NPS' unique approach to joint ventures has been nationally acclaimed for its ability to support local authorities in delivering efficiencies and quality services. Negotiations towards a joint venture will involve discussions around which property services the council wishes to transfer to NPS under an exclusive contract. Existing property staff providing these services will transfer into the new company, in accordance with TUPE legislation. New management, together with the provision of central support services ensure efficiencies are quickly introduced. The ability to trade with fewer restrictions in wider markets brings increased business flexibility and better returns. Local Authorities retain a direct influence on the strategic direction of the company through representation on the Board of Directors. This gives the Council a greater degree of involvement than would be possible in a traditional outsourced contractual arrangement. The profits of the company (including those from external clients) are shared with the partner local authority. Through this mechanism we are helping to 'recycle' some of the benefits of trading in the private sector with our public sector partners.
The joint venture model provides for the possibility of neighbouring authorities to join an existing partnership in the future, provided that it would be beneficial for all parties and an amended agreement can be negotiated.
When we create a new joint venture company our aim from the start is to show our staff and clients how much they are valued. This may involve moving to new, dedicated premises as soon as this is affordable within the business plan. A modern office environment with excellent ICT infrastructure helps to reinforce a step change in ethos and morale and promotes the efficient use of space and better ways of working. Becoming part of a national organisation exposes transferred staff to a broader professional environment and a far greater range and scope of service delivery. Motivation and attitude improve and skills are developed within a supportive environment that celebrates continuous learning and professional development. New key performance indicators are set and monitored, with stretching targets for continuous improvement.
Sustainable environmental impact
Keeping services local reduces the length and frequency of road journeys, thereby lowering the environmental impact of the services we provide. Management of the partner authority's property estate benefits from the best practice principles we introduce from the commercial sector. Sustainable approaches underpin all our services, and we provide industry leading expertise in this field.
Better service delivery
Our joint venture companies provide a comprehensive range of professional property services to meet the needs of local authority partners. We are able to draw upon expertise from within the whole of the NPS Group, so customers can receive a greater range of services in-house. The resources of the Group are also available to ensure reliable service delivery through any peaks and troughs in demand. We invest heavily in technology and training, leading to a more flexible and higher quality service.
Better value for money
All of the commercial risk in establishing the joint venture company is taken by NPS. We also provide the capital for investment in service improvements. Financial independence allows the company to borrow for investment, and enables more effective cash management. Our programme of continuous improvement seeks to strip out inefficiencies and unnecessary overheads and provides real benefit from economies of scale. Access to new markets through local contacts and the Group business development network generates profits that are shared with the Council.
The unique features of the NPS joint venture model means that the OJEU procurement rules do not apply, provided that best value can be demonstrated. This represents a significant saving in time and money compared to a traditional outsourcing procurement.