The PCCs of the Eastern Region took the decision very early on to collaborate in the commissioning of Victims Services. This has proven to have been the right decision for many reasons, not least of which has been the ability to achieve far better value for money than would have been possible via a fragmented or individual approach (circa 10% saving). Despite the usual fears that collaboration can bring, the Eastern Region PCCs have proven that it can work very successfully and deliver real benefits both in terms of service quality and cost.
TONIC were engaged to project manage the collaboration, provide an independent view and to act as an ‘honest broker’ between all parties. By doing so, TONIC were able to ensure that many, if not all, of the common pitfalls usually associated with collaboration were avoided. This included making sure every parties interests were fairly and properly represented at all times. TONIC’s extensive commercial experience was also brought to bear in managing expectations and ensuring that the suppliers fully understood what was expected in terms of service and affordability. In addition, we were also requested to ensure that both the ITT and any subsequent bids contained sufficient flexibility to allow for differing priorities and requirements between the PCCs whilst retaining the core service elements common to all. This was essential to ensure the bid(s) remained EU procurement compliant but flexible enough to meet demands. No easy task!
Outcomes and Achievements
In summary, collaboration directly provided the following benefits:
- The chosen supplier was able to offer a service which met not only the service requirements of all but which also met their budget aspirations
- Enhanced bargaining power.
- Best possible overall value for money for the tax payer.
- Lower overall costs, including procurement and commissioning.
- A pool of resources and expertise.
- A wider evidence and knowledge base which led to better decision making.
- A more holistic approach to victims’ services.
- A reasonable level of stability for the single supplier during a period of considerable change.
- Arguably one of the most searching and thorough approaches to victims commissioning in the country (as evidenced by Victim Support and Commissioners).
- A high and demonstrable level of due diligence.
“I was pleased with the depth of your analysis and secondly with your appreciation of public and third sector values and the need not to lose sight of these in the commissioning process. TONIC have done a good job in managing a diverse group of stakeholders with varying degrees of engagement, and in achieving broad agreement on the way forward.”
Jenny McKibben, Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner, Office of the Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner
“Tonic deliver a professional service with expertise, integrity and a real passion for the subject area. They have friendly and engaging consultants who are prepared to put in the hours to get under the skin of the project who are willing to go the extra mile and provide very good value for money. We would use them again and would recommend them to others”
Susannah Hancock, Chief Executive, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex