Reading Compact Update
by Anne Laing (Partnerships Manager, RVA)
3 October 2011
The Compact Group discussed the Government's Best Value Guidance Document at their meeting in September and questioned the presenter on how this affected commissioning issues. The voluntary and community sector (VCS) concerns included:
• The loss of the prescriptive guidance, i.e. the duty to involve. There is a lack of detail in the new guidance and the local authorities have the freedom to interpret.
• It was noted that a recent attempt to reduce the complexity of the bidding process by conflating the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) into a single document with the criteria for specification had not infact reduced the numbers of questions. It was agreed that the PQQ is a standard document for all groups considering contracting and can be used to develop their capacity as an organisation and their ability to take the job. Training exercises on Procurement will be organised from time to time.
• In recent times the Council had consulted on the contracting process and it was their intention to develop this further.
• More thought was required on the need to make provision for the organisation, service users, and wider community to put forward options on how to reshape a service or project.
The stated aim of Government is to achieve 25% of contracts going to Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SME) including sub-contractors. This wider sector includes business, VCS and social enterprise models.
The group took a first look at a basic outline for a decommissioning protocol and were asked to comment on what further detail should be included and to consider where it would sit in relation to the wider commissioning framework. A revised version would be drawn up before it is then tested with a wider group of commissioners.
The group agreed revised terms of reference and formal meetings will now be held twice a year with task group meetings in the interim periods to develop actions. Ad hoc meetings will be organised as necessary.
The next formal meeting would be held on 23 February 2012 and Work Plan sub-Group would meet in the interim.
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Learn more at:
Best Value Statutory Guidance online
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