Issue details

24/00017 - Highways & Transportation Professional Services Framework

Proposed decision:


For the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport to:


APPROVE the procurement and contract award f a zero value Professional Services framework contract


DELEGATE authority to the Director of Highways and Transportation, to take relevant actions to facilitate the required procurement activity.


DELEGATE authority to the Director of Highways and Transportation, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, to take relevant actions, including but not limited to, awarding, finalising the terms of and entering into the relevant contracts or other legal agreements, as necessary, to implement the decision.

Delegate authority to the Director of Highways and Transportation, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, to award extensions of contracts for commissioned services in accordance with the extension clauses within the contract (4 years + 2 year extension).


Further Information:


Highways & Transportation (H&T) have a duty to ensure the effective discharge of the Council’s statutory duties and powers as Local Transport and Highway Authority, including the duty of care to help ensure safe passage for all road users. Our focus is on improving lives by ensuring every pound spent in Kent is delivering better outcomes for Kent’s residents, communities and businesses.


To deliver its duties to the community, H&T requires a professional engineering consultancy services contract. Kent needs a flexible, resilient mechanism to seamlessly access a source of multidisciplinary technical expertise to guarantee the effective, efficient and  timely delivery of projects including  schemes, for the fulfilment of H&T’s statutory duties as the Highway Authority.



This framework is a multi-supplier (2 to 3 suppliers), multi-disciplinary contract for Professional Services of zero guaranteed value, although it is estimated that circa £6m of Professional Services will be commissioned through these arrangements per annum over a maximum period of 6-year period (4 years +2). 


Do nothing.

We have ruled out the option of using other external frameworks from other Local Authorities, CCS, and Central Purchasing organisations such as ESPO as this poses a great risk to the Council as we will have no commercial input to their terms and conditions or their approach. Value for money is not guaranteed. The Council have no formal means to address poor performance, there are too many suppliers on these frameworks (the market indicates it is too much competition).

There is no incentive to build long-term professional relationships with KCC.


The Professional Services Contract has been included in the following current plans:


·   Highways & Transportation, Divisional Operating Plan 2024-25

·   Growth Environment and Transport Directorate Business Plan



This contract also contributes to H&T’s priorities, objectives and outcomes that are informed byKCC’s Framing Kent's Future and Securing Kent’s Future.


This framework will support these by ensuring.


  • Customer satisfaction by providing ‘the right services in the right way for the right people’ via commissioning the right consultants to deliver quality services in a timely and efficient manner.


  • Maximising lifespan and minimising lifecycle costs of the highway and its assets. Improving maintainability by embedding asset management principles into everything we do by ensuring that designs and advice is future proofed by looking at alternative materials and technology.


  • Cost effective statutory and discretionary services by commissioning well and being commercially astute via effective collaboration with our consultants to foster good relationships and empower them to deliver good quality services and value for money.


  • Growth and economic prosperity through efficient highway and transport infrastructure by ensuring that designs and advice are innovative and forward thinking.


  • Maximise inward investment into Kent by encouraging the use of SME’s in the supply chain and utilising the wider consultants' skills to identify greater investment potential within Kent.


  • Retaining a safe, healthy and motivated workforce with high levels of job satisfaction (creating ‘more good days at work’) by forward planning to help manage resources effectively, encouraging creativity and innovation to motivate all stakeholders to create safer designs for all.



Financial Implications:


There are no financial risks to the Council from developing this zero-value framework, as the Council is only required to pay for consultancy services as they are commissioned. 


The anticipated expenditure over the initial 4-year period may be in the region of £27,000,000, this is based on the historic spend of £6,750,00 per annum through the current framework. Should the extension period of 2 years be taken (6-year total), we estimate the expenditure to be in the region of £40,500,000.


It is anticipated that a 70% of requirements commissioned through this Zero value framework will be funded externally, 50% of these include specialist design and planning works relating to Major Capital projects, covered by Central government funding award to deliver a particular scheme (such as Levelling up Fund and Housing infrastructure) in addition to these we receive external funding from a variety of other sources (this will be detailed in the cabinet committee report).


The remaining 30% of the services commissioned through the framework relates to core business, some of which is also externally funded, that directly support the delivery of KCC statutory obligations such as The Highways Act 1980, Well managed Highways, and the Road Tunnel Safety Regulations 2007 via specialist support with inspections and maintenance of KCC managed structures and Tunnels; as well as specialist advice  commissioned with respect to Flood management and flood investigations.


In establishing the zero-value framework contract, Kent County Council does not commit in any way to awarding any volume or value of works to the appointed suppliers. This will allow flexibility where services required are likely to be affected by KCC budgetary pressures and uncertainty around internal and external funding.




Decision type: Key

Decision status: For Determination

Notice of proposed decision first published: 27/02/2024

Anticipated restriction: Part exempt  -

Decision due: Not before 27th Mar 2024 by Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport
Reason: To allow 28 day notice period required under Exeuctive Decision regulations

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport

Lead director: Haroona Chughtai

Department: Growth, Environment & Transport

Contact: Tim Read, Head of Highway Transport Email: or 03000 411652 Email:


The proposed decision will be considered at the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee on 7th March 2024.


Financial implications: Please see detail above

Legal implications: Kent County Council is the statutory authority responsible for the delivery of a Highways service for the residents of Kent (excluding Medway). A key requirement as a highway authority is to “plan and improve our highway network to help the Kent economy grow and to ensure that it is as safe and efficient as possible.” To achieve these aims, Highways and Transportation require access to specialist technical engineering expert advice and services.

Equalities implications: Equalities implications – an EqIA for has been completed.