Agenda item

Approval to delegate the decision to award CSC integrated commissioning services contract from 1st April 2022


Consideration was given to a report of the Director of Education, Skills and Early Years which sought approval to delegate a decision to award a contract for CSC Integrated Commissioning Services Contract ensure statutory services continue to be delivered from 1st April 2022 following a full and robust procurement and commissioning process.

Oldham Council was seeking to commission a comprehensive, fully integrated children and young people’s offer covering a range of CSC services to be awarded as one distinct contract. This would enable children, young people and families/carers to access high-quality information, advice and support across a range of services. It would also enable Oldham Council to continue to fulfil its statutory responsibilities.

A range of SEND and CSC services are currently out to tender via The Chest as part of our integrated commissioning approach.

Decision to award would be via a robust evaluation process following on from an open, transparent commissioning and procurement exercise which commenced via The Chest on 18 October 2021. This followed a Meet the Market event held in August 2021 and feedback from young people and parent/carers to further develop service specifications.

A Project Board had been in place meeting fortnightly including service area experts, commissioning, legal, procurement and finance colleagues. The Project Board had ensured progress is maintained, provided due diligence and has overseen development of all procurement documents including service specifications. The Project Board would continue to support evaluations of tenders, award recommendations and implementation planning to ensure Oldham continues to provide statutory high-quality services for our most vulnerable children, young people and families/carers.

Contract award would be from 1 April 2022 for an initial period of five years up until 31 March 2027 with an option to extend for up to a maximum of two years based on performance, achievement of key performance indicators, continued funding and local need. The services within scope and the annual funding envelope were:CSC covering Advocacy/Independent Visitors, Regulation 44 Visits and Mental Health Support for Children Looked after and their support network.

These services all provided support for some of the most vulnerable and at-risk children, young people and families/carers in Oldham.

The CSC services in scope were currently published as a live tender on the Chest. This became live on 18th October 2021 and will close on 25th November 2021. Following this the project board, including children and young people, will form an evaluation and moderation panel. The panel would recommend award of contract to the successful bidder. Procurement corporate rules will be followed in terms of stand-still and subsequent move to award. Services outlined above are currently delivered entirely independently by a variety of providers whose contracts all end on 31 March 2022. There is no provision to further extend these contracts. The integrated approach seeks to bring services together with a more consistent and holistic approach to delivery therefore being better able to flexibly meet the current and emerging needs of our families/carers.


Options/alternatives considered

Option 1 -Approval is given to authorise a delegated decision to be made by the Managing Director, Children and Young People, Gerard Jones to award the contract to be operational from 1 April 2022. This would be subject to a robust evaluation process following on from an open, transparent commissioning and procurement exercise  which commenced via The Chest on 18 October 2021 following ‘meet the market’ events.

Option 2 - The decision to award sits with Cabinet. Given timescales this would mean we will not be in a position to award and operationalise the implementation plan by 1 April 2022. There would be the risk of a gap in services for vulnerable young people within the District. There would also be a reputational risk to the Council 


RESOLVED – The Cabinet would considered the commercially sensitive information contained at Item 16 before making a decision.


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