Met Opens Up Key Services To Market Testing
The Metropolitan Police is opening up £500m annual worth of key services – including criminal justice, forensic healthcare provision in custody and logistical services – to market-testing to see if the private sector can deliver better value for taxpayers.
The Met has to cut costs by 20% and has a plan to find significant savings by 2016. As part of plans to ensure we deliver the best possible value, the Met is going out to the market to bench-mark their own in-house services against the best the private sector can offer.
The market-testing plans recognise that there is an “irreducible core” of policing services which must continue to be delivered by the Metropolitan Police Service, such as patrolling, emergency response and investigations.
Beyond this there are areas which we believes could be delivered through re-tendering and additional outsourcing and this process will determine if doing so would improve the service and value we can give Londoners.
As part of its commercial strategy we will be inviting bids from businesses to compete with those from our own in-house teams on efficiency and value for money, in areas not previously outsourced.
They are looking at the scope for the following services to be delivered externally, amongst others:
* Finance, such as expenses management and reporting
* Human Resources, such as “hire-to-retire” and payroll
* Procurement, such as the “purchase-to-pay” system used for ordering items including uniform
* Catering Services such as detainee feeding
* Logistical Services such as stores and distribution
* Language Services
* Criminal Justice Services
* Forensic Healthcare provision in Custody
They are also retendering existing contracts in:
* Information Technology
* Facilities Management
* Transport and Fleet Services
Following the market engagement exercise undertaken in the spring of 2013 and the helpful input from the market, we aim to be in a position to begin market testing next year, looking to place any subsequent contracts from 2015 onwards.
The total value of the retendered services and those being market-tested for the first time is in the region of £500m per annum.
Deputy Commissioner, Craig Mackey, said: “We’ve already promised to maintain officer numbers and we know people want to see more of us on the street. The more money we can save and more efficient we can get, the more officers we can devote to frontline policing.
“We’re trusted to provide the best value for money service. If there is an opportunity to improve how we work or cut costs, without making the thin blue line thinner, we want to explore it.”
“The process will assess quality and value and not just seek to cut costs and we expect the great people in our existing in-house teams to be able to demonstrate the value and quality they already deliver.
“Indeed, we’ve already done this in Forensic Services and found our own team were better value than what the market could offer.
“Nevertheless, its important that other areas are tested against the market to ensure we continue to offer the best value we possibly.”
Stephen Greenhalgh, Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, said: “Competitive tendering of support services is part of our plans to drive down costs so we can keep police numbers high and ensure frontline officers have the best possible support. Competition is an important process to drive up performance and help us cut out waste, so we can be as lean as possible and put more resources into frontline policing.
“Core policing roles are not being outsourced but we are asking the private sector to show the Met where they could come in and provide better police support services at a lower cost.”