Authority to Extend a Contract in Respect of Independent Reviewing Officers for Looked After Children and the Fostering Reviewing Service (Non-Key Officer Recordable Decision)
Decision Maker: Corporate Director of Children & Young People
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
To request authority to extend a contract in respect of Independent Reviewing Officers (IRO) for Looked After Children and Fostering Reviewing Service with Aidhour Limited.
That the Corporate Director Children and Young People:
i) Approves an extension to the current contract with Aidhour Limited for a period of 12 months from 1 October 2023 to 30 September 2024 as permitted in the current contract.
ii) Notes that there has been an increase in the total contract value by £153,600 over the 3+1 year term of the contract due to a greater than anticipated demand for services under the contract with Aidhour Limited, and the effect of an increase in hourly rates and travel costs agreed with Aidhour.
Reasons for the decision:
The Council entered into a contract for Independent Reviewing Officer and Fostering Review Services with Aidhour Limited on 1 October 2020 for 3 years, with provision for an extension of 12 months.
Officers consider that extending the contract by 12 months from 1 October 2023 to September 2024 will achieve best value for the Council and is reasonable in all the circumstances.
Alternative options considered:
The option to bring the service in-house has been considered, but this option will take time to put in place as the service area will need to consider the financial implications and the structure (organisation) of setting up an in-house service. The service area will need to engage in a re-organisation and change process which will take approximately 12-18 months as a minimum from initial consultation to implementation.
Consideration has not been given to re-tender as there is a facility in the current contract to extend for a further 12-month period. Taking up the option to extend the contract form 1 October 2023 to 30 September 2024 allows time for the local authority to consider the best approach for meeting the statutory requirement for Independent Reviews for Looked After Children and the Fostering Review Service in the medium and long term without a disruption to the provision.
Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:
Wards Affected: (All Wards);
Cabinet/Committee Decision or Scheme of Delegation: Officer scheme of delegation
Parties Consulted: Consultation has been carried out with the service area and Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools.
Contact: Tanuja Saujani, Service Manager, Inclusions Service Email: Tanuja.Saujani@brent.gov.uk Tel: 020 8937 3719.
Publication date: 07/09/2023
Date of decision: 23/06/2023