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WPCC3-0040- Next Generation Forensics Procurement and Sub-Agreement

Decision Title: Next Generation Forensics Procurement and Sub-Agreement 

Decision Reference Number: WCC03-0040

Lead Officer: Polly Reed

If force business, date approved by Chief Officer: Decemeber 2021

Date: 17/12/2021

Status: Non confidential 

If confidential or partly confidential*, rationale:
(* If partly confidential specify which parts are confidential) 

Partly Confidential – Appendices confidential due to commercial sensitivity – s43

Decision summary:

To be included on the FCN / Bluelight Commercial procurement exercise for the establishment of a national Dynamic Purchasing System for the provision of forensics services

I confirm that my register of interests declaration is up to date and that none of my interests preclude me from making this decision.  

Signature:  Philip Seccombe  

Date: 08.02.22 

Supporting information

1. Background information

Forensics have to date been provided via the West South Coast Forensic Consortium (WSCC) led by Avon and Somerset Police. Following discussion in June 2021 Avon and Somerset gave formal notice of their intention to withdraw from the collaboration. The Forensics Capability Network (FCN) then undertook a piece of work to identify the next generation procurement approach. This has led to the development of a procurement approach for FCN and Bluelight Commercial to establish a Dynamic Purchasing System for Forensics Services.  Warwickshire Police in collaboration with other West Midlands Forces including West Midlands Police who deliver our forensics services via a Section 22 Agreement will subsequently be undertaking a farther competition in order to appoint a forensics service provider(s). 

2. List of additional information attached as appendices

Not applicable 

3. Expected benefits

The agreement will allow a forensics service provider (FSP) to have only one ‘customer’ to work with and allows BlueLight Commercial to co-ordinate all force requirements, ensuring that the forensic market is able to meet the demands and continue to reliably supply services to of all forces. 

4. Impact of not approving the application

No compliant arrangement for the provision of essential forensics services. 

5. Costs (including any identified savings)

Future demand and costs not yet identified. 20-21 efins invoice data £500K on FSPs. Whilst the agreement is expected to optimise any economies of scale, the forensics market is complex and fragile. Current projections are that 3rd party costs will increase across the board. 

6. Equality implications

Not applicable

7. Legal comments

Legal advice has been sought 

8. Publication

Information in this form is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act) and other legislation.  Unless the information provided is covered by an exemption and stated to be either confidential or partly confidential, the information contained in the form will be published on the OPCC website.

Comments from the Treasurer

Whilst future demand and costs are uncertain, it is anticipated that by being part of this arrangement Warwickshire will benefit from economies of scale that could not be achieved through any other means.  As the position on costs becomes clearer, this will need to be incorporated into the annual budget setting process, to ensure that adequate provision is made. 

Comments from the Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer

Legal advice has been sought on this agreement, which has been entered into, with an awareness that the Warwickshire Forensics service is delivered through a collaboration arrangement with West Midlands Police