Kent County Council starts procurement process for highways professional services

Kent County Council is planning a Procurement process to put in place a new Framework to deliver Professional Services.

Prior to the commencement of the procurement process, the council has said it wishes to engage with key stakeholders to gather information to help shape its procurement strategy.

Kent County Council wishes to secure the services of suppliers for the provision of a multi-disciplinary consultancy service relating to highways, engineering, transportation, planning and environment, surveys and investigations and commercial services.

These services support the council with engineering expertise to plan and design new highway infrastructure, including assessment of structural assets or specialist advice.

The required core services fall within five main areas:
• Highways and Engineering
• Transportation services
• Strategy Planning and Enforcement
• Surveys and Investigations
• Commercial Services

As the first stage of its Market Engagement activity, interested organisations are invited to complete a Market Engagement questionnaire. This will be used to gather information, and build on Kent’s existing market intelligence to shape its procurement strategy.

All responses to this questionnaire should be submitted via the Kent Business Portal, no later than 4pm on Friday 13th October 2023. All questionnaire responses will be treated as ‘commercial in confidence’.

Please note that participation (or non-participation) in this engagement will confer no advantage or disadvantage during the formal procurement process. Participation in this Market Engagement exercise is not a pre-requisite to participate during the procurement stage.

Following the questionnaire stage, the Council intends to invite a selection of suppliers to participate in Market Engagement Discussions. If there is considerable interested in attending Market Engagement sessions, the Council may need to select a limited number of suppliers to participate based on question responses, to ensure that a good mix of organisations are represented.

The Council intends to hold initial Market Engagement Sessions on an individual basis, via Microsoft Teams, to allow participants to give detailed feedback. This will include a panel of the County Council’s officers from the Commercial and Highways Teams. These discussions will encourage an exchange of views that will inform and shape the development of the new Framework. Should further feedback be required, the Council will consider an additional round of discussions, to be held in person at the Council’s Offices.

Organisations not selected to participate in these discussions will be at no disadvantage during the procurement phase. The authority is committed to conducting this process in a manner where all interested parties are treated with fairness and on an equal basis; every effort will be made to preserve a ‘level playing field’ during the subsequent procurement process. The council will publish a summary of findings from all market engagement activity on the Kent Business Portal at the end of this process and will do so in such a way that does not identify any of the contributing parties. This will be made available to all organisations who express an interest in the upcoming procurement exercise.

Details of Market Engagement sessions will be shared with selected suppliers via the Kent Business Portal in due course. Initial sessions are expected to take place w/c 30th October 2023 and w/c 6th November 2023 (via Microsoft Teams).

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