October 2010 | Angeline Albert
is to review how it commissions from the voluntary sector in order to address perceived
The borough highlights the issue in a consultation document seeking views
from the voluntary and community sector (VCS). The council said the procurement
department could improve its relationships with this sector.
Those wishing to take part in the
consultation should use the link above.
It has identified “different commissioning
strategies across the council” with “no overall framework that could establish
common policies and principles”. The document said: “Each directorate
commissions from the VCS and in different ways, which leads to an overall
The commissioning process also suffers from
duplication in tasks, different use of terminology and varied monitoring methods
and requirements in dealing with the VCS.
consultation document proposes that when commissioning the voluntary sector,
the council should understand and measure the social value of a proposed
service. It also suggests the authority adopts an outcomes-based commissioning
policy that encourages bidders to demonstrate the social benefits they offer to
meet a specific local need.
The document said: “Our work is set against
a backdrop of significant financial uncertainty for both the public sector and
the VCS. Without any doubt, both sectors will have to learn to work well
together with less money and this has had a strong influence on our work during
ends on 24 November.