Reason for the decision:
The Council’s support from Oracle for its E-Business Suite (EBS) expires on 5 April 2021. EBS is used for critical business processes in finance, human resources and procurement, including payroll and accounts payable. Oracle will stop providing its “Premier Support” for the version of EBS the Council uses in December 2021. Should the Council wish to retain this support from Oracle it would have to make a long-term commitment to them and undertake a programme of expensive and disruptive upgrades. Third-party support in terms of service levels is directly comparable to that from Oracle, but significantly lower cost.
Background: Provide brief additional context
Rimini Street is a well-established and proven provider of support for Oracle EBS (including the Local Government sector). Contracting for support from Rimini Street will secure service continuity for the foreseeable future and a significant financial saving. It will also give the Council time to consider its requirements for replacing EBS in the context of its strategic reset and financial constraints if that is necessary.
The Council’s EBS is hosted “on-premise” in the data centre at Sessions House. Arrangements for the close and migration of the data centre are being considered separately and are not affected by the provision of EBS support and vice versa. Third-party support can be provided if EBS is hosted on an Infrastructure-as-a-Services (IaaS) solution for example, without incurring additional cost relative to on-premise.
Options (other options considered but discarded):
Three options were considered. The first and preferred option is to procure third-party support as a direct replacement of the support provided by Oracle. A critical difference to support from Oracle is that it removes the option to upgrade to future versions of EBS without purchasing new licenses from Oracle, but does nonetheless provide the important updates for security, tax regulations etc.
Continuing with Oracle’s Premier Support for an “on-premise” instance beyond December 2021 requires the Council to upgrade to a new version (12.2.8). This is the last significant upgrade of EBS planned by Oracle. This option was discounted because it requires a fundamental and costly change in middleware (the software that lies between the operating system and the applications running on it), with limited opportunity to achieve functional and feature improvement. Ongoing costs will be significantly higher than those for third-party support.
Adopting a new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) alternative to EBS was also considered; often referred to as a “cloud-based solution”. Transition to cloud, even an Oracle Cloud, is a substantial undertaking. The Council would be forced to “adopt” different business processes because SaaS offer little opportunity to “adapt” the software to the way the Council works. Whilst this may be desirable in the longer-term it is considered too disruptive in the near term. The associated implementation costs will run to millions of pounds and the ongoing costs are higher than those for third-party support. Given the context of the Council’s strategic reset and financial constraints this option was rejected but will be revisited as the strategic reset progresses.
Decision Maker: Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services
Decision published: 23/11/2020
Effective from: 01/12/2020
As Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services, I agree to:
· award a contract and the permitted contract term extensions to Rimini Street for the support of the Council’s Oracle E-Business Suite (November 2020 to April 2021);
· delegate authority to the Strategic Commissioner, in consultation with the Deputy Leader
and Cabinet Member for Finance, Corporate and Traded Services, to activate the permitted contract term extensions; and
· delegate authority to the Strategic Commissioner to take other relevant actions, including but not limited to entering in contracts and other legal agreements, as required to implement this decision.
Division affected: (All Division);
Lead officer: Vincent Godfrey
Proposed Decision Updated – 3 November 2020 to include Kent Contract Tracing Service via Agilisys as part of the main decision.
Updated decision wording and details in PROD and Report.
Original content maintained below:
As Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, I agree:
i. To accept the Local authority test and trace service support grant (£6,311,401) under the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DoHSC) terms and conditions. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-authority-test-and-trace-service-support-grant/local-authority-test-and-trace-service-support-grant-conditions;
ii. The funding will be used for expenditure incurred or to be incurred in relation to the mitigation against and management of local outbreaks of COVID-19, including the following categories of work:
2. Enhance local activities
3. Support population level approaches to managing outbreaks
4. Overheads of administering the grant
The provision and related grant funding will be flexibly deployed to be responsive to local outbreaks and need. A funding framework will be used by the Test and Trace Grant Monitoring Group to ensure consistency of decision making and alignment to grant terms, including appropriate funding to allow districts to deliver the relevant activity.
Reason for decision
The government has allocated £6,311,401 to Kent County Council from a new national funding package totalling £300 million. The purpose of the grant is to ‘provide support to local authorities in England towards expenditure lawfully incurred or to be incurred in relation to the mitigation against and management of local outbreaks of COVID-19’.
This funding will be used to support KCC’s statutory obligation to protect and improve the health of the local population as set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012, contribute towards the delivery of the Kent and Medway Local Outbreak Plan (https://www.kent.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/110224/Local-Outbreak-COVID-19-Control-Plan.pdf) and adhere to the DoHSC COVID-19 Contain Framework (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/containing-and-managing-local-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreaks/covid-19-contain-framework-a-guide-for-local-decision-makers#annex-2).
Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)
Strategic outcome - Kent communities feel the benefits of economic growth by being in-work, healthy and enjoying a good quality of life. The planned activity which the decision concerns, will support Kent residents to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. Also, any successful prevention of COVID 19 outbreaks will support local economic growth, social opportunities, and quality of life for Kent residents.
The following options have been considered and discounted:
o Reject the funding - As with any grant there is an option to accept or reject the funding. The funding will support the local response to the COVID 19 pandemic, KCC’s statutory requirements and activity which is planned to or already taking place, therefore it was felt that rejecting the grant would not be in the public’s interest.
o Outsource the management of the grant – The management of the grant could be outsourced either in full or in part to a third party. Outsourcing the management of the grant was discounted to ensure that KCC could closely control and monitor the grant and ensure flexible application to emerging need.
o Allocate all the grant to the district councils - The grant in its totality could be disseminated to the Kent district and borough councils. However, it was felt that this would not support economies of scale, e.g. the development and roll out of a countywide campaign, and therefore this option has been discounted.
Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health
Decision published: 17/11/2020
Effective from: 25/11/2020
As Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, I agree to:
a) ACCEPT the Local Authority Test and Trace Service Support grant (£6,311,400) under the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DoHSC) terms and conditions.
b) ACCEPT the funding from the Contain Outbreak Management Fund (£12,652,440) allocated to Kent by DoHSC.
c) APPOVE the funding framework (see Annex 1 to this decision) for the Local Authority Test and Trace Service Support grant, Contain Outbreak Management Fund and the four categories of spend:
I. Enhance the national response and enable delivery of national policy priorities in relation to the mitigation against and management of local outbreaks of COVID-19.
II. Enhance local activities including those conducted by district and borough councils in the mitigation against and management of local outbreaks of COVID-19.
III. Support population level approaches to mitigate against and manage local outbreaks of COVID-19.
IV. Management and overhead costs of administering the grant including project management, legal and IT software support.
d) APPROVE the contracting of Agilisys for the provision of the local Kent Contact Tracing Service as part of grant spend related to category c) I.
e) DELEGATE authority to the Director of Public Health to take relevant actions, including but not limited to, entering into and finalising the terms of relevant contracts or other legal agreements, as necessary, to implement the decision.
DELEGATE authority to the Director of Public Health, after consultation with the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health and the Corporate Director of Finance, to accept and deploy further Test and Trace Support and associated outbreak management funding if made available by Government, providing the governance arrangements established by this decision may be applied with limited amendment.
Division affected: (All Division);
Lead officer: Vicky Tovey