The terms commissioning, procurement and contracting are often used interchangeably. This leads to confusion and poor understanding.
Commissioning and procurement is defined, for the purposes of this code, as the process of acquiring goods and services. This process spans the whole cycle from the strategic identification of needs, through to service specification, tenders and contracts, and review. The purchasing (or buying) of goods or services is part of that process.
Recent government guidance indicates that commissioning and procurement with the third sector should include:
identifying and understanding existing need, as well as anticipating future need
understanding the preferences and priorities of service users
understanding what resources and provision are already available
identifying gaps in provision
capacity building to meet future needs
agreeing priorities for action and service specifications
ongoing dialogue with providers and Third Sector organisations representing service users and/or communities
joint monitoring and review
This code aims to change behaviour so that these principles become part of the culture of the way the public and third sectors work together in Hampshire.
This code of practice supports the delivery of the Hampshire Local Area Agreement (LAA) outcome “Empower local people to have a greater voice and influence over decision making and the delivery of services”. It will apply to all public sector partners of the Hampshire LAA and the Third Sector. The code is also a supporting document to the One Compact for Hampshire, a framework for the working relationship between Hampshire County Council and the Third Sector. Fundamentally the code aims to:
have a positive effect on the relationship between public sector partners and Third Sector partners
and to have a positive impact towards improved services
The code is intended to mark a step change in how commissioning and procurement engages Third Sector partners within good practice and legislative requirements. It focuses on:
analysing need and agreeing service priorities
planning services and contract specifications
tendering and contracting
Monitoring and evaluation of this code will be undertaken by partners of the Hampshire Local Area Agreement and One Compact on a regular basis.