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BERESFORD ANNOUNCES LONGER TENDERING CONTRACTS

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A range of local government services will 'benefit' from new longer contract periods provided under compulsory comp...
A range of local government services will 'benefit' from new longer contract periods provided under compulsory competitive tendering, environment minister Sir Paul Beresford announced today.

Refuse collection, cleaning, ground maintenance, vehicle maintenance and sport and leisure facility management will now have contract periods of between five and ten years.

Sir Paul said:

'Following consultation, I have laid new regulations before parliament today which will increase the minimum and maximum contract periods for a number of defined activities subject to CCT.

The new periods will apply except where the work consists wholly or mainly of work for education establishments.

'The new contract periods are as follows (old periods in brackets):

. New minimum period New maximum period

. Years Years

Collection of refuse 6 (5) 10 (7)

Other Cleaning 5 (4) 10 (6)

Maintenance of grounds 5 (4) 7 (6)

Vehicle maintenance 5 (4) 7 (6)

Mngng sprts and lsr 5 (4) 10 (6)

'There will be no change to the minimum and maximum contract periods for building cleaning, school and welfare catering or other catering services.

The changes will also not affect the recently introduced new manual services or white collar services. The contract periods which will apply to contracts for work wholly or mainly at educational establishments shall generally be unchanged from those which previously applied to authorities with educational functions.

'Separate contract periods will no longer be specified for local education authorities as a whole. Instead, the shorter contract periods shall only apply to contracts consisting wholly or substantially of work for educational establishments.

'We have not increased the minimum contract period of any service by more than one year, but we have made significant increases to the maximum contract periods for certain services to allow local authorities the discretion to tender longer contracts where it is beneficial to do so.

'Longer contracts will provide a greater incentive to contractors to invest in the services which they provide and thus improve the quality of those services. They will also reduce the average cost of that investment by allowing it to be spread over a longer period.

In addition, contractors have indicated that, as longer contracts are of greater value to them, they would be more likely to bid for work if contract periods were to be increased.

'Improved levels of competition will ensure that bids are more competitive and local authorities will have more choice in deciding who to invite to bid. The combined effect will be to greatly improve the value for money which is obtained in the provision of local authority services.

'These changes will not effect tenders in progress for which a tender notice specifying a contract period has already been published.'

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