Agenda and draft minutes

Select Committee - Commissioning
Monday, 16th December, 2013 10.00 am

Venue: Wantsum Room, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone. View directions

Contact: Denise Fitch  01622 694269

No. Item


Election of Chairman


Mr M Balfour proposed and Mr M J Vye seconded that Mr M J Angell be elected Chairman of the Select Committee.


RESOLVED that Mr M J Angell be elected Chairman of the Committee.




Commissioning and Procurement Topic Review pdf icon PDF 78 KB


(1)       The Chairman introduced the report that had been circulated with the agenda which set out proposed Terms of Reference, scope and general approach to the review included suggested witnesses either for written or oral evidence.


(2)       The Committee discussed the proposed Terms of Reference and scope of the review and made the following points:


  • Mr Baldock wished it to be noted that he did not agree with the assumption in paragraph 1.1 of the report that commissioning was the only response to the statement that “Public Services are changing as previous models of service delivery are no longer affordable in a time of reductions in public spending, future significant increase in demand for services and increased public expectation about quality of services.”
  • Mr Cowan emphasised the need to look at the voluntary sector and its issues in relations to commissioning of services, whilst acknowledging their hard work he questioned how far it was possible to provide services with volunteers.
  • Mr Baldock proposed that the Terms of Reference be amended to include reference to giving consideration to what steps were taken to protect services if the provider failed to fulfil their contractual obligations.  This on being put to the vote was lost.  It was pointed out that this was covered within the scope of the review.
  • Reference was made to the importance of Members of the Select Committee being aware of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012, which would come into force on 31 January 2014.
  • The Chairman drew the Committees attention to the importance of Members of the Committee not approaching individual providers involved in any ongoing tendering/procurement process to provide Kent services as this was prohibited in procurement law.
  • Members expressed their individual perceptions of Commissioning within the public sector and there was a general discussion on the scope of the review.
  • It was suggested that the Committee should also receive evidence from other Local Authorities who have had experience of commissioning services.
  • Mr Vye circulated a note from the “Third Sector Commissioning” conference that he had attended on 26 November 2013.
  • Reference was made to the recently commissioned Children’s and Adults Mental Health Service (CAMHS) which was being provided by Sussex County Council.  It was noted that there was an item on this service at the meeting of the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Friday 31 January 2014. 
  • The importance of robust contract monitoring was emphasised.
  • The value of flexibility in commissioning was mentioned.
  • It was confirmed that witnesses would be asked to share their experiences of barriers to commissioning as part of their evidence and that evidence would be sought from those who had been unsuccessful in the commissioning process.
  • The importance of considering Best Value, including social value as part of the commissioning process was raised.
  • It was mentioned that all County Councillors could have a role in informally monitoring contracts in their area and providing valuable feedback. Also reference was made to the changing role of Councillors as part of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.