in the room – the poor experience that many buyers have when they actually attempt to use one. The G-Cloud in particular is often criticised for being unwieldy and difficult to navigate, and largely ineffective at matching public sector requests with the most relevant suppliers. Given the 5,224 suppliers on G-Cloud 12 alone, there is a pressing need for the matchmaking capabilities of the platform to be overhauled. Even if we could address the five points raised in this article

and convince the public sector to use it, we may find that their poor experience will be another reason to stay away. We do not disagree with the sentiments of our public sector customers here who have shared their experiences with us, however, these issues are not insurmountable, and the goals of the frameworks remain something to strive for. Ultimately, the frameworks need to be better at efficiently and objectively matching government buyers with appropriate suppliers. We believe this can be better achieved by reducing the overall number of frameworks to simplify the market for buyers, overhauling the online marketplaces (with a particular focus on their matchmaking capabilities) and introducing a sustained communications campaign to educate the public sector on how to get the best out of them. By doing this I believe the frameworks can have a much more positive future. L FURTHER INFORMATION www.brightman.uk.com

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The biggest technology public sector trends in 2021 As we head into a new year, digital transformation will continue to be at the top of the agenda for public sector bodies. Here, Martin Riley identifies the biggest technological trends to impact the sector in 2021 In 2020, the public sector had to rapidly implement new technology, in order to adjust to heightened demand and a new way of working during Covid-19. Remote working technology, upgrading IT infrastructures and cyber security solutions all ensured the effective delivery of public sector services during the challenging period. Now, as organisations look towards 2021, they will be looking at enhancing their technology solutions, to guarantee optimal, long-term results. Cloud platforms Updating legacy IT systems and adopting cloud services will be at the top of any digital transformation agenda in 2021. This is because, the UK government’s Cloud First Policy details that organisations should evaluate cloud solutions first

before any other option is considered across IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. A cloud based digital infrastructure allows some or all of an organisation’s applications and data to be hosted in a public, private, community or hybrid cloud platform. It allows businesses to digitise its processes whilst it also simplifies employees to access the organisation’s server and internal documents, from any location. The commercial flexibility and reliability of a cloud solution is particularly beneficial to the public sector, as it improves productivity and communication, helping to meet increased public The fra service demand mewor k provide effectively. sa compre To implement cloud govern hensive list o ment a f technology, supplie p IT officers rs that proved provide and managers cloud s olution will look to s frameworks like

the G-Cloud 12. The framework provides a comprehensive list of government approved suppliers that provide cloud solutions. This takes away the need to tender and creates a competitive marketplace of services, saving invaluable time and cost. SD-WAN capabilities The public sector is increasingly adopting SD-WAN as a connectivity solution to support cloud capabilities and the growing demand in service requirements. Increased data usage and cloud-based applications can all overwhelm a WAN, leading to significant downtime if the solution is not executed properly. An SD-WAN (Software Defined Wide Area Network) solution is the next generation of WAN technology. It is an overlay to an existing network that provides complete control and visibility regardless of where the traffic originates. But for the public sector, SD-WAN offers so much more than functionality. It provides accurate data that enables decision makers to steer the organisation towards greater efficiency, E

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î † which in turn, reduces overheads and increases productivity. SD-WAN also enables organisations to flex to the new challenges and demand on services, many of which haves arisen from Covid-19. Digital Citizen Over the next year, any digital transformation within the public sector is likely to be deployed with the digital citizen in mind. The combination of modern technology and the tech-savvy user has meant that people are now accustomed to using technology devices, such as mobile phones, tablets and computers, to access information. In 2020, this became even more evident with appointments and meetings being arranged virtually due to the Covid-19 lockdown. As organisations begin to break away from legacy systems, they will be able to implement modern systems that help people access government data online, provide confidential information and have more control around how they access public services. The technology will need to be underpinned by reliable and flexible security and connectivity solutions to ensure a seamless user experience. Streamlining the process will also bring long-term benefits to public sector organisations. Enabling online systems where users can input their own information, will cut down admin and paperwork, saving both time and costs in the process.

