Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) are responsible for the overall availability of Restorative Justice (RJ) services to those harmed by crime in their local area. In order to achieve this, specific funding is provided by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) from which to commission local service delivery. This funding is restricted to victims of crime and RJ that is victim initiated. However, much concern has been raised nationally as to whether restricting to victim initiated RJ is reducing the pool of potential victims and offenders willing to take part.
In the 2015-17 Police and Crime Plan the PCC for Cleveland made a commitment to ‘continue working with partners towards establishing a consistent approach to Restorative Justice’. Therefore in April 2015, the PCC made a pledge together with partners to develop the concept of Restorative Cleveland, the aim being to ensure that at any stage of their journey victims can access high quality RJ that builds on existing provision and ensures a high level consistent service across the Cleveland area.
The current service is being delivered through secondments to the PCC, however it was proposed that the current arrangements come to an end on 31 March 2018 as per grant agreements and a service specification be developed to allow a tender process to take place. It was anticipated a service specification be developed during 2017/18 to enable the awarding of a contract by 1 April 2018.
In November 2017, an advert was placed in the European Journal and the Bluelight E-tendering system inviting suppliers to bid for the service. An open tender was carried out using EU Supply as the tender portal, advertising the contract in Contract Finder and OJEU as per the Public Procurement Regulations 2015.
11 suppliers expressed and interest, however only three bids were received by the closing date of 12 Noon on the 5th December 2017.
In addition to a number of mandatory pass/fail questions such as mandatory/discretionary exclusion/financial viability/insurance etc., the evaluation criterion was 50% Quality and Service Delivery, 10% Case Study/Presentation and 40% Price. Although in the current financial climate price is a key factor, it was felt that a quality service particularly in relation to victim focus was procured.
The evaluation team which consisted of Procurement, OPCC staff and an independent evaluation team member from North Yorkshire PCC scored the bids and case study in accordance with the evaluation criteria issued with the bid documents. The outcome of the evaluation process was:
Bidder 1 – 67% Bidder 2 – 62.02% Bidder 3 – 70%
Bidder 3 price submission was in line with the financial envelope as was the most economically advantageous tender. The acceptance of the preferred bidder has been approved in line with the current Contract Standing Orders. The award of the contract is published as it was agreed to be of public interest.