{meta} Decision - Request for Approval - Exception to Contractual Standing Orders - Strategic Development of VCSE Sector through Engagement, Support & Influence and Promoting Volunteering - Sandra Derbyshire

Decision details

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Decision:

Salford City Council - Record of Decision

 

I Paul Dennett, City Mayor, in exercise of the powers contained within the Council Constitution do hereby approve an exception to Contractual Standing Orders as permitted within the City Council Constitution for the reasons) highlighted in the table below and the award of the Contract as detailed in the table below:

 

Detail required

Answers

Title/Description of Contracted Service/Supply/Project

Strategic Development of the VCSE sector through engagement, support and influence and promoting volunteering in Salford

Name of Successful Contractor

Salford Community and Voluntary Sector (SCVS)

Supplier Registration Number

(to be supplied by Corporate Procurement)

Type of organisation

(to be supplied by Corporate Procurement)

Charitable Trust

Status of Organisation

(to be supplied by Corporate Procurement)

SME

Contract Value (£)

£          265,568 per annum

Contract Duration

36 months

Contract Start Date

01/04/2022

Contract End Date

31/03/2025

Optional Extension Period 1

24 months 1 April 2025 to 31 March 2027

Optional Extension Period 2

months

Who will approve each Extension Period?

Procurement Board (extension > £150k)

Contact Officer (Name & number)

Sandra Derbyshire 0161 793 2570

Lead Service Group

Place

Reason for CSO Exception: The goods / services / works are only obtainable from one provider and there is no other provider available to allow genuine competition

Tick if it applies x

Reason for CSO Exception: The execution of works or the supply of goods or services is controlled by a statutory body

Tick if it applies

Reason for CSO Exception: Delivers Best Value to the Council

Tick if it applies x

Reason for CSO Exception: Special education, health or social care contracts, if it is considered in the Council’s best interests and to meet the Council’s obligations under relevant legislation

Tick if it applies

Reason for CSO Exception: The execution of works or the supply of goods and services is required so urgently as not to permit compliance with the requirements of competition

Tick if it applies

Reason for CSO Exception: Security works where the publication of documents or details in the tendering process could prejudice the security of SCC and Salford residents

Tick if it applies

Reason for CSO Exception: Procurements made through, or on behalf of, any consortium, local authority, statutory or similar body, provided that tenders or quotations are invited and contracts placed in accordance with national or EU legislation.

Tick if it applies

Funding Source

Revenue Budget

Ethical Contractor (EC): Mayor’s Employment Charter

x

 

EC: Committed to sign up to the Charter

x

EC: Accredited Living Wage Employer

x

 

 

The reasons are the conclusions of a light touch review as described in the report were that as the current provider of these services continues to provide value for money, deliver all outcomes and delivers significant added value in relation to the contract

 

Options considered and rejected were

Putting out for competitive tender, Insourcing

 

Assessment of risk low

 

The source of funding is from a range of sources – Adults Integrated Fund £39,811, Children’s Integrated Fund £22,489, People Children’s revenue budget £31,706 and Place revenue budget £171,562

 

Legal advice obtained Tony Hatton

 

When commissioning contracts for the provision of goods, services or the execution of works, the Council must comply with the provisions of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 (PCR) and its own Contractual Standing Orders (CSO’s) as set out in the Constitution, failing which the award of a contract may be subject to legal challenge.

 

It is an established principle that an existing public contract is capable of being extended, and the Council’s Contractual Standing Orders (CSO’s) also allow for contract extensions to be made where the original contract makes provision for such an extension of the original term. There is, however, always a risk that any extension not provided for, if done outside of the usual process, could be subject to challenge by an aggrieved provider, on the basis that it ought to have been put out to competition and advertised in accordance with public contract regulations and CSO’s.

 

Where there is no provision to extend within the original contract (or extension), approvals for awards, exceptions, and extensions over £150k must be referred to the Procurement Board. Notwithstanding such Procurement Board approval for an exception to CSO’s, there is still a risk of challenge from aggrieved providers if the usual (formal) procurement process has not been followed and any extension has been awarded outside of that process, on the basis that it ought to have been put out to competition in accordance with CSO’s.

 

The risk of any such challenge naturally increases in tandem with the scope of services, value of the contract and/or proposed length of any extension to a contract, and the number of potential providers of the service. The Council has undertaken a review and considered commissioning options to continue service provision resulting in the proposal to extend the current arrangements for a three-year period with the option to extend for up to two further years.

