Decision details

Approval for release of funds from the ICT reserve

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Commercial & Operations

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

To fund the variation of the existing Idox contract to include the Licensing module, and to fund the procurement of a proven software solution to manage the green waste charging programme. 

 

 

Decision:

Approval to allocate £79,518 from the Council’s  ICT reserve:

1.      To enable the variation of the existing Idox contract to include the Licensing module.

2.    To allow the procurement of a proven software solution to manage the green waste charging programme via the G-Cloud Framework.

 

Reasons for the decision:

IDOX - The Idox Licensing Module is a bespoke Licensing platform that includes a proven online capability, that will enable the continuation of channel shift from a predominately face to face process.

The suite of documents within the Idox licensing platform will enable the Licensing Department to maintain its online application capabilities currently provided by the GOV.UK platform that is due to be withdrawn.  The current understanding is that this could be April 2022.

Idox has confirmed that the technical/hardware requirements within IT are already available, as part of the Planning installation and requires activation. 

A variation to the existing contract is the most cost-effective method of procuring a bespoke Licensing solution.

Environmental Health are retaining the Civica APP (Flare) system; therefore, it enables an orderly transfer of data.  Ensuring that accurate data is transferred into the new system whilst enabling new online processes to be implemented.

Meritec The green waste module is a bespoke, hosted, proven solution, already being used by a number of local authorities.

Their fully automated workflow will reduce the impact on our Customer Services team

Emails to customers of the scheme can be sent directly through the system, reducing negative impact on our exchange from high volumes of traffic

Existing arrangements in place to provide stickers for members of the scheme can easily continue

The reporting suite and dashboard provided as part of the solution will allow much greater understanding and visibility of the progression of the programme throughout the year

 

Alternative options considered:

Do nothing

Licensing – retain the Civica APP (Flare) and Civica W2 hybrid model that is currently used.  This would require further usage training and development costs to enable Civica W2 to provide a full online solution. Currently, Licensing has limited online Civica capability.

The Smart Save document management system would also need greater resilience as difficulties are encountered with storage and the saving documents.

When the Gov.uk forms are discontinued, it is likely that an additional forms package would need to be purchased to meet the statutory requirements under the Provision of Services Regulations for applications to be made electronically.

This option has been discounted.  Civica APP (Flare) and Civica W2 is not a bespoke Licensing platform and integration into other platforms is restrictive, requiring extensive work and cost to develop further.

Green Waste – continue to run the green waste renewal programme through the existing system, Civica. In recent years attempts have been made to correct fundamental issues within the process that exist from when it was first created several years ago. The programming skills are no longer available in house for this to continue. Each year the programme presents numerous issues, which is both frustrating for the public who use the scheme, and time consuming for staff trying to correct and repair these issues. It is not considered feasible to continue another year of green waste charging with the Civica system. 

Use alternative tender and procurement options

Licensing – Consideration was given to using traditional tendering for this work, however Idox has an established licensing product and the Idox system is already used by other teams in the authority. Extending this is considered the most cost and time effective method of achieving the required outcome. The necessary timeline to complete procurement was a material consideration in this case.

Green Waste – consideration was given to using a traditional tendering route to secure an alternative provider, however Meritec have a proven record with similar sized district councils; their green waste system is used by a number of our near neighbours, with very favourable results. Entering into a contract with Meritec is considered to be the most cost effective and positive way of achieving a professional, positive customer experience for this popular, high profile annual programme. 

 

Publication date: 27/07/2021

Date of decision: 26/07/2021

Effective from: 04/08/2021

Accompanying Documents: