Invitation for applications to provide a 'Policy and Employment Support Service to Independent Producers'

13 November 2009

Invitation for applications to provide a 'Policy and Employment Support Service to Independent Producers' (PDF)

Question and Response

Question 1:The Invitation to Tender (paragraph 1.6.3) notes the requirement to present 'Written evidence of support for the applicant so that the body is able to be representative of all production companies'.

a) Do we need to present evidence of support from all of the production companies?

b) Does the written evidence need to say that they are happy that we represent that company?

Response 1:a) S4C has noted clearly in paragraph 1.3 that it expects the successful applicant to 'provide a service that is representative for all production companies'. The assessment criteria for awarding the contract include an assessment of the ability of the proposed service to be a 'Representative service for the production companies commissioned by S4C'. Applicants are encouraged to try to ensure the support of all production companies.

b) Production companies need to confirm their support for the applicant, and note their satisfaction of the applicant's ability to meet their own and S4C's requirements for such a service.

Question 2:We note that a total of 47 companies are currently listed as TAC members. Can you please provide an estimate of the number of independent production companies involved with the service and the total number of employees? Are you able to give an estimate of the number of contractors/contributors employed by the independent production companies?

Response 2:The number of production companies that are commissioned by S4C annually is around 34. Some of these are group companies. The actual number of companies varies on an annual basis but the total has been relatively consistent since 2002. The companies supplying S4C with content can be members of TAC and/or PACT.

Additional data and information relating to the sector - the creative sector in Wales and the companies supplying S4C - is available via the following links.

Question 3:The tender does not touch on contentious matters. Can you please confirm whether the service will include legal representation?

Response 3:It is intended that the service provides a pro active framework supporting and advising the sector in their activities - including setting up and supporting dispute resolution procedures. However it is not intended that any legal costs associated with such a procedure is included in this contract. Such costs would be a matter for each individual production company.

Question 4:If a new applicant is awarded the tender, will they have any right in a new service to use materials currently provided by TAC under their current contract? If so, what arrangements will apply to enable a new contractor to access these materials.

Response 4:The talent union agreements have recently been re negotiated to take into consideration the cessation of the analogue service in Wales. The new rights regimes will be reflected in these agreements.

If a new applicant is awarded the contract arrangements will need to be confirmed for the continuing administration of the contract with the unions. We would also consider the requirement for a transition period to facilitate the transfer of arrangements and responsibilities.

Question 5:Can you please confirm that the production companies will be able to show support for more than one applicant?

Response 5:It has already been noted that applicants should try and ensure the support of all production companies. We have not assumed that the support would be exclusive to one applicant. However, we have assumed that the companies would offer their support only in situations where they are satisfied of the applicant ability to meet their own and S4C's requirements for such a service.

Question 6:For due diligence purposes, please give details of the present service provider's personnel, including number of staff, age, date of commencement of employment, number of years of continuous employment, salary and other benefits, notice periods and other relevant terms.

Response 6:The current contract expires on the 31/12/2009. The service provision being tendered differs in scope, and the contract is considerably lower in value.

As noted in section 3.9 of the tender document, the question of whether TUPE is applicable or not is a legal matter, and applicants will have to consider and seek their own advice. For information only, we understand that a total of three full time members of staff are employed by the organisation.

All applicants should note all assumptions made in relation to costs of any staff transferring, so that S4C are clear about the basis of the bid. We retain the right to contact any applicant with questions that we may have associated with such information / notes.

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