Contract Information - Provision of Advocacy Hub

The request was partially successful.

Dear FOI Team,

I would be most grateful if you would provide me, under the Freedom of Information Act, details in respect to the contract below.

TC282 Bolton Advocacy Hub:
https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov....

The details we require are:
• What are the contractual performance KPI's for this contract?
• Suppliers who applied for inclusion on each contract and were successful & not successful at the PQQ & ITT stages
• Actual spend on this contract (and any sub lots), from the start of the contract to the current date
• Start date & duration of contract?
• Could you please provide a copy of the service/product specification given to all bidders for when this contract was last advertised?
• Is there an extension clause in the contract(s) and, if so, the duration of the extension?
• Has a decision been made yet on whether the contract(s) are being either extended or renewed?
• Who is the senior officer (outside of procurement) responsible for this contract?

Thank you for your help.

Yours sincerely

Freedom Of Info, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

This is only an automated message and confirmation that we have received
your email.

This mailbox is primarily used for Freedom of Information (FOI) and
Subject Access Requests (SAR’s) as well as other information requests.

Further information can be found at
[1]https://www.bolton.gov.uk/data-protectio...

Your email will be processed shortly.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

Due to the current Coronavirus outbreak you may experience delays when
making information rights requests. Please bear with us during this
period.

>>Corporate Logo<<
This e-mail and any attached files are confidential and may also be
legally privileged. They are intended solely for the intended addressee.
If you are not the addressee please e-mail it back to the sender and then
immediately, permanently delete it. Do not read, print, re-transmit, store
or act in reliance on it. This e-mail may be monitored by Bolton Council
in accordance with current regulations.

This footnote also confirms that this e-mail message has been swept for
the presence of computer viruses currently known to Bolton Council.
However, the recipient is responsible for virus-checking before opening
this message and any attachment.

Unless expressly stated to the contrary, any views expressed in this
message are those of the individual sender and may not necessarily reflect
the views of Bolton Council.

http://www.bolton.gov.uk/

References

Visible links
1. https://www.bolton.gov.uk/data-protectio...

Freedom Of Info, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Emma Deakin,

We acknowledge with thanks your request for information held by Bolton
Council received at this office on 22/08/2022.

This request will be considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
/ Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004 as appropriate to your
request.  

This may take up to 20 working days to be processed (although we will
endeavour to provide the information as quickly as possible).

Please be advised that if an exemption applies to the information that you
have requested, the statutory period may be exceeded in accordance with
the provisions of the act.

Please retain the reference number RFI 011276 for any future enquiries
regarding this matter.

Many thanks

The Information Governance Team

Room 120, 1^st Floor, Town Hall, Bolton, BL1 1RU

>>Corporate Logo<<
This e-mail and any attached files are confidential and may also be
legally privileged. They are intended solely for the intended addressee.
If you are not the addressee please e-mail it back to the sender and then
immediately, permanently delete it. Do not read, print, re-transmit, store
or act in reliance on it. This e-mail may be monitored by Bolton Council
in accordance with current regulations.

This footnote also confirms that this e-mail message has been swept for
the presence of computer viruses currently known to Bolton Council.
However, the recipient is responsible for virus-checking before opening
this message and any attachment.

Unless expressly stated to the contrary, any views expressed in this
message are those of the individual sender and may not necessarily reflect
the views of Bolton Council.

http://www.bolton.gov.uk/

Freedom Of Info, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Attachment

Dear Requester

Request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

The council has considered your request which was received on 22^nd August
2022 and our response is shown below.

You requested:

I would be most grateful if you would provide me, under the Freedom of
Information Act, details in respect to the contract below.

TC282 Bolton Advocacy Hub:

[1]https://clicktime.symantec.com/15t5Zre4v...

The details we require are:

• What are the contractual performance KPI's for this contract?

Our response

Under section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, any person
making a request for information to a public authority is entitled to be
informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds information
of the description specified in the request, and if that is the case, to
have that information communicated to them.

In this case there are no KPI’s for this specification, therefore the
information requested is not held. In accordance with Section 16(1) of the
Act, the council has a duty to provide advice and assistance to you, so
far as it is reasonable to do so. We can advise that as opposed to KPI’s
there are service milestones and quality monitoring reporting to assess
performance, and these have been included below.

Service milestone information;

Description Milestones Expected Benefits Timescales
The Provider will Complete Inform service Every six months
present a 6-month evaluation report development and from beginning
evaluation report continuous of contract
to commissioners. improvement.
Increase capacity Volunteers Increase the Annually
through the recruited for the capacity using
recruitment of service annually volunteers for any
volunteers. aspect of the
service
The Provider shall QPM award achieved The service has a Within 12 months
have the Advocacy recognised and of beginning of
QPM award or work assured quality contract
towards achieving standard
this within a year
of being appointed.
Once appointed, all Advocates achieve The services has a Training plan
independent qualification skilled and submitted after
advocates shall be within 12 months knowledgeable three months of
expected to achieve of appointment advocacy workforce contract start
the National who operate in a date
Qualification in consistent manner
Independent Advocates
Advocacy (Level 3) trained within
within a year of 12 months of
being appointed. appointment
The Provider shall
demonstrate a
commitment to this
training.