The combination of modern technology and the tech-savvy user has meant that people are now accustomed to using technology devices, such as mobile phones, tablets and computers, to access information Cyber security Any digital transformation within the public sector needs advanced security solutions, to protect sensitive and confidential material as well as information provided by service users. In 2021, cyber security will continue to be a vital consideration for many IT officers and managers. Threat actors will continue to target business systems, adapting their approach to benefit from change and disruption. For example, since the onset of Covid-19, 92 per cent of UK organisations have admitted to experiencing an increase in cyber attacks. Cyber criminals are becoming increasingly clever with targeting strategies, and employees working from home are more vulnerable to security threats. Security solutions do not need to be heavy on the purse. IT solution providers can offer public sector organisations additional protection through providing, managed detection and response services,

phishing prevention, web security protection and multi-factor authentication, all with a distributed workforce. Cloud based solution Microsoft 365 is also designed to give greater reliability by enabling users to share files and data securely. There is no doubt that technology will continue to transform the public sector in 2021. With digital strategies centred around updating legacy systems and supporting communities, organisations will have the freedom and tools to focus on delivering much-needed public services effectively over the next few months. L

Martin Riley is Chief Technology Officer at IT managed services provider and G-Cloud framework supplier, Timico. FURTHER INFORMATION www.timico.com

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Enable your vision with Apprilis We are more than a consultancy We often hear our customers complain about previous experiences of big consultancies and how they execute delivery – normally via big bloated methodologies they’ve executed in a similar organisation, that costs a fortune to implement and quite frankly can be daunting. We work differently Understanding your needs is key – that’s why when we work with our clients, we make sure we are all on the same page and deliver a service that’s right for you. How we can help: Deliver a project By utilising framework standards such as Government Digital Service design and methodologies such as Agile, we can deliver from the simple to the complex. • • • •

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Analyse your service We offer a wide range of analytical skills and expertise to identify the root cause of an issue and establish a clear path to deliverables. •

Target Operating Model development and support • Service design and business architecture • Business case development • Benefits realisation • LEAN Understand your customers Interactive user and client-centered research enables us to understand the customer touch points with your service and determine the best course of action be it technological or process change. Using techniques to build user personas and user journeys enables us to better understand your users and the challenges they face. Workforce readiness Implementing any change is daunting. We help our customers by providing the necessary change steps required to provide a smooth transition to live operations and beyond. We know that successful change implementations that employees adopt and use produce better project outcomes

which is why we focus on helping you understand what change is needed, where the blockers are and promote the change. Build something digital From small applications to full CRM solutions, we pride ourselves on delighting our customers on the art of the possible and deliver their vision. We build our products to enable a rapid reaction to your organisation’s drivers for change. By building incrementally, you can feel the benefit earlier. Host solutions We offer an advisory service for our customers to help them transition their traditional data centres to cloud hosted solutions. Cloud adoption can be complex, expensive and high risk. We help organisations achieve successful outcomes on their cloud journey with industry adopted lifecycle services. FURTHER INFORMATION info@apprilis.co.uk | www.apprilis.co.uk

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A move away from ‘off-the-shelf’ digital services Jos Creese, CEO of digital consultancy business CCL, looks at why digital public services means a move away from ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions The digital service requirements of public Meeting digital ambitions sector organisations are increasingly Today’s public services need better difficult to define. This is one of the reasons applications and technology tools if they why agile development is such an important are to meet digital ambitions and potential. methodology, and also why a move away Most of the traditional OTS solutions from wholly predefined software solutions from the traditional vendors are just (‘off-the-shelff’ – OTS) is inevitable. not sufficiently innovative, adaptable, or This is an interesting departure from functionally rich. They are also prone to the past IT strategies: for as long as I can problems of lock-in and bundling. At the remember the mantra of IT departments extreme are the traditional IT outsourcing and public service organisations developing models that have proved to be so their digital and IT strategies, has been problematic and ineffective, often holding ‘off-the-shelf only’ – no bespoke, no back progress rather than powering it. tailoring, and no customisation. It does not mean that there is no place The point was, that in the past, IT for large, OTS solutions, but it means departments had tailored and customised that they will in future play a smaller every IT solution to the nth degree, often part in the mix of cloud and bespoke in response to the needs of individual solutions, where low-code and small departments. ‘The business leads, not IT’ we modular apps are in the ascendancy. were told as IT leaders, and IT performance This is pushing public service was measured on the ability to design organisations to develop their own, or application for every and any requirement, to work with suppliers who can provide without question. This created a complex bespoke solutions. This is as true in cyber and expensive legacy nightmare, protection as it is in application as well as locking public development. But it is also not services into inflexible a move back to the past and long term IT where IT departments contracts where prewere developing unique Today’s defined SLA metrics solutions. More, it is p u b s ervices l were quickly a about using modular need b ic etter applica poor indicator of IT components in a tions an techn true performance. more flexible way.

