Venue: Committee Room A - County Hall, Llandrindod Wells, Powys. View directions
Contact: Lisa Richards 01597 826371
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence were received from County Councillors
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
To receive declarations of interest from Members.
There were no declarations of interest.
DISCLOSURE OF PARTY WHIPS
To receive disclosures of prohibited party whips which a Member has been given in relation to the meeting in accordance with Section 78(3) of the Local Government Measure 2011.
(NB: Members are reminded that under Section 78 Members having been given a prohibited party whip cannot vote on a matter before the Committee.)
There were no disclosures of party whips.
To authorise the Chair to sign the minutes of the previous meeting.
The Chair was authorised to sign the minutes of the previous meeting, held on 16 May 2019, as a correct record.
To consider procurement processes with particular reference to Dawnus and Jistcourt.
· Dawnus chronology
· Dawnus questions
· Vetting prior to procurement
· Undertaking Economic and Financial Standing (EFS) Procedures in Procurement
· Assessing and Monitoring the Economic and Financial Standing of Suppliers
· Portfolio Holder’s statement at County Council
· The Chair indicated to the Committee that the purpose of the meeting was to understand the process for procuring contracts and seek assurances that such processes were sound following the failure of two companies, Dawnus and Jistcourt, both of which had contracts with the Authority
· The Commercial Services Lead informed Members that the Jistcourt contract had been let under a framework agreement supported by the Authorities own processes
· Treasury Management undertake financial appraisals when required
· Whilst procurement in general falls under the remit of the Portfolio Holder for Finance, individual contracts are signed off by the relevant Head of Service. It is the Portfolio Holder’s role to ensure the framework and policies are relevant.
· The Portfolio Holder whose remit includes corporate governance, confirmed that Portfolio Holders were not involved in the letting of contracts to avoid any implication of impropriety but were kept informed of progress through the process. At no point would a Portfolio Holder be informed of the names of companies tendering for a contract.
· It was confirmed that there were no set procedures in place for keeping a Portfolio Holder informed but that this would occur during a routine meeting with a Head of Service.
· In assessing a company, only historical data is available. The previous two year’s audited accounts are requested and are therefore somewhat out of date. In some cases, unaudited accounts are requested to provide current information.
· Construction Line is only used for construction projects
· Assessments must be proportionate and not disadvantage small and medium sized companies
· Once information has been collated a series of mandatory questions are asked which will then determine whether a company passes or fails
· Financial assessments are carried out by the Finance team and will determine whether a company passes or fails for the next stage of the process
· If only one company is interested in the tendering exercise, the information is submitted alongside the tender
· A tender evaluation is undertaken
· Recent guidance has been issued by the government “Assessing and Monitoring the Economic and Financial Standing of Suppliers”
· Members asked what other procedures were in place to assess a company in order to undertake due diligence. The Commercial Lead informed the Committee that 30 or 40 questions must be completed which includes the key personnel, types of work undertaken etc. References are also considered. A company cannot be discounted if it is singly owned. If a company is part of a group, some information may not be available for other areas of the group.
· Jistcourt Construction had been owned by Jistcourt Holdings – were both sets of accounts considered? The group accounts will be considered if a parent company bond or guarantee is required. In this case, the accounts for Jistcourt Construction only were appraised. The Group accounts for Dawnus were appraised. ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
To consider the forward work programme and whether any additional items should be included.
· Audit Committee Forward Work Programme