Quality monitoring information:

Reporting will be broken into the following seven categories:

i)       IMCA:

·      Serious Medical Treatment

·      Changes in Accommodation

·      Adult Protection

·      Care Review

·      DoLS 39a

·      DoLS 39c

·      DoLS 39d

·      RPR

·      Litigation Friend

ii)      IMHA

iii)    Care Act Assessment

iv)    Care Act Review

v)     Safeguarding Enquiry

vi)    ICA

vii)   Non-statutory advocacy

The Provider will be required to submit to the lead officer a monthly
report identifying the following by category:

·      A total number of clients

·      Referrals brought forward

·      New referrals

·      Cases closed

·      Hours per case

This report should be submitted two weeks after the end of the month.

The Provider will also be required to prepare quarterly performance
reports for submission to the lead officer. These reports must be
submitted two weeks before the quarterly performance review meetings.

For each category the Provider will supply:

·      A total number of clients

·      Referrals brought forward

·      New referrals

·      Cases closed

·      Referral response times

·      Total distribution of hours (per category)

·      Hours per case

·      Details of any complaints/compliments received

·      Details of any safeguarding matters

·      Breakdown of people accessing the service by:

-       client group

-       age

-       gender

-       ethnicity

-       religion

-       sexual identity

For each individual referral for DoLS advocacy/representative the provider
should supply reports outlining:

·      The date the referral was received

·      The date the referral was allocated

·      The date of each visit

·      The length of time taken

·      The details of any issues/concerns raised

• Suppliers who applied for inclusion on each contract and were successful
& not successful at the PQQ & ITT stages

Our response

This was an open tender involving an ITT stage only therefore PQQ
information is not held. Submissions were received from 5 suppliers and
the successful supplier was Mind In Salford.

Bolton Council has considered the remaining aspects of this element of
your request, i.e. the unsuccessful suppliers, and feels that the
information is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act
2000 (“the Act”). Section 17 of the Act provides that when refusing a
request, Bolton Council must provide a notice which (a) states that fact,
(b) specifies the exemption in question, and (c) states (if that would not
otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.

In this case we consider that the exemption under section 41 of the Act
applies. Section 41 provides an exemption to information provided in
confidence and states: 

Information is exempt information if -

a.    it was obtained by the public authority from any other person
(including another public authority), and

b.    the disclosure of the information to the public (otherwise than
under this Act) by the public authority holding it would constitute a
breach of confidence actionable by that or any other person.

 

Section 41(1)(a) requires that the information in question was obtained
from any other person. The information in question has been obtained by us
from a third party, so this part of the exemption is therefore satisfied.

Section 41(1)(b) requires the disclosure by us to constitute an actionable
breach of confidence. The information must have the necessary quality of
confidence, and in our opinion it does. 

Although this exemption is absolute and does not require a public interest
test under the Freedom of Information Act it requires the public authority
to conduct a public interest test on whether the common law duty of
confidentiality can be overcome.

In considering whether disclosure would constitute an actionable breach of
confidence the Council has considered the following:

• Whether the information has the necessary quality of confidence

• Whether the information was imparted in circumstances requiring an
obligation of confidence

• Whether disclosure would be detrimental to the confider

The information requested is the trading names of bidders for the
contract. Only the trading name of the successful bidder is published, the
names of unsuccessful bidders are not published. We have concluded that
the names of unsuccessful bidders have the necessary quality of
confidence.

It is expected that any documentation and information exchanged as part of
a prospective tender should be treated as confidential between the Council
and the contractor. As this is just part of the tender process and no
contract as been entered into between the parties, we have concluded that
the information which is requested (the names of unsuccessful bidders) was
imparted in circumstances requiring an obligation of confidence.

Release of information under the Act cannot be viewed in the context of a
limited disclosure to the applicant, it should be considered as an
applicant blind release into the public domain.  The council is obliged to
publish any information which is disclosed under the Act and to provide
this information on demand to any other person making a request.
Disclosure of the trading names of unsuccessful bidders would identify
that a bid had been submitted and had been unsuccessful which could cause
commercial detriment to the bidder in terms of investor and consumer
confidence.

