The Commercial Solicitor in the Company
Hi, I’m Sophie Newbould, a qualified commercial solicitor with significant public procurement experience and ICT contracts expertise. I began working with the Company in early February 2017 as a contractor to support Charles McKay, Chief Operating Officer, and Ben Nelson, Commercial Manager, with the commercial function.
The key challenge presented to me early on was articulating to the Forces and other public bodies the legal status of the Company as a contracting authority under public procurement law. A clear reassurance that the Company is a body governed by public law and all spend on ICT goods and services must comply with the Public Contract Regulations, has helped clarify the Company’s identity amongst the Forces as their credible and legitimate central purchasing arm to procure their common ICT goods and services. The benefit of this position for the Forces is that the Company can buy from the market on a national scale to achieve pricing discounts and value added goods and services that simply is not achievable locally. As a public body under the Regulations, the Company can then pass on those discounts and value added benefits to the Forces without any further procurement process on their part; in other words, the transactions between the Company and individual Forces are exempt from regulation as this is contracting between entities within the public sector (Regulation 12 of the Public Contract Regulations 2015).
The deals I have been advising on include the VMware deal Phase 2 (which brought the total number of Forces benefiting from national consolidation under one call-off to 32), the novation of PentiP from the Home Office, plus the Community Rehabilitation Company contracts for the processing of offender data held on the Police National Computer (where the Company is being paid as service provider).
I feel privileged to be working with this new company in the heat of transition. You can tell that the team is committed and driven to make this vision of our former Home Secretary, and now our Prime Minister, succeed and I am thrilled to be a part of this change in policing technology.
I want my contribution legacy for the Company to relate to commercial risk management transformation within the Company, to reduce exposure against various business risks such as regulatory/legal challenge, reputational damage, commercial leakage and clear decision making/approvals process within the ICT commercial function for policing. A list of activities to support this is now in practice to support the Company’s fast growing profile and success.
– Sophie Newbould, Commercial Lead, Police ICT Company