The council has developed an integrated Commissioning Strategy and Framework combining procurement and contract management which describes our commissioning vision and objectives over the next three years (2012-2015).
The strategy provides a framework for a commissioning focus on better outcomes for Croydon people but it also aims to ensure a consistent commissioning approach across the council and continued development of common commissioning behaviours across sectors that will support the approach.
As part of the framework we are developing a number of toolkits, handbooks and a training programme to develop an 'expert commissioning approach' in Croydon. We would like to use this opportunity to share with you our strategy as well as our social value toolkit and decommissioning toolkit so that we can start to put our ideas into practice. We also want to give an opportunity for us to meet and listen to partners in the third sector and commercial partners about how our new focus on commissioning is working in practice so far.
Commissioning is deciding how to use the total resources available in order to improve outcomes in the most efficient, equitable and sustainable way.
- It is about more than just simply buying good or services. It is about understanding local need and designing services that meet those needs whilst providing value for money for our council taxpayers.
- Commissioning is an important tool in ensuring the overarching vision for the borough is achieved.
- Commissioning includes a number of key activities including; needs analysis, service design, procurement (the buying of goods and services), the monitoring of contracts, the development of strategic relationships with suppliers and the development of local organisations or businesses to compete for procurement opportunities.
Why do we need a commissioning strategy?
Croydon has made a commitment to becoming an expert commissioner of services. In the current financial context it is important that the council makes the best use of the resources available and continues to deliver high quality services. The strategy will help us to do this by ensuring:
- a consistent approach to commissioning that focuses on meeting local need
- all commissioning activity is well planned and coordinated
- we are clear about what outcomes we are aiming to deliver
- we are able to measure whether or not these outcomes have been delivered and hold our providers to account
- local providers have equal opportunity to participate in the commissioning process.
Who is the commissioning strategy targeted at?
The commissioning strategy is aimed at:
- all council staff
- elected members/councillors
- strategic partners
- residents and service users
- local businesses and social enterprises who are current and / or potential council contractors
- voluntary and community organisations who are current and / or potential council contractors.
Where we are now?
Social Value Toolkit
The Social Value Act was passed in March 2012 and requires public authorities to make considerations for economic, social and environmental well-being.
The council is committed to upholding social opportunities for its residents, local businesses and the borough. It has created the social value toolkit in partnership with legal experts on social value from Pinsent Mason Solicitors (NI government social value handbook). The toolkit will help the council get best value from its purchasing, make a contribution to improving lives in communities, support service delivery and help voluntary and community organisations to thrive and do more.
The toolkit concentrates on practical steps to connect services and suppliers that are commissioned by Croydon Council with the opportunities to offer something more to our communities.
Some examples of social value opportunities include:
- creating skills and training opportunities
- providing additional opportunities for individuals or groups facing greater social or economic barriers
- supporting initiatives like targeting hard to reach groups
- creating opportunities for Small Medium Enterprises (SME) and voluntary and community organisations
- improving market diversity
The social value toolkit is largely targeted at commissioners and those responsible for procurement in the council, but it may be useful for providers too. It aims to provide best practice principles to ensure that the most effective services are delivered, making the best use of resources.
You can download our social value toolkit below.
The decommissioning toolkit seeks to provide practical advice and guidance on how to plan and manage the decommissioning of public services.
Decommissioning is a natural part of the commissioning process; it concentrates on outcomes and the constructive use of good decommissioning to question whether current delivery is appropriate or needed, to meet unmet need and to look again. It creates transparency for providers and expectations of our commissioners.
Good decommissioning process is important to the council for a number of reasons including:
- we need to manage changes brought on by government policies and need
- we need to help our commissioners arrive at the most appropriate decision
- we need to give our providers an indication of how the council will approach the decommissioning of services.
The decommissioning toolkit is largely targeted at commissioners and provides best practice principles to ensure that the most effective services are delivered, making the best use of resources. You can download our decommissioning toolkit below.
Planning to Succeed in Contracting (Contract Handbook)
Put simply, good contract management is about ensuring that all efficiently and effectively as possible. This handbook covers all those activities associated with contract management – from the establishment of the business case and the confirmation of need, through the engagement process between customer and contractor, contract administration and relationship management to the review of contract performance.
It offers practical guidance through 6 'steps to successful contract management'
- Defining your service and performance requirements
- Developing your performance management framework
- Managing your relationship
- Managing your contract
- Seeking improvements
- Managing change
You can download our Contract Management Handbook below.
For more information please contact us using the details below.
|Job title||Director of Strategy, Commissioning, Procurement & Performance|
|Department||Corporate Resources and Customer Services|
|Telephone||0208 726 6000 ext 62070|
|Job title||Commissioning Support Manager|
|Department||Corporate Resources and Customer Service|
|Telephone||020 8726 6000 ext 60584|