 

The review undertaken concludes that SCVS is a unique provider of the services required across the city and there are no alternative providers with the knowledge and skills to deliver the services, hence no alternative routes to the market.

 

In support of the award the award to SCVS, Regulation 32 of PCR allows a direct award of a contract without publication (a direct award):

 

“(b) (ii) where the works, supplies or services can be supplied only by a particular economic operator …. (because) competition is absent for technical reasons”. SCVS are described as unique providers of the specialist services across the city, which would permit the use of the Reg 32 exemption.

 

In addition, due to the Covid-19 pressures, if challenged, the Council could also argue that Regulation 32(2)(c) of the PCR is applicable to the circumstances:

 

(c) insofar as is strictly necessary where, for reasons of extreme urgency brought about by events unforeseeable by the contracting authority, the time limits for the open or restricted procedures or competitive procedures with negotiation cannot be complied with.

… the circumstances invoked to justify extreme urgency must not in any event be attributable to the contracting authority.

Therefore, in responding to COVID-19, contracting authorities may enter contracts without competing or advertising the requirement so long as they are able to demonstrate the following tests have all been met:

1)     There are genuine reasons for extreme urgency, eg: 

?       The Council continues to respond to the COVID-19 consequences because of public health risks, loss of existing provision at short notice, etc.

?       The Council is reacting to a current situation that is a genuine emergency - not planning for one.

2)     The events that have led to the need for extreme urgency were unforeseeable, e.g.

?       the COVID-19 situation is so novel that the consequences are not something which the Council should have predicted.

3)     It is impossible to comply with the usual timescales in the PCRs, e.g.:

?       there is no time to run an accelerated procurement under the open or restricted procedures or competitive procedures with negotiation.

?       there is no time to place a call off contract under an existing commercial agreement such as a framework or dynamic purchasing system.

4)     The situation is not attributable to the contracting authority, e.g.:

?       The Council has not done anything to cause or contribute to the need for extreme urgency.

The Council is also under a best value duty to carry out its functions economically, efficiently, and effectively with the objective to achieve value for money in all public procurement and considered the direct award of the contract to be of most benefit and least risk. The report sets out clearly the added value which SCVS deliver, together with social value benefits to the Council and the city.

 

The risk of a challenge is therefore relatively low, and the Council has genuine robust reasons for the direct award of the contract extensions/awards.

 

Financial advice obtained Stephen Thynne

 

This report requests an extension to the contract for Strategic Development of the VCSE sector held by Salford Community and Voluntary Services (SCVS). The annual value of the contract is £265,568 and approval is sought for a 3-year extension from 1st April 2022 with an option to extend for a further 2 years. Funding for the contract is from a range of sources – Adults Integrated Fund £39,811, Children’s Integrated Fund £22,489, People Children’s revenue budget £31,706 and Place revenue budget £171,562. Current budgets are in line with the annual value for the extension period, but it should be noted that wider uncertainty exists in relation to finances due to the transition of CCGs into an Integrated Care System (ICS) and the Council currently does not have its funding settlement past the current financial year 21/22.

 

Procurement advice obtained Chris Conway

 

Procurement acknowledge the recommendation to award a contract under an exception for up to a further 24 months till 31st March 2027, for the reasons stated in the report.

 

Procurement recognises the value and proactive work undertaken by Salford CVS in relation to Social Value across the city. It is envisaged that this work continue for the duration of the extension period in line with the Salford TOM’s Framework where applicable

 

HR advice obtained N/A

 

Climate change implications obtained N/A

 

Documents used N/A

 

Contact details

Contact Officer:  Sandra Derbyshire 

Telephone number: 0161 793 2570

 

·        The following have been consulted and are supportive of the proposed contract.

-        Lead Member for Inclusive Economy and Equalities, Lead Member for Children and Young People, Lead Member for Adult Services, Health and Wellbeing and Adult Commissioning Committee (SCC/CCG)

·        The appropriate Scrutiny Committee to call-in the decision is Overview and Scrutiny Board.

 

Signed:    PAUL DENNETT          Dated:   24th November 2021.

                    City Mayor

 

*         This decision was published on 24th November 2021

*         This decision will come in force at 4.00 p.m. on 1st December unless it is called-in in accordance with the Decision Making Process Rules.

 

Publication date: 24/11/2021

Date of decision: 24/11/2021

Decided at meeting: 24/11/2021 - Procurement Board

Effective from: 02/12/2021

Accompanying Documents: