Decision Reference Number: WPC3-0103
Lead Officer: Sara Ansell, Treasurer
Chief Officer approval: n/a
Date: 10th July 2023
This decision notice seeks formal approval for Warwickshire OPCC to commence an independent commissioning process for drug and alcohol services to secure service provision from April 2024 onwards.
I confirm that my register of interests declaration is up to date and that none of my interests preclude me from making this decision.
Signature: Philip Seccombe TD
1. Background information
The current extensions for the two separately commissioned services for adult and younger persons drugs and alcohol substance misuse expire on the 31st March 2024. The original intention had been that future services would be re-commissioned jointly with Warwickshire County Council (WCC), as per decision notice WPCC3-0058. However, WCC have decided to extend their current contracts to April 2025, and delay any new procurement activity, pending further decision making regarding their future service options. The current extension for 2023/24 is the third annual extension of the contracts, and services need to be commissioned for the period April 2024 onwards, to ensure service continuity and to meet current needs and demands, whilst also providing value for money.
This decision seeks formal approval for Warwickshire OPCC to commence and commit funds to an independent commissioning and procurement process for a separate adults and younger persons drugs and alcohol support service for those within the criminal justice system.
A small steering group has been set up, including regional experts, procurement support and OPCC staff to oversee and further the commissioning process, which includes the development of the service specification. The contract period is for 3 years, with an option to extend for a further 2 year period. The funding split allocation and budget are shown later in this decision notice.
The timetable for the intention to tender documents to be published is 21 August 2023. The procurement will be run as two separate lots and will be live until 25 September 2023. The evaluation period will commence shortly after, and the procurement process will continue with final contract award expected later in the Autumn. The mobilisation period for the new contracts is anticipated to run from November to contract commencement in order for new contracts to be in place by April 2024.
2. List of additional information attached as appendices
3. Expected benefits
The achievement of two separate drug and alcohol commissioned services to support adults and younger persons within the criminal justice system, which meets current identified needs. Newly commissioned services should be in place by April 2024, that deliver value for money, high quality services to support those in need in order to meet police and crime plan priorities and reduce crime.
4. Impact of not approving the application
If services are not commissioned, such provision would either not be provided in Warwickshire, or would have to be provided through an annual grant, which may not fully meet identified needs and/or police and crime plan objectives. Value for money may be compromised and any award may not be compliant with legal and procurement legislation.
5. Costs (including any identified savings)
The budget for the two lots will be £240,000 per annum. This is approximately 10% above the current annual budgeted cost. Services were last commissioned in 2018, and costs have remained static during that period, whilst costs have risen more generally. The new budget of £240,000, aims to address this issue in part, whilst tender responses will also be expected to include efficiencies and innovations in service. This budget will create a small cost pressure of approximately £20,000, that will need to be built into the annual budget setting and medium term financial plan setting process.
6. Equality considerations
The commissioning process will provide for the continuation and development of adult and younger persons drug and alcohol services for all people in Warwickshire within the criminal justice system, irrespective of their protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
7. Legal comments
The OPCC will be commissioning these services independently but will be drawing on the expert knowledge and experience of legal and procurement staff, as well as experts knowledge within the field to ensure that a fully compliant process is ran.
8. Social or Environmental considerations
The specification will include a requirement for responses to outline any social value issues, which will be assessed as part of the evaluation process.
Information in this form is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act) and other legislation. Unless the information provided is covered by an exemption and stated to be either confidential or partly confidential, the information contained in the form will be published on the OPCC website.
Comments from the Treasurer
The budgeted costs of the service are broadly in line with the assumed costs in the medium term financial plan from 2024/25 onwards, although the final costs will be dependent on tender responses. Any small cost pressure, will be addressed as part of the 2024/25 budget setting process. The commissioning approach, will provide for an efficient process, and more effective service provision and should ensure value for money is being achieved.
Comments from the Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer
This is an important service for the OPCC to commission, linking back to the Police and Crime Plan priorities. The Decision Notice covers a change in direction as the OPCC will now be commissioning the services by themselves, instead of in a joint arrangement.