Decision Reference Number: WPCC3-0110
Lead Officer: Sara Ansell
Chief Officer approval: N/A
If partially-confidential or non-confidential please detail the FOI exemption applied and specify which parts are confidential: Section 43 (Commercial Interests).
The purpose of this decision is to approve the awarding of two new contracts to provide a criminal justice related adults substance misuse support service and a separate service for younger persons. A full re-commissioning process has been undertaken, including an open and transparent procurement process. New contracts are now due to commence on the 1st April 2024.
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
1. Background information
The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) provides a number of commissioned services many focused on providing support for victims. The PCC currently commissions two separate contracts for criminal justice related substance misuse support for adults and younger persons, however, these contracts which were extended in 2023/24, will cease on the 31st March 2024.
The impact of drug and alcohol misuse is far reaching, affecting the life outcomes of individuals, their family members, and wider communities. The strong links between drug and alcohol misuse, health inequalities and poverty are well evidenced, and drug and alcohol misuse are also significant risk factors for a number of chronic health morbidities, reduced life expectancy, lower quality of life, physical and mental health problems and a range of social and economic issues such as unemployment, homelessness, exposure to criminal activity, violence, and modern slavery. Drug and alcohol misuse has also been associated with cyclical exploitation i.e. exploited individuals recruiting and targeting other vulnerable people.
Due to these complex concerns, and the evidence of national guidance and policies, it is widely acknowledged that drug and alcohol misuse requires preventative measures, interventions and community-level treatment and recovery programmes to be available that address the needs of substance users holistically. Other partners are responsible for commissioning general drugs and alcohol support services that meet individual needs, but the PCC continues to recognise the need for commissioning drug and alcohol services tailored to two distinct groups:
- Adults in the criminal justice system (Lot 1) and,
- Young people involved in, or at risk of becoming involved in, the criminal justice system (Lot 2)
To address this need, the finance and commissioning team at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner have been undertaking a commission process for such services over the last year, and this is now drawing to a close following the evaluation of the bids received from the open procurement process.
This decision notice is supported by the attached evaluation report, which provides further details on the process, the scorings and includes the recommendations to the PCC regarding the contract awards for each service lot.
In summary, following a well-attended market engagement session in July, at which potential bidders learned more about the findings and recommendations of the needs assessment, the outcomes the PCC sought from the commissioned service, along with further details on the planned procurement approach, the tender was launched. Two compliant bids were received for Lot 1 and one compliant bid was received for lot 2. All bids were fully evaluated by a small team in line with the set criteria, on both technical merit and pricing. The evaluation process ensured that the service specification requirements would be adequately met, and that the pricing offered value for money. The confidential evaluation report recommends a preferred bidder to the PCC for each lot, and this report formalises that approval. The preferred bidders are outlined in the confidential supporting documentation, which is subject to procurement legislation and a mandatory standstill period, before contract awards can be made.
The new contracts are due to be in place by the 1st April 2024, and will be awarded for a period of 3 years, with options to extend for a further two, twelve month periods if required. A full evaluation report (confidential) has been provided to the PCC for his consideration to seek approval of the contract award, and this is included with this decision notice as supporting information.
2. List of additional information attached as appendices
- Procurement evaluation report – confidential
- Draft contract award letters – successful and unsuccessful – confidential
3. Expected benefits
The contract will ensure that the specialist drugs and alcohol misuse support services that will be provided to both adults and younger persons who are within or at a danger of becoming involved in the criminal justice system will be maintained and indeed enhanced over the medium term, thus helping to meet a key priority in the Commissioners Police and Crime Plan.
Some key expected benefits from the proposed contract award under lot 1 include an arrest referral worker at each of the justice centres and a further arrest referral worker who will be based in the community, operating from different community venues.
Under lot 2 the recommended provider, there will be two criminal justice workers covering the north and south of the county, who will also work closely with the wider child and young persons drugs and alcohol service, to deliver a more joined up service.
4. Impact of not approving the application
Specialist drugs and alcohol services for those within the criminal justice system would either not be provided, or would have to be provided through alternative means, which may not provide the same value for money or be fit for purpose over the medium term.
5. Costs (including any identified savings)
A total budget of £240,000 was identified to deliver this service annually for services under lot 1 and lot 2. This will be funded by the PCC’s annual revenue budget.
6. Equality considerations
The OPCC will oversee the contract management, and the service will be available to those that requires it. The impact on equality has been taken into account, and no adverse issues have been identified at this stage.
7. Legal comments
A compliant procurement process has been run. Legal advice will be sought for the completion of the contract.
8. Social or Environmental considerations
Social value considerations formed 10% of the tender evaluation process and will form part of the monitoring 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 costs of this contract will be provided for within the annual PCC budget and are included within the Medium term Financial Pan projections. A fully compliant and open procurement exercise has been run, providing assurance regarding value for money and also that the service should meet the requirements of the service specification. Following this process, a recommendation has been made for the two separate contract awards, which is contained within the supporting documentation to this decision notice. The commissioned service should ensure that specialise services are provided, which addressed Police and Crime Plan priorities.
Comments from the Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer
These contracts will provide much needed services in Warwickshire, and in doing so will meet key priorities of the Police and Crime Plan. As this contract was subject to stringent procurement processes it has been designed to enhanced service provision for users and deliver value for money that can be determined through the procurement of a service via an open competitive process.