Reed Talent Solution’s consultancy arm, Consultancy+, was appointed by our client, a major government department, which was looking for a provider that could deliver financial accountancy support via a Crown Commercial Service framework.
They needed their existing resource to be mobilised through a compliance exercise that stood up to Public Contracts Regulations 2015 and would allow them to stress test value while managing IR35 risk.
Our client wanted to make sure the following things were covered over an interim period, initially contracted for six months and then extended to 10:
Define eight work packages.
Provide costing and rate cards for aspects pulled out of scope, and apply Red, Amber and Green(RAG) status to the risk of this happening(set rate cards for expectation on day rates outside of defined scope in statement of work).
IR35 assessments for up to 30 engaged resources.
The ask was clear – the contracting authority wanted us to engage the provider to ensure they were happy under the contract terms of arrangement.
We went through negotiations to agree terms to allow the engagement to progress, demonstrating the ability of the framework to support various supplier risk positions and legal positions.
This involved review and some awareness of governing terms to allow engagement to progress.
We then requested work packages to be defined again to include RAG status information on scope creep, as we found call-off arrangements that had already been in play fluctuated by about eight per cent, based on contracted value against the estimates provided by the service.
We made assessments on the IR35 position for various engagements within the work packages to identify potential risks. Seven of these were reviewed and consequently had their service scope revised. Key steps and actions were:
We agreed governing terms with the provider (supplier framework agreement).
We reviewed work packages for understanding of services being delivered and the likely IR35 risk position – flagging any potential challenges.
Our review questioned engagements to trigger conversations on how resource had been delivered into the contracting authority.
Rate cards were reviewed and agreed as part of the contract.
We changed the control process that had been set out.
We created a pricing schedule for invoices, to be provided with itemisation against each invoice presented on the project portal.
From engagement, Consultancy+ has been able to show agility in negotiating terms to engage a named provider with net spend of £2.5m per year. While this arrangement had previously been served via another framework and running well for the end client, we were able to identify and support remedy of the potential risk across their work package programmes and business. Four engagements have been reviewed with the service brief being revised, and one being re-contracted to inside scope of IR35. We gathered the risk and commercial position with the following:
Rate card review and contract commitment to these.
Change control process more robust and formalised.