Supporting People

Commissioning

What is Commissioning?

The process of consulting with stakeholders, gathering information on need and supply, identifying gaps in services and reviewing available resources in order to inform decisions on investing, disinvesting and remodelling services to meet housing related support need.

What is Procurement?

The process of identifying the most appropriate organisation to provide a service for an agreed funding package.

What are the options for securing services?

Housing related support services are subject to the requirements of the Public Procurement Regulations 2006, which divide services into so called Part A services(or "priority") services and Part B (or "residual") services. Health and social services are generally categorised as Part B. The Regulations do not require prior advertising or any form of competitive tendering for Part B services. However, commissioning organisations must ensure that they comply with the general EU Treaty principles.

Tender Process

There are a number of decisions that the commissioning organisation will need to make, based on the value and service required.

A Restricted tender procedure has two stages, at the selection stage organisations that express an interest in a tender are issued with a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire to determine suitability to progress to the next stage. Stage two is the award stage, the organisations deemed suitable in stage one that meet the selection criteria are able to submit further details with potential for securing the service.

An Open tender is similar to the restricted procedure expect the selection and award stage are covered together. All potential providers will have the opportunity to submit a bid, all bids (PQQ’s) are evaluated and have potential for securing the service, the successful organisation will be the one with highest scores based upon the evaluation criteria set by the commissioning organisation.

The competitive dialogue procedure was introduced in the 2004 European Procurement Directive, it enables commissioning organisation to initiate a dialogue with selected providers to define a solution to meet the identified need. Once the commissioning organisation feels it’s reached a solution the dialogue is closed and tenders are invited from the providers remaining in the dialogue.

Framework Agreement

A Framework agreement is an overarching agreement with a fixed number of providers, which sets out the broad terms (price and quality) on which the commissioning organisation will purchase services from those providers in the future.

The framework will allow for “flexible and agile commissioning” to quickly secure a service from a range of flexible providers to achieve the required outcomes of service users.

Advantages / disadvantages of A Framework Agreement

The main benefit is continuous improvement within long-term relationships between Supporting People and our Providers. Now that the pre qualification work has been completed the process is much quicker; no need to go through the full OJEU process every time, reducing time and costs of providers and commissioners.

It will allow for best value to be sought with refined requirements, making it much easier for provider to de select from the process.

The terms and conditions of the agreement are already established, so providers already aware of what each party are responsible for.

The main disadvantage is that the Framework limits options for new providers, and secondly being accepted onto the framework does not guarantee any level of work, it is the contract awarded thereafter that secures future services.

The Framework will last for up to 4 years, after which time we may need to go through the process again, dependant upon commissioning decisions that will have been made throughout the time.

Services Secured In Caerphilly

To date we have completed four tender processes, in 2009 we secured Motivational Domestic Services and in 2010, we secured services for Older People, Young and Vulnerable and People with Sensory Impairment. All contracts were to provide floating support services, on a cost volume basis that commenced in November 2010 for a three-year period with an option to extend for 12 months.

In addition service specifications have been updated for floating support services covering vulnerable families, people with mental health issues, ex-offenders, women fleeing domestic abuse and a generic floating support.

Partnership agreements and Service Level agreements have also been produced and finalised for the Mediation Service and Young Mums Project.

Future Commissioning in Caerphilly for SP services

A Framework Agreement has been completed, from which we will be able to secure services for the following service types across both Floating Support and Accommodation Based Services.

  • Women Fleeing Domestic Abuse
  • Men Fleeing Domestic Abuse
  • People With A Learning Disability
  • People With Mental Health
  • People With Alcohol Dependency
  • People With Drug Dependency
  • Refugees With A Support Need
  • People With Physical Disabilities
  • Young And Vulnerable People
  • Ex-Offenders And Those At Risk Of Offending
  • People Who Are Homeless Or Potentially Homeless
  • People With A Chronic Illness
  • Vulnerable Parents Who Require Support
  • Older People
  • People With Dementia
  • Gypsy Travellers
  • Generic Services

Options for securing services from a Framework Agreement

Direct Award

In certain circumstances, services that are identified with a total contract value is less than £10,000 per annum, can be secured directly without the requirement for a further process.

Mini Competition

A Mini Competition is the process of selecting a supplier from those on the framework agreement. The mini competition will be assessed based upon the most economically advantageous tender using an evaluation criteria split of 70% Quality and 30% Price.

Once the evaluation stage is completed, the contract can be awarded, all bidders will be notified of the mini competition outcome and whilst there is no requirement for a standstill period there will be time factored for feedback to unsuccessful bidders.