The Council has further considered whether there is a public interest
defence for disclosure of the information requested and has concluded that
the public interest in disclosure is not sufficient to outweigh the duty
of confidence to the bidders. Whilst there is a public interest in
demonstrating that the contract was managed appropriately and subject to
competition thus securing value for money in terms of public expenditure
this public interest is largely met by disclosure of the numbers of
bidding organisations. We have concluded that there would be only a
limited public interest defence in disclosing the information requested
and, therefore, the duty of confidentiality cannot be overcome.

We therefore consider Section 41 is justifiable for this element of your
request, therefore please accept this response as a refusal notice for
this part of your request.

We therefore believe that the section 41 exemption applies to the
information for this element of your request.

• Actual spend on this contract (and any sub lots), from the start of the
contract to the current date

Our response

£215,321.25

• Start date & duration of contract?

Our response

01/11/2018 – 3 years, plus 1 year extension.

• Could you please provide a copy of the service/product specification
given to all bidders for when this contract was last advertised?

Our response

Please see attached document ‘RFI 011276 TC282 Advocacy Hub ITT’ which is
the Invitation to Tender including the Specification.

• Is there an extension clause in the contract(s) and, if so, the duration
of the extension?

Our response

There was a 12-month extension ending 31^st October 2022. It was further
extended to 31^st March 2023 to coincide with another contract ending.
These are being combined on the new opportunity starting 1^st April 2023.

• Has a decision been made yet on whether the contract(s) are being either
extended or renewed?

Our response

Under section 1(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, any person
making a request for information to a public authority is entitled to be
informed in writing by the public authority whether it holds information
of the description specified in the request, and if that is the case, to
have that information communicated to them.

In this case Bolton Council does not hold the information requested as
there are no further extensions and this will be advertised as a new
opportunity.

• Who is the senior officer (outside of procurement) responsible for this
contract?

Our response

Bolton Council has considered this element of your request and feels that
the information you request is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (“the Act”).  Section 17 of the Act provides that
when refusing a request, Bolton Council must provide a notice which (a)
states that fact, (b) specifies the exemption in question, and (c) states
(if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption applies.

I this case the council is withholding the name and contact details of the
Social Care Commissioning Officers in question. In accordance with section
40(2) of the Act, the personal information about identifiable living
individuals is exempt if disclosure to a third party would contravene one
of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) principles.

The council are required under section 40(2) to take in account the GDPR,
in particular Article 4 which states:

“‘personal data’ means any information relating to an identified or
identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural
person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular
by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number,
location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to
the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social
identity of that natural person”.

The council have considered the principles of the GDPR in our decision as
to whether to disclose the name, phone number and email address of these
employees. The information you have requested could identify living
individuals and is therefore classified as personal data. The council must
also consider whether it is fair in general terms to disclose the
information. The Information Commissioner’s guidance states ‘It is
reasonable to expect that a public authority would disclose more
information relating to senior employees than more junior ones…the
disclosure must not cause unwarranted interference with the rights,
freedoms and legitimate interests of the employees. The individuals
concerned would not expect their details to be disclosed to a third party
in response to a Freedom of Information request, as it is the council’s
general guidance not to do so for staff below the level of Head of
Service. The council have therefore determined that in this instance the
disclosure of this information to you otherwise than under the Act would
contravene Principle (a) of the GDPR – lawfulness, fairness and
transparency.

The council is withholding the information as detailed above under section
40(2). Please accept this letter as a partial refusal notice issued in
accordance with section 17 of the Act.

In accordance with Section 16(1) of the Act, the Authority has a duty to
provide advice and assistance to you, as so far as it is reasonable to do
so. Bolton Council does not respond to unsolicited requests regarding
sales, procurement and commissioning. Departments must follow a strict
procedure as the council has a responsibility to spend public money to
achieve the best possible value and outcomes for its citizens whilst
maximising the wider social, economic and environmental aims. The council
can direct you to the council’s website pages for procurement
opportunities, events and how to sell to the council, where you can also
find the contact details for the Procurement Team including an email
address and phone number:

[2]Tenders and procurement – Bolton Council

We can further advise that the Social Care Commissioning team responsible
for this contract can be reached at [3][email address]

Documents that we provide in response to your request are protected by
copyright. You are free to use them for your own use, including for
non-commercial research purposes. They may also be used for news
reporting. However, any other type of re-use, for example by publishing
the document or issuing copies to the public will require the permission
of the copyright owner.

As per the Information Commissioners Office’s Freedom of Information Code
of Practice, should you disagree with our decision, you may appeal within
40 working days of this email to:

The Borough Solicitor, Bolton Council, Town Hall, Bolton, BL1 1RU

Email: [4][email address]

Should you further disagree with the decision following the appeal you may
wish to contact the Information Commissioner:

Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF

[5]www.ico.org.uk

Tel: 0303 123 1113

Yours sincerely

Information Governance Team

Room 120, 1^st Floor, Town Hall, Bolton, BL1 1RU

show quoted sections