Business Development News

The Ministry of Justice’s Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) competition has finally opened. This procurement has been a central focus of the business development landscape for many months.  The Ministry of Justice has emphasised an intention to see VCSE organisations play a major role in the delivery of TR services, and to enable a diverse provider marketplace in which the skills of specialist and local providers are engaged and utilised sustainably and effectively.  On the current TR timeline, potential Tier 1 (i.e. prime) providers will complete a PQQ by the end of October outlining their capability to compete, and the areas for which they intend to bid. This will be followed by an Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) stage where proposals are developed in-depth, and a Best and Final Offer (BAFO) stage where proposals are finalised and presented to the Ministry of Justice for them to make decisions. The ITN is timelined for 2014, and contract award and mobilisation will take place by 2015.  21 contracts will be awarded altogether, each covering one of the 21 Contract Package Areas (CPAs) outlined by the Ministry of Justice in their response to the market consultation that took place earlier this year.

3SC aims to ensure as significant a role as possible for VCSE organisations within TR, and we are in discussions with key potential Tier 1 providers to develop offers that maximise the role of the sector, and ensure that its capabilities to address the needs of TR’s commissioners, communities and offenders are properly recognised and realised.  This includes a role for social enterprises working within the criminal justice space, many of whom are developing innovative services to help rehabilitate, empower and create jobs for offenders. Alongside our growing membership of charities and voluntary and community organisations, our National Consortium of Social Enterprises (NCSE, run together with our partners Social Enterprise UK and Social Firms UK) will be vital in helping to realise these aspirations for the sector. If you are a provider of services for offenders and ex-offenders and are interested in Transforming Rehabilitation, or other criminal justice opportunities and have not yet been in touch, please contact 3SC’s Delivery Manager for Justice Services and lead for the NCSE, Anne Utting at Anne.Utting@3SC.org.

Transforming Rehabilitation is not the only large-scale procurement in 3SC’s sights. This month also sees the conclusion of the DWP Commissioning Strategy 2013 consultation, which looks towards the future of welfare-to-work services including Work Programme 2 and the next round of Work Choice.  The consultation document outlines DWP’s intention to secure a diverse market place with VCSE involvement for the upcoming competitions, and asks for example how the aims of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 can be factored into commissioning. The feedback coming from the consultation will provide the DWP with an opportunity to structure and steward a welfare-to-work marketplace that properly enables and protects third sector providers, and which leverages the added value that the sector brings, not only directly in terms of services delivered but also in terms of wider social, economic and environmental benefits.  The added value that can be created by involving VCSE organisations must not be underestimated, and once again we see a special role for social enterprises as they continue to create supportive and sustainable employment opportunities for the disadvantaged. Opportunities like these will become increasingly vital for customers such as those on the Work Choice programme, and those in particular Work Programme customer groups.  Once again, we look forward to working with key partners, and providers in the 3SC and NCSE memberships to develop great solutions for these competitions.