London council suppliers to ensure business continuity in contracts

14 July 2011

 

 

 

 

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14 July 2011 | Angeline Albert

Business continuity clauses are to be included in contracts between London’s 33 borough councils and its suppliers from now on.

Senior purchasers have been instrumental in developing the clause, which requires suppliers to draw up business continuity plans in an effort to protect councils from any risks their operations may face.

The clause requires suppliers’ plans to meet the councils’ good practice guidelines and include ways of restoring and maintaining the delivery of goods and services in the event of a disruption to their business.

Council purchasing chiefs have worked with business continuity managers and legal teams at the local authorities via the London Heads of Procurement Network since September to shape the clause.

Purchasers and suppliers in the 33 boroughs will shortly receive guidance documentation about the clause. A collaborative audit of the business continuity plans of the boroughs’ suppliers is also being developed.

Michael Lockwood, who is chairman of the London authority panel implementation group and Harrow Council chief executive, has endorsed the deal. He is set to meet with all London borough chief executives to discuss the roll-out of the new clause.

The move was sparked by the fact that many councils use the same suppliers and there is a need for them to comply with the Civil Contingencies Act, which includes minimising threats that could damage their ability to deliver services.

The London Borough of Hounslow’s business contingency officer Matt Innerd, who led the changes and presented the clause details to Lockwood on 6 July, said: “There are a lot of differences between boroughs when it comes to contracts and audits. Some boroughs like Kensington and Chelsea and Greenwich have done a lot of work already and we are keen to harness that good practice to protect against risk. Risks include the Olympics, which will have a big impact on businesses operating in and around London.

"We are carrying out an internal risk assessment for the games to look at alternative ways of working, including stockpiling supplies prior to the event.”

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