Decision details

Consortia Commissioning of Children's Residential Care

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care to accept the outcome of the procurement process for a Framework Agreement for the Consortia commissioning of children’s residential care.


(i)  To agree and accept the outcome of the procurement of a Framework Agreement for children’s residential care commissioned by a regional consortium led by Southampton City Council.

(ii)  To delegate authority to the Director of Quality and Integration to do what is necessary to implement recommendation (i) above.

Reasons for the decision:

The Framework Agreement has been procured in partnership with 18 Local Authorities via a fair, compliant, open and transparent commissioning and procurement process.


Effective and appropriate use of the Framework Agreement will give Southampton City Council and participating Local Authorities assurance of quality in the provision of children’s residential care and price stability in what will otherwise be a market characterised by variable and escalating costs over the coming years. 


The Framework Agreement will provide Southampton City Council regulation-compliant access to significantly more providers than under current arrangements, as well as a wider range of options (detailed below) for cost-effectively meeting need, thereby ensuring good future outcomes for the city’s looked after children.


Alternative options considered:

Option 1 – Spot purchase.

This option was rejected because of non-compliance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, the resource intensity of individual negotiation and the increased risks in terms of cost and quality where each placement required would be subject to market forces on a case-by-case basis.


Option 2 – Procure a ‘Southampton-only’ Framework Agreement.

This option was rejected, as experience and analysis suggested that greater economies of scale, improved outcomes (e.g. placement stability) and best value for money could be obtained through a collaborative procurement process with other authorities.

Report author: Chris Pelletier

Publication date: 17/07/2018

Date of decision: 17/07/2018

Decided at meeting: 17/07/2018 - Cabinet

Effective from: 26/07/2018

Accompanying Documents: