Austerity and the need to reduce costs, whilst continuing to deliver services and meet statutory duties, has resulted in the public sector entering into a variety of alternative service delivery models. These include outsourcing arrangements, shared services and joint ventures.
These contractual arrangements are often complex, reflecting the nature of the services that are required to be provided and the regulatory frameworks in which they operate.
We can assist you to improve your management of complex contractual arrangements with your partner organisations, and develop better ways of utilising the contractual rights and mechanisms available to you. This will help you to manage performance issues and payments more effectively and efficiently.
But what happens if the relationship has broken down or the partner is failing to deliver? Our experienced team can advise you on your next steps: contract improvement, renegotiation of contract terms, dispute resolution, termination options, and exit arrangements.
- Five of our local authority clients have jointly been experiencing performance issues with a national external supplier of ICT services. We are working with these authorities to assist them in resolving the issues, the need for a material variation in risk profile and consideration of partial termination and exit arrangements.
- A large local authority client is experiencing performance issues with various services that are currently outsourced, including HR, finance, regulatory and development services. We are supporting the authority in exercising its contractual rights and implementing enforcement action; advising on the settlement of multi-million pound disputes; dealing with the outcome of a fraud; and considering options for partial and full termination including exit issues, termination liabilities and related operational issues.
- Two public bodies which have shared a strategic alliance for many years (sharing approximately 90% of their services) are seeking to dissolve the alliance and terminate the arrangements. We are supporting one of the partners in negotiating the exit arrangements and ensuring continuity of services, and their potential rights to recover the costs associated with termination.
- We have been advising an NHS Trust on the novation of a large outsourcing contract covering a range of services including IT, estates, financial services and catering, and the settlement of numerous discrete claims arising under the contract relating to performance issues.
- An NHS Trust has required the termination and dissolution of a public health contract, in which it was providing services as a sub-contractor under back-to-back contractual arrangements commissioned by a local authority. We represented the Trust in the associated dispute with the main contractor involving performance issues, KPI failures and disagreement over the payment mechanism. We also provided support in the negotiations relating to an alternative provider taking over the services.
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