d olog are to my tools if they eet ambitio digital and po ns tential

A good analogy would be buying a new car. You can buy a standard car from a manufacturer, or, you can ‘bespoke’ your purchase in terms of most of what is ‘under the bonnet’ (gearbox, engine size and type), other components, colour and interior fittings. But it’s still a standard car from a manufacturer that does not compromise any warranty or safety standards and is readily serviced and maintained, with available spare parts. That is the sort of bespoke that we need to see in IT development in the public sector. This however does put greater emphasis on the importance of relationships with IT suppliers, especially in pretendering engagement. A partnership approach is necessary, rather than depending solely on a detailed and fixed specification through a tender cycle. This can help IT suppliers to understand better the changing nature of public services requirements, and for the public service organisation to be clear on the risks and technical opportunities proposed. More critically perhaps, it also depends on the digital maturity of public sector organisations, especially in being able to understand and establish new risk models in a digital world where there is less predictability, and a greater need and willingness to experiment and innovate. E

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 IT requires public bodies to have a clear digital vision, based on digital policies, standards and architecture. This is the basis for engaging with suppliers and developing bespoke solutions that complement OTS yet do not create a ‘free for all’ and a fragmented digital landscape. Without this foundation, public services risk compromising the potential value of data, restricting shared services, and limiting wider interoperability. Where public service organisations get this right, it opens up some new and exciting possibilities for tech SMEs in particular, since innovation and flexibility become key competitive advantages that are harder for the larger traditional incumbents to match. G-Cloud 11 Summit This was clear at last year’s G-Cloud 11 event, run by Government Business, where the numerous discussions between public service organisations and SME providers of all shapes and sizes discussed the value of bespoke development. I chaired a number of these discussions and noted down some of the key quotations: “However clever the technology, however open and flexible the interfaces, interoperability is essential, and that means open standards and open APIs from IT suppliers.” “Sometimes IT departments are part of the problem, thinking they know best and have sole control over digital priorities and risks. Successful public service organisations have IT departments that work hand-in-glove with their digital colleagues and executive leaders.” “We need IT suppliers to understand public sector challenges and requirements and not to oversell what they can in practice achieve.” “As an IT supplier, it helps enormously when a public service organisation can offer some consistency in the internal team that we are working with, rather than an interim contractor in IT or procurement.” “Pre-tender discussions with IT suppliers are not only effective, they are often essential. Without this we often have little idea of what is available out there, or even how to tender for a service or technology. It helps us to understand risk, market conditions, and technology possibilities.” “Internal governance in some public service organisations is too complicated. We don’t know whether we should be dealing with procurement, legal, IT, digital leaders, line of business service managers, finance, HR, or even political leaders. The amount of variation, the lack of predictability, and the sheer complexity are real problems for SMEs.” “We need to define what bespoke actually means – there is a spectrum. It is clear that ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions will not meet every requirement, but the challenge is how to tender for more bespoke solutions and be

IT requires public bodies to have a clear digital vision, based on digital policies, standards and architecture. Without this foundation, public services risk compromising the potential value of data, restricting shared services, and limiting wider interoperability clear on the costs and the risks. Whatever bespoke solution is contracted for, it has to be well- documented, well-designed, open and easily transferable to another supplier. Otherwise it creates future IT legacy issues and IT supplier lock-in.”

“As a CIO in a large public sector organisation, the ability for us to innovate whilst meeting regulations can be hard. Pre-procurement engagement can help with this but much of it is to do with internal cultures and attitude to risk.”

“As a procurement manager in a large public service organisation, I am too often being asked by my IT colleagues and service departments to extend out of date software contracts, either because of the risk and cost of change, or because no one has had the time to recognise the need to plan for a replacement. This is even when the service is poor, expensive and the product out of date!”

“As a public sector buyer, ‘off-the-shelf’ is often seen as less risky, but I think we are coming to the point on our digital journey where limits are being reached. Large OTS suppliers are often difficult to deal with and have expensive solutions that fall short of expectations.”

“In developing a partnership with an IT service provider offering a more bespoke and changeable service, perhaps for low code or no code, a ‘proof of concept’ can be valuable. It’s a good way of establishing likely costs and debugging risks. Short G-Cloud contracts offer an invaluable way of testing out a partnership with definable risk and cost.” “’Customisation’ is not the same as ‘bespoke’ in my opinion. The former tends to play into service preferences, the latter tends to reflect true needs.”

