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Commissioning Mechanisms

The OPCC provide half year and end of year audited reports to the Ministry of Justice detailing spend and outcomes against the Victim Services Grant. Quarterly contract review meetings for contracts awarded by the OPCC and regular meeting with partners delivering services that support the delivery of the Police and Crime Plan form part of the overall monitoring process

The main ways in which services will be commissioned as are follows;

Commissioned and Contracted Services

All commissioning will be undertaken in line with the Devon and Cornwall Police’s Contract Standing Orders, approved by the PCC in the scheme of delegation and financial regulations.    

The PCC will enter into a contract with providers for goods and services. This will involve testing the market in some form, agreement to a service specification, and then entering a contractual relationship to meet those requirements. There are a range of approaches that could be used and these will be proportionate to a number of factors including the value of the contract, length of contract, procurement frameworks that are available. 

This mechanism provides the greatest level of control for the PCC to ensure that services provided are the most effective at the most competitive price and help deliver the priorities of the Police and Crime Plan.

It is recognised, however, that the associated costs for using this delivery method are higher. It takes longer to establish the contract and requires significant input to ensure the benefits are maximised.

By way of a grant

The PCC is permitted under legislation (section three of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011) to make a crime and disorder reduction grant to any person which, in the opinion of the PCC, will secure, or contribute to securing, crime and disorder reduction in the body’s area. 

In these circumstances, agreements will be issued that outline the specific conditions with regard to use of the grant. Service providers will be required to provide performance data and/ or progress reports as appropriate. Requests for reports on how the PCC grant has helped the communities of Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will be proportionate to the service provided.

Grants will be used, but not limited to, the following circumstances: 

  • To provide one-off funding arrangements; 
  • Where the application for funding meets a clear objective in PCC’s Police and Crime Plan; 
  • Predominately used to support third sector groups where formal contracts are unsuitable and not proportionate to the activity.

Partnership and Co-commissioning arrangement

The PCC may also enter into partnership agreements for the joint provision of services with other public sector organisations; either directly as a joint commissioner or as a contributor to a joint funding arrangement, and depending on the service in question, may be undertaken through either a service level agreement or a grant. 

Each service level agreement will set out the PCC role, the necessary governance arrangements and the service requirements.  These agreements may: 

  • Only be used with other public sector organisations;
  • Be used for all public sector organisation arrangements regardless of financial value; 
  • Have proportionate governance in place to ensure delivery of Police and Crime Plan priorities and the management of risk; 
  • Work within the parameters of this strategy and meet the needs of the PCC. 

A decision on the most appropriate mechanism for commissioning a service will be taken as part of the commissioning process but will include assessing the benefits, restrictions and legal requirements for both the PCC and the provider. The method chosen will be informed by the Commissioning Principles, service requirements and what is right for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Direct purchasing of services

For specialist services there may a need to directly purchase services to support national frameworks.  For example, we recruit and train specialist volunteers, appoint Misconduct Panel LQCs, and select Police Appeals Tribunal chairs from a list that the Home Office appoints. The fees for these services may be set nationally.

Decommissioning of Services

Where necessary, the PCC will reduce services or decommission services that are no longer needed. This ensures that finite resources are directed to the most effective services and are aligned to the PCC’s statutory Police and Crime Plan. Before taking such a decision the PCC will consider all the information that is available, including governance and performance monitoring reports. Decisions will be always be taken in an open and transparent manner and published on the website. Wherever possible, six months’ notice of an intention to de-commission a service will be given.