The Centre has seven inter-related workstreams plus the work of the central unit. Within this framework are contained specific projects and tasks which are designed to achieve the centres strategic objectives. Details can be found by clicking on the links below:
Over all programme management is done by the Director of the Centre and his Unit, using PRINCE2 project management methodology at the appropriate level.
Leadership and Membership of Workstreams
Councils and others who wish to lead on workstreams or on individual project are putting forward bids of no more than five pages.
The format is as follows:
These should support the strategic objectives set out in the business plan and should be measurable.
This should describe how the project(s) will be organised and project-managed and who will be involved. It is important we get regional cooperation. Involvement of the private sector and relevant agencies e.g. OGC should be covered. It is expected that a practical version of Prince2 will be used for project management and will form the basis for the reporting requirements to the Management Board via the Director.
These should generally be products or outcomes rather than processes. There should be a direct link between deliverables and objectives and there should be dates for each deliverable.
This will describe the plan for implementation across the region and for dissemination nationally. It may include product packaging.
This will describe the links with other workstreams with national projects/activities and other initiatives/best practice. This will serve to avoid duplication and to build on best practice.
This will quantify over time the resources required - staff time, consultancy, etc. It will specify the call on central funds and will quantify the matched funding and its sources. It will describe how the work will build upon existing work and how extra value will be added by the bid. It will also summarise the business case for the investment.
This will identify the main risks and the actions to be taken to mitigate.
This will specify things which are not included which might "reasonably" be expected to be included.
This is the technology workstream. It will draw heavily on the previous work of the National e-Procurement Project and that of the North West e-Government Group (NWeGG).
It will provide technology solutions, advice and guidance to other workstreams and to Councils generally on e-procurement focusing on the specific project areas.
For updates and further information please contact Shelley Timpson at the centre.
A discussion forum can be found at http://www.esd.org.uk/forums/viewforum.php?f=151
This workstream will promote and make available best practice. It will assemble and create standard processes and templates, how to guides, terms and conditions and model contracts. All these things will be available on or via the centre's website.
The workstream will prioritise work in order to support implementation of the National Procurement Strategy.
Target delivery dates - a programme will be designed.
Framework Agreements Workstream
This will concentrate on producing appropriate contractual arrangements which will be available to all members and which will produce cost savings.
The contracts so produced will be accessible via the technology assembled in the e-procurement workstream. They will be based on the best of existing contracts, contracts which other public organisations have made available under concordat arrangements and from new contracts based on aggregated demand.
Although some areas have been selected for quick wins - telecommunications, office supplies, work wear, temporary labour and hotels and travel - there will need to be an assessment of spending across the region in order to determine the most effective programme of work.
Lead Councils will award contracts on behalf of CoPE members as is done now in the various purchasing consortia. Members will need to pre-commit to such contracts and exercise a local control over spending.
Target delivery dates are:
Corporate/Collaborative Services Workstream
This will help identify opportunities for joint service provision and will oversee the implementation of such services. It will draw heavily on the work of the Strategic Partnering Taskforce and on the experience of existing arrangements, both services shared between authorities and those delivered by private sector partners.
Exemplar projects will be developed to build on both these models and to open them up to other members.
Target delivery dates are:
Health and Social Care Workstream
This will investigate the needs of the Social Care market place and identify opportunities for market/supplier development, collaborative procurement and workforce development/procurement of labour. In this latter respect it will work closely with the Capacity Building workstream and the Regional Implementation team of the Pay and Workforce Strategy for Local Government.
An initial project will be the development, implementation and roll out of a joint commissioning, contracting and accreditation service for out of authority placements of children. This will initially be based on the Greater Manchester authorities before being open to other members.
Target delivery dates are:
This workstream will be based on the work and networks of the Centre for Construction Innovation North West and Constructing Excellence in the North West. It will work to introduce and implement best practice procurement in accordance with the OGC Procurement Guidelines/Achieving Excellence in Construction/Rethinking Construction Principles etc.
Target deliverables are:
Local Economies Workstream
This will consider issues related to the development of local economies at a regional, sub-regional and local level. It will provide assistance to local decision-making in assessing the impact down the supply chain of purchasing decisions. It will make recommendations regarding the use of the voluntary and community sector and the way in which SMEs are engaged with the Centre and with e-procurement in general.
It will work closely with the NWDA in raising awareness, skills and fitness for doing business with the public sector.
Target deliverables are
Director and Central Unit
This is a small unit comprising the Director, Assistant Director, Efficiency Delivery Manager and Support Team. The Director will be an advocate for the centre and its work. He will manage the overall programme using Prince2 principles and will report to the Management Board. He will establish baseline data and management information systems. In doing this call-off contractual arrangements will be made for spending assessments to be carried out by consultancies to an agreed and basic specification. He will establish a communications strategy, produce a regular newsletter and set up and manage a web site. The Director will liaise with external agencies - ODPM, OGC, Audit Commission, IDeA, 4Ps, with other Regional Centres and with other public bodies e.g. Health Service, establishing concordats with the latter.
The Director will contribute to the workstreams encouraging coordination, direction and speed of travel. He will ensure that Councils are taking the necessary action to achieve the milestones in the National Procurement Strategy.