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United Kingdom-Belfast: Personnel and payroll services
Voluntary ex ante transparency notice
Section I: Contracting authority/entity
Section II: Object
The Provision of Electronic Human Resource and Related ICT Services Northern Ireland Civil Service (e-HR programme)
Following an open competition (advertised in the Official Journal of the EU in 2003), the Department of Finance (DoF) entered into a Strategic Partnering Agreement (SPA) with Fujitsu on 29 March 2006 for the provision of Electronic Human Resource and related ICT Services for the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) and a number of Non Departmental Public Bodies. The SPA (known as e-HR) provided an end to end fully managed solution for the provision of payroll and HR services. The system is heavily customised to align to its users' wide range of HR policies and procedures. The SPA expires on 29 March 2021, however it has become unavoidably necessary to continue to maintain the existing systems and services beyond this point. The Department of Finance intends to modify the Strategic Partnership Agreement in accordance with Regulation 72(1)(b) due to the economic and technical reasons and the substantial duplication of cost and significant inconvenience associated with changing to a new contractor to support the current systems and services whilst the Department procures a replacement solution. This voluntary transparency notice has been published to alert economic operators of DoF's intentions to modify the SPA with effect from the 29 March 2021 for a period of 4 years with 2 further annual options to extend. DoF intends to launch a procurement competition and award a replacement contract for the next generation of HR Services before this modification expires.
The eHR Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) is a fully managed contract for the provision of payroll and HR systems and services. The system has been heavily customised over the last 15 years to align to its users wide range of HR policies and procedures. The SPA is an end to end HR and Payroll solution including the provision and management of hardware/software and services. The modification will extend the SPA from 29 March 2021 for a period of 4 years with 2 further annual options to extend. The original contract notice 2003/S 186-168054 showed the contract term as 10 years support from the point of the implementation of the services, with an option to extend the contract for a further 5 years. The contract notice stated that this period was subject to negotiation during the procurement phase. During the negotiation phase, it was agreed that the contract period would be 15 years (as opposed to 10 years with an option to extend for a further 5 years), however the contract award didn’t reflect the additional time for the implementation of services which had been intended in the original contract notice. The full implementation for all services under the e-HR contract took almost 4 years which is the initial period for this extension. The additional 2 annual options to extend will provide contingency for any delays during the procurement phase or implementation period for the replacement contract. The value of the 4 year extension is estimated at GBP 58.2 million. The accumulative value of the 5 years extension is estimated at GBP 72.8 million and the accumulative value of the 6 years extension is estimated at GBP 86.8 million.
This voluntary transparency notice has been published to alert economic operators of the Department of Finance's intention to modify the eHR Strategic Partnership Agreement with Fujitsu under regulation 72(1)(b) of the Public Contract Regulations. The modification will take the form of an extension from 29 March 2021 until 29 March 2025 (with 2 further annual options to extend). A modification notice will be published after the modification has been formalised.
Section IV: Procedure
This voluntary transparency notice is to alert economic operators to the Department of Finance's intention to modify the eHR Strategic Partnership Agreement with Fujitsu for a period of 4 years (with 2 further annual options to extend) using regulation 72(1)(b) of the Public Contract Regulations 2015 as amended. The eHR Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) is a fully managed contract for the provision of payroll and HR systems and services. The e-HR SPA ends on 29 March 2021, however it is unavoidably necessary to continue to maintain the existing systems and services beyond this point. The current Contractor provides an end to end service and manages the hardware/software required to deliver the HRConnect solution. The Department of Finance intends to modify the current eHR managed service contract in accordance with Regulation 72(1)(b) due to the significant economic costs and technical complexities associated with changing to a new contractor at this point. This existing single contractor managed service arrangement includes the supply of a broad range of payroll, HR and related ICT services (including, without limitation, on-going management, operation and maintenance support), underpinned by computer hardware, software and associated products. The Oracle solution is heavily customised to align with the NICS HR policies and procedures. The current contractor has acquired the intellectual property and know how to maintain and develop the system over the last 15 years to reflect the varying requirements of the NICS departments and their associated bodies. The change of contractor for the critical managed service, for a relatively short period of time, during which replacement contract(s) will be procured and implemented, would introduce an unacceptable risk of system failure and will cause substantial duplication of costs and significant inconvenience to the contracting authority and a potential disruption to public services.
Section V: Award of contract/concession
The recruitment, shared services and HR related Services are subcontracted.
Section VI: Complementary information
The value of the modification for the maximum 6 years is GBP 86.8 million. The original value of the contract awarded in 2006 was GBP 185 million.
UK Contracting Authorities do not have a review procedure in place. Economic operators have access to the NI Courts and Tribunal Service if they wish to issue a claim against a contract modification or contract award under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (as amended).