Issue details

23/00054 - Capital Drainage Framework

Proposed decision

To agree the Capital Drainage Framework for a maximum of four years; and


provide the Corporate Director of Growth, Environment and Transport delegated authority to procure and enter into appropriate contractual arrangements for the provision of capital drainage works or other legal agreements, as necessary to implement the decision.


Reason for the decision

The Capital Drainage Framework expired at the end of December 2022. Commissioned contracts through this framework are nearing their end. Due to the capital budget allocation for drainage works, there is still a requirement to procure a replacement framework to deliver this programme.


This framework will commence in the summer of 2023 and will continue for a maximum of four years. There is no workload guarantee in the framework agreement, so if future budget allocation reduce, there is no ongoing contractual obligation for the authority.



Commencing in the financial year of 2020/21, KCC Highways drainage team were allocated additional capital funding to start to address the prevailing backlog of drainage schemes. To ensure the programme was delivered, KCC procured a multi-contractor framework to supplement its Highway Term Maintenance Contract during this period.


This framework expired in December 2022 with the outstanding call off contracts, which were commissioned before this date, soon due to expire. The future works programme requires a replacement framework.


The works undertaken under this framework are deemed to be low risk and generally include but are not limited to the following activities:


• Scheme works which may include new surface water drainage systems, including drains, pipe work, culverts, pumping stations, and/or new SUDS retro fit features, manholes/Catchpits, soakaways, gullies, improvement works to ponds and lagoons, etc.

• Routine maintenance, such as ironworks, ditching and siding, etc.

• Replace or repair damaged assets which may include broken pipes, deep bore of existing soakaways, broken covers, manholes, gullies, brickwork including headwalls, damaged culverts, etc.

• General Reinstatement works including carriageway repairs.


The new framework is required to be operational by the summer of 2023 to meet the planned schedule of forthcoming drainage work.


Options (other options considered but discarded)

Option 1 – Do Nothing

Allow for the outstanding contracts to lapse. The Authority would not be able to deliver the planned programme of work. This presents unacceptable operational, financial and reputational risk. Discounted.


Option 2 – Extension of current framework

There are no available contract extensions permissible in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. Discounted.


Option 3 – Procure a replacement framework appointing three suppliers.

Set up an new framework following a PCR 2015-compliant tender exercise and recognising the anticipated volume and scale of drainage improvements. Preferred Option.


Option 4 – Deliver in-house

The Authority does not have the internal resources (people, plant and facilities) to deliver this type of work in-house. The implementation cost and schedule would not be economically advantageous to meet the planned programme of work. Discounted.


How the proposed decision supports Framing Kent’s Future 2022-2026

Priority 2: Infrastructure for communities


This framework will support the delivery of maintaining, repairing, and installing drainage assets on the Kent highway network to a safe standard which in turn impacts on Kent residents’ accessibility to employment, education, health provision and leisure opportunities.


Data Protection implications

The initial screening identified that a Data Projection Impact Assessment will not be necessary as no personal data is collected for this commission.

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: (All Division);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 16/05/2023

Decision due: Not before 14th Jun 2023 by Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport

Department: Growth, Environment & Transport

Financial implications: See above.

Legal implications: Under the Highways Act 1980, as the local Highway Authority, KCC has a legal duty to maintain its respective sections of the highway network under section 41. This includes responsibility for maintaining, managing and, where necessary, improving their section of the network. The award of any contracts will be in full compliance with all relevant procurement and governance regulations. Legal advice in consultation with the Office of General Counsel has been commissioned to review the framework procedures and the terms and conditions that will govern future schemes.

Equalities implications: An Equalities Impact Assessment has been carried out and no implications have been identified at this early stage. This will be continually reviewed as required. Individual schemes EqIA’s will be completed separately as required.