KPMG health contract - is this the DH "open tender"?

I posted a separate article “Department of Health coyness over KPMG “open tender” contract.

This is the document the Department emailed to me after a month of my asking questions about whether the KPMG contract was awarded after an open tender.

The document (below) appeared to have beenmodified. It’s informative – but it doesn’t resemble an open tender document under EC tendering rules.

An EC contract notice usually includes:

– The title attributed to the contract by the contracting authority – eg an “Automatic identification and data capture/instrument track and trace solution for trusts.”

– The type of contract and location of works, place of delivery or of performance

– The main site or location of works

– What the notice involves, for example the establishment of a framework agreement.

– The estimated value excluding VAT

– A short description of the contract or purchase(s)

– Whether the contract is covered by the Government Procurement Agreement

– Whether it is divided into lots
– Whether variants will be accepted

– The award criteria

– The  time limit for receipt of tenders or requests to participate:

Instead of this, the “tender” document from the Department, as emailed to me, said: 


1.1    The specification covers four pieces of work which are described in more detail below:

1.2    Vision: A “thinkpiece” on the vision for the services that could be brought together from NHS Direct and NHS Choices which would comprise a national offer for the public on services that can be delivered through a range of digital channels. This work does not need to cover a vision for services for NHS staff but it does need to be aware of this work, which is led by Colin Douglas, Director of NHS Communications.. The vision needs to cover two areas:

a)    National offer to the public. The vision needs to describe what services the national offer to the public should comprise. Many services are most appropriately delivered locally but the national offer will provide a consistent offer applicable across the country. The national offer must be capable of being tailored to meet local circumstances and responding to local circumstances. PCTs will of course be able to offer additional locally appropriate services.

The vision will need to consider what services should be delivered nationally for a variety of reasons (economies of scale and scope, the need for nationally consistent and/or comparable information etc). There is a wide range of potential services including personalised and general health information, tracking and feedback information, booking and follow-up services.

It will need to examine multiple digital channels (web, telephony, kiosks, digital TV and radio etc) and thus consider the implications of various existing policy initiatives, such as the 3 digit number project. The work will also need to link with the DH work on the Transformational Government programme and consider the wider branding issues.

b)    Support in building capacity and capability in PCTs on engagement and experience using digital technologies. The vision also needs to address how these services will support the work of the local NHS in engaging with the public, which will require supporting PCTs in developing their capacity and capability in delivering WCC Competency 3. It needs to describe how SHAs and PCTs will shape and steer what support looks like and how it is provided, including working with local statutory and voluntary partners and the respective roles of national/regional “in-house” teams alongside the private and third sector in providing expertise and experience under contract to the NHS.

The vision needs to be completed and signed off so that it can be presented to the NHS Management Board in July.

1.3    Organisational form: A set of options for the organisational form that is most appropriate to deliver the two elements of the vision set out above. The key principles are that it can demonstrate value-for-money by maximising economies of scope and scale but is responsive to local situations by developing a customer relationship with the local NHS. Once initial options have been scoped, the provider will agree the way forward with the Department of Health and key SHA representatives to inform the specific proposal for the NHS Management Board in July.

1.4    Due diligence: the provider will undertake due diligence of the two current key providers of national digital services – NHS Choices and NHS Direct. The due diligence work will provide an opinion on the financial and organisational capacity and capability to provide the services as described in the vision and will provide the basis on which the necessary legal, financial and organisational changes can be implemented to deliver the decision made at the NHS Management Board in July. The Department will work with the successful contractor on the detail of the financial parameters and assumptions on which this work will be based. This work needs to be completed and signed off by the end of July 2009.

1.5    A transition plan and timetable: produced in close collaboration with DH and other relevant parties which will set out the key milestones and dependencies by which the new organisational form will become operational. This also needs to be completed and signed off by the end of July 2009.


2.1    The Department will:

•    appoint a project manager to co-ordinate the review from a Departmental position;
•    engage SHAs as required during the review
•    be responsible for agreeing the results of the review and linking with the Digital Strategy Steering Group, SHA Directors of Communication and the Commissioning and System Management Executive Group and for presenting the conclusions to the NHS Management Board.

2.2     The contractor will:

•    appoint a project manager to co-ordinate the work and liaise with the Department’s project manager;
•    attend meetings with the Department of Health as and when required;
•    appoint staff with appropriate skills and experience to deliver the contract’s aims;
•    provide the key outputs of the review as described above.
•    provide a report on progress to the Project Manager on a regular basis, at least fortnightly. This report shall include cumulative costs and forecast progress against the timescales set out in section 5 ( or revisions to those timescales as they occur);
•    Present the findings to the DH and NHS as required.


3.1    The key performance indicators for this Contract shall include, as a minimum:

•    accessibility and availability of resource – response to request for information / contribution normally within 2 working days;
•    Ensure delivery of the contract to agreed timescales, budget and to the satisfaction of the DH Project Manager;


4.1    Key milestone dates:

•    27th April – tender issued
•    1st May 2009 – proposals received
•    6th May 2009 – contract agreed
•    mid June – first draft paper for NHSMB completed
•    15th July 2009 – proposals on services and organisational form presented to the NHS Management Board
•    31st July 2009 – Due diligence and Transition Plan completed and agreed


5.1    The Contractor shall in performing the Contract comply with the Authority’s obligations under Section 71(1) of the Race Relations Act 1976 (as amended) as if the Contractor were a body to which the provisions of section 71(1) applies.

5.2    The Contractor shall monitor the representation of different racial groups among its employees having regard to the Authority’s procedures for monitoring representation among its own employees.


6.1    All Contractor expenses will be paid in accordance with Department of Health guidelines. Overnight stays will need to be authorised before the event, by the Project Manager.


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