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Code of Conduct - the Merlin Standard

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1 Code of Conduct - the Merlin Standard
Lucy Williams and Simon Shimmens

2 AGENDA Commissioning Strategy and the Code of Conduct – DWP perspective Code of Conduct – provider viewpoint Merlin Standard – pilot activity & benefits Ombudsman service – how will it work Shared information – update Future considerations and next steps 2

3 Commissioning Strategy
prime contract model is fundamental to the rollout of future contracts supply chain dynamics require changed behaviours & expectations at every level in pursuing its strategy DWP is mindful of the importance of its stewardship role each major contracting round helps identify issues and challenges 3

4 Prime Contract supply chains
Tier prime contractor Tier 2 subcontractor Tier delivery partner Tier specialist provider DWP 4

5 Code of Conduct – provider view
from lessons learnt review: ‘develop code of conduct assessment process’ - to address the following: code ‘has no teeth’ ombudsman required standard formats required for shared information 5

6 Code of Conduct Values – acting with integrity
Pre-awarding of contract – supply chain set-up Post-awarding of contract – commitments honoured Equality and diversity - policies and promotion TUPE – application and sharing of information DWP undertaking – upholding standards + monitoring and enforcing the Code of Conduct 6

7 Code of Conduct – ‘no teeth’
contractual requirement and expectations are part of contract terms tier 2 (subcontractors) also have status, being formally part of the bid document some non-primes remain nervous and evidence needs to demonstrate positive prime contracting behaviours 7

8 ‘no teeth’ - opportunities
to identify and publish positive behaviours to help establish recognised norms within supply chains for the assessment process to be developed with direct involvement of providers and representative bodies, with ongoing involvement/ownership at the end of the two year pilot 8

9 Why will Merlin pilot help?
flexible pilot – co-regulation with DWP to develop supply chain behaviours smaller provider ‘voice’ will be heard via 360 degree feedback of primes – and of DWP as commissioner ensure compliance with the Code and recognise other standards e.g. star rating focus on sharing best practice will help to raise standards of behavioural norms 9

10 How will Merlin work? assessment visit - duration and fees based on highest tier of operation: self-assessment highlighting best practice assessment visit – independent assessors results and best practice posted on Merlin web portal access to web portal and information services –via annual subscription 10

11 Benefits for providers
web portal will be a valuable ‘shop window’ for the sector : who, where and doing what positive prime behaviours will be more openly advertised, including to DWP smaller providers will directly influence the status of primes and higher tiers – reflecting not least on their track record of supporting and capacity building 11

12 Benefits for providers (cont…)
primes who invest in the development of healthy, high performing supply chains will be openly recognised by their supply chain partners new entrants at every level will find it easier to ‘navigate’ the sector primes requiring additional delivery capacity and expertise will have another communication channel open to them 12

13 Benefits for DWP co-regulation helps to develop the prime contracting model providers at every level influence what is important in supply chain dynamics in line with the Commissioning Strategy DWP is able to step further back from supply chain management DWP receives regular 360 degree feedback on its role as commissioner 13

14 Ombudsman service – why?
lack of trust that primes will honour commitments to work in line with code lack of confidence that DWP is equipped to deal with supply chain disputes DWP may be complicit in supply chain problems that arise so must be separate an independent body can help to establish acceptable and unacceptable behaviour over time 14

15 Ombudsman service - process
providers submit a case if dispute resolution procedures fail administration part of the service will ensure cases meet criteria and have sufficient supporting information panel convened to consider the case and make a judgement result notified to providers and DWP 15

16 Sharing standard information
subcontracting area of DWP website includes a draft standard form for information sharing between providers Merlin pilot activity will help to develop such standard templates to enhance efficiency within procurement rounds The Merlin web portal will progress to provide a range of useful downloads 16

17 Future considerations for Merlin
pilot activity will need to establish what supply chain tiers will require certification against the standard Merlin services must carefully ‘dovetail’ with existing interfaces with providers how will innovation be encouraged over and above the sharing of best practice? 17

18 Future opportunities for Merlin
feedback on the success of the standard plus the requirements of future contracts will mean the standard will need to evolve over time the standard will potentially be able to adapt to co-commissioned contracts – other government departments are already involved 18

19 Next steps: pilot support contract in place to develop and test Merlin services standard information being used for forthcoming contracts Advisory Group of providers and representative groups working with DWP DWP working group to align internal interfaces and help develop co-commissioning opportunities 19

20 Expected outcomes: co-regulation of supply chain behaviours in the future independent ombudsman service in place for future supply chain disputes improved and independent sharing of best practice and key information DWP achieve further development of the Commissioning Strategy in true partnership with providers 20

21 Contact details: Lucy Williams Merlin Pilot Project Manager
Simon Shimmens Merlin Pilot Advisor 21

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