Government controls the state. The public sector administrates the state i.e. carries out governments wishes. Three functions of the state: – legislation [from policy making to law making] – Taxation [e.g. of individuals, of transactions] – Redistribution [e.g. benefits, tax breaks, public services] Key fact: Commissioning relates to redistribution; to the provision of public services
19 4 0s: Welfare State – State funds and state provides – Pro: public money stays in the public purse – Con: public services offer poor value for money 1970s: New Public Management – Thatcherism / New Labour – State funds and private sector provides – Pro: public services offer good value for money – Con: public money, ‘profits’, flow out of the public purse 1970s: The Social Enterprise – ‘Capacity Builders’ / ‘Big Society’ – State funds and third sector provides – Pro: public money stays in the public purse – Pro: public services offer good value for money Key facts: 1.From the 1970s there is a split between the funders and the providers. 2.Commissioning is this relationship between the funder and provider
Needs analysis Development of service specifications Tender process Contract agreement Service delivery Key facts: 1.The difference between procurement and commissioning is the needs analysis 2.Commissioned organisations are typically supply chain orgs not ‘new product’ orgs
Key fact: The contract is the legal relationship between the funder and the provider There are many different types of contracts: – Grant giving – Service level agreements (SLA) – Block contracts – Pay as you go – Payment by results There is a current trend toward Payment By Results contracts as they transfer risk from the funder to the provider
Grant funding V Commissioning Grant funded Provider decides the needs Provider designs the service to meet these needs Pro: control Con: unsustainable Commissioned Funder decides the needs Funder designs the service to meet these needs Con: loss of control Pro: sustainable
Commissioning: what’s in it for DPULOs Functions of DPULOs: – To represent – To provide services [essential services, added value services] The Risk: – Insufficient public money to fund non-essential services – DPULOs cannot find funding for and so can’t provide represeting pr added value services The Theory: – DPULOs are commissioned to provide services – They generate profit / surplus by providing services – They use this profit / surplus to fund their representing services – They use this profit / surplus to fund added value services Bottom Line: being commissioned to provide essential services can enable DPULOS to fund and provide representing and added value services
DPULO Structure Local /national voice Added value service provider Trading subsidiary providing commissioned services DPULO
DPULO Finances Commissioned services e.g. direct payment support Income Commissioned services e.g. direct payment support Core Revenue Representing activities e.g. local forum Value added services e.g. accessible holidays Surplus
Challenges for DPULOs 1.Giving up control -DPULO tenders to provide a service that meets the needs they have identified rather than those identified by the commissioner. -If you think the commissioners have not identified the right needs then you need to address this at the needs analysis stage. -DPULO tenders to provide a service of their own designed rather than the design specified by the commissioner -If you think the service design specified by commissioners could be improved then you need to address this at the service specification stage or in partnership boards. This may be less of a problem as commissioners transition to payment by results. -Bottom line: being commissioned to provide services involves giving up some control. That doesn’t mean you can’t influence, you just need to play the right game on the playing field.
2. Taking on Risk Commissioners have a duty to safeguard the public purse. Outsourcing services generates risk for the commissioner that they’ll fund services which aren’t delivered Commissioners can’t safeguard the public purse and hold this risk: “privatise the gains socialise the losses” Outsourcing services involves outsourcing the risk: “privatise the gains privatise the losses” – Make arrangements so you are able to take on risk. E.g. consider pooling resources through consortia arrangements to generate sufficient capital to take on risk Bottom line: No risk, no reward. If you can’t take the risk then you can’t be commissioned
3. Providing quality data Data matters to Commissioners. Politicians now make evidence based policy so impact data has an important political value. Monitoring and impact data are the tools commissioners use to safeguard the public purse. Collecting and sharing quality data is resource intensive – Prioritize data – Treat collecting and sharing quality data as an integral part of service delivery. Bottom line: if you don’t provide quality data you won’t win contracts or have contracts renewed.
4.Demonstrating added value Different people value different things – Describe the value you add in terms of things you know the evaluation panel (or the public sector more generally) value and prioritize. Tender panels are blinkered. Panel members can only consider the information in front of them. – Specify and quantify any value you add in your tenders – If you’re planning to use your profits / surplus to fund represnting activities specify this in your tender submission and quantify the impact it will have. – If you’re planning to use your profits / surplus to fund added value activities or services to meet additional needs specify this in your tender submission and quantify the impact they will have. Bottom line: If you don’t tell me I won’t know and if you talk to me in a language I can’t speak then I won’t understand.
5.Representer / Provider split Being pulled in opposing directions e.g. advocating against the very services you are tendering to provide ‘Biting the hand that feeds you’ e.g. being commissioned by one part of an organization while criticizing another part. – Clearly separate and distinguish your different functions and communicate this to others Bottom Line: Manage the tensions /conflicts between your different functions rather than trying to resolve or avoid them. These tensions are and integral part of the DPULO model.
Commissioning and the cuts The impact of the cuts on commissioning: Less funding available for non-statutory / value added services Less funding available to meet additional needs Reduced ability to absorb risk means more risk transferred to providers Fewer commissioners means a smaller number of large contracts Fewer commissioners places more of an onus on providers to undertake monitoring / data gathering activities Fewer commissioners means less market development