On 1 April 2017, following publication of the above contract notice and a competitive tendering exercise, Southampton City Council entered into multiple framework agreements for the provision of fostering services to it and other consortium members over a four-year term. The framework agreements provided for the reopening of competition each year of the term so that providers who were not a party to a framework agreement for the services pursuant to the original procurement were able to gain access to the arrangements and those providers who were already parties to a framework agreement could re-submit tenders, thereby effectively allowing for the consortium's requirements to be subjected to open, competitive procurement each year. The current end date of these framework agreements is 31st March 2021 and the consortium has considered the planning and resources required to undertake the planning for a new framework. Consortium members have experienced unprecedented challenge and pressure on resources due to COVID-19 and the resources that would normally be available within the consortium for use in planning and implementing a new framework have been diverted towards pandemic-related emergency planning and response. Bearing this in mind, the consortium has decided to proceed with its previous approach and once again open up to the market the opportunity to provide fostering services on the existing terms. It is proposed that the consortium will do this in accordance with the draft timetable below so that the procurement is complete ahead of April 2021. Service providers who are already parties to a framework agreement for the provision of fostering services will be offered the opportunity to extend their current frameworks by a year, so that they expire 31 March 2022, and if they agree they will be invited to either submit amended tenders for the one year extension period or confirm that their tenders submitted pursuant to the original contract notice remain valid. Fostering service providers who are not currently parties to a framework agreement will be invited to submit tenders, via a notice on Contracts Finder https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder, and these will be evaluated on the same terms as were those of existing providers. Successful new tenderers will be awarded framework agreements of one year duration also expiring on 31 March 2022. The above approach will ensure that the requirements of the consortium continue to remain subject to open, competitive tendering for a further year and consequently that all potential providers have a fair and equal opportunity to deliver the requirements of the consortium. It will also give the consortium the chance to review its requirements over a longer term and prepare for the tendering of a longer term arrangement to be put in place on 1 April 2022. The proposed timetable is as follows but may be subject to change.
Civic Centre,Civic Centre Road
023 8083 3635
Contract value: 50000000-100000000
Published: 13 Aug 2020, Receipt by: 6 Oct 2020
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