149. Community Services Directorate – Contract and Commissioning

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					149. Community Services Directorate – Contract and Commissioning for Adult Social
Care
Name of policy, procedure or function: Contract and Commissioning for Adult Social
Care
Service Area: Community Equality Impact Assessment       Date: December 08
Services Directorate      Completed by: Service
                          Manager and Principal Officer
                          Corporate Social Services

Summary of Findings:

The Commissioning process ensures that effective services are commissioned to meet
the needs of adults and older people within the borough of Warrington and to develop
and commission services which meet the changing government agenda i.e.
individualised budgets, Mental Health Capacity Act etc, whilst ensuring best value is
achieved.

This practice contributes to the councils wider aim:
   • Improving health and wellbeing and promoting independence

Commissioning of services ensures that services, which are contracted for, focus on re-
enablement for service users. The award of contract and subsequent contract
management process also ensures that better relationships with providers are developed
and maintained. Tendering of services has resulted in significant efficiency savings for
the department, and better service provision resulting in more positive outcomes for
service users.

There are currently 42 Service Level Agreements with the third sector of which 23 cover
the equality areas directly and many of the others indirectly. These help to ensure all
equality groups are provided the best possible services.

The potential to discriminate exists indirectly in the tendering process by officers. All
officers are aware of their duty to conduct tenders with the highest standards of honesty,
objectivity and integrity. All contract officers are CIPS trained.

Contracts include all statutory requirements such as the duty to promote race, disability
and gender equality, and tackle discrimination on any grounds. Contracts also contain a
clause relating to the promotion of equality and diversity. Clear equality service
requirements/targets for providers are set.

Providers have to ensure staff receive training on equality and diversity and providers
must have a policy in place, which promotes equality and diversity. The contract
management system influences employment policies of providers in cases where age,
ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion is directly relevant to the Service delivery.

Contractually, providers must not discriminate on the grounds of religion in order to
comply with their contract terms and conditions and any organisation can participate in
the tender process.

The commissioning practice only currently relates to adult and older peoples services
and not Children’s Services. Tendering for Children’s Services may result in efficiency
savings and new providers entering the market, however this would need additional
resources.