“As an IT supplier to the public sector, sometimes we find the vision is not clear. For example, what does ‘cost saving’ really mean? ‘Agile’ is great, but you still need to know where you’re trying to get to.” L

Jos Creese has over 30 years of IT leadership across the public sector. He writes and consults extensively for both the public and private sector and chairs the Open University School of Computing Industrial Board. FURTHER INFORMATION www.creeseconsulting.co.uk

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FIRE & SECURITY SYSTEMS

Security and fire systems for all types of premises

ADVERTISERS INDEX The publishers accept no responsibility for errors or omissions in this free service 1UC 88

Alexatech Integrated Systems Ltd has bespoke expert design knowledge bringing together many years of experience providing its clients all their requirements, from design through to project management for any proposed scheme for fire alarms and security systems. Alexatech also provides preventive maintenance. Alexatech’s service and maintenance department consist of a dedicated technically highly trained team of engineers who specialise in finding solutions for all our customers’ urgent and ongoing needs. Alexatech supplies the latest technologies in all its fields of experience, creating state of the art life safety systems through to fully integrated security systems. Alexatech can offer the supply, installation and commissioning of a wide range of commercial grade systems giving it flexibility to meet each client’s requirements, whether

on a building site for a new build, or within a busy occupied working environment. Alexatech has previous experience of working within the education sector. Alexatech’s team is fully capable and work within all the health and safety requirements needed to work in a safe manner, looking after themselves and others. Alextech’s installation works are carried out in accordance to all the relevant regulations and standards required, ensuring all legal requirements are met and fulfilled.

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345 Technology

62

Accordant Solutions

38

Affinitext (UK)

90

After Premise

62

Agile World Associates

48

AI Digital

63

Akamai Technologies

94

Alexatech Intergrated Systems

96

Apprillis 89 Ascensio System SIA

95

Aspire Systems UK

95

Aston Information Security

68

Axians 82 Beyond Systems

71

Big Dug

28

Brook Recruitment

60

C-Ways 89 CCS Media

78

Celonis SE

78

CK International

29

Codit Integration Cognitas Global

64 54,55

CTRL Hub

66

Daktela UK

92

Drone Services Global

35

Effini 72

HIGHWAYS

New easy to install Cycle Lane Separator bollards Leafield Highways has launched a brand-new Cycle Lane Separator (CLS) bollard range that is easy to install, durable and maintenance free. The range has been designed and manufactured in-house in Wiltshire for a highly visible separation between cycle lanes and traffic lanes. There are three different styles available: CLS Bollard; CLS Modular Island; and CLS DB Island. The CLS bollard features a reflex material base combined with a rigid MDPE post, ensuring the bollard will withstand multiple impacts and will return upright without any damage and replacement costs. The two RA2 (high intensity) reflective bands are recessed to further reduce the potential damage with vehicle impacts. Available in a wide choice of colours and multiple heights. Fixing options available in shield, asphalt and concrete anchors. The CLS Modular Traffic calming island featues a flexible polymer post allowing the bollard to withstand multiple impacts and return upright

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into the modular traffic calming island base system. The two recessed areas for 360-degree RA2 (high intensity) reflective bands will also reduce vehicle impacts. Available in various colours, heights and lengths. The CLS DB Island features a vulcanised rubber ‘DB’ base, a flexible polymer post ensuring the bollard, with two visible reflective RA2 (high intensity) bands, will withstand vehicle impacts. Available in two heights and lengths. The reflector material for the CLS bollard range has been purchased and manufactured in accordance with the CE marketing standard. Cities, including Bristol, Liverpool, St Helens, Ealing, North Tyneside, Bradford and Birmingham, currently have Leafield’s new CLS Bollard range.

FURTHER INFORMATION Tel: 01225 816522 highways@leafieldenv.com www.leafieldhighway.com

Enabl AI

74

Enable IT Technologies

84

Engage Hub

76

Leaseplan UK

14

Hive Energy

25

IEB Software

37

Imperial Polythene Products

28

ISS IFC John F Hunt Power

30

Leafield Environmental

96

Lucion Environmental

16

MHR 46 Office Depot

20,21

Ogel IT

58

Opex Business Machines

12

P&I Generators

4

Phillips 40,41 SA Group Schaefer Technic

26 8

SirlonLabs Pte

80

Software AG

52

Sundown Solutions

56

Symatrix 86 True Compliance

79

University College of Estate

10

Urban Integrated

63

Viewpoint- A Trimble Company

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Voice Power

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Workfront 50 Wudo Solutions

18

Zetasafe 71

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