Voluntary groups with 50 years' experience lose out contract

Voluntary organisations that were fearing for their future have lost out on a key contract.

Jaqui Ball, chairman of Voluntary Action Worthing, with staff, trustees and volunteers
Jaqui Ball, chairman of Voluntary Action Worthing, with staff, trustees and volunteers

Adur and Worthing Councils today announced that the contract for voluntary sector infrastructure support in Adur and Worthing is recommended to be supplied by Community Works, following a decision from the councils’ director for communities, John Mitchell. The current contract with Adur Voluntary Action (AVA) and Worthing Voluntary Action (VAW) will expire on March 31.

A statement from the councils said ‘In reaching his decision, Mr Mitchell considered the reasons for undertaking a procurement process for this work and the assessment process undertaken by officers for the two tenders’.

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Mr Mitchell said: “The councils announced their intention to undertake a procurement exercise in June, 2015, at a meeting with AVA and VAW, elected members, officers of Adur, Worthing, and West Sussex councils. The aim of this exercise has been to ensure that those providing these services deliver the best value for local voluntary and community sector groups in Adur and Worthing.

“Two organisations submitted tenders, which were assessed by a panel of five Officers. The scores which have been put into the public domain already are accurate, and the decision to award the contract to Community Works has been made based on those scores.”

The decision is now subject to a five day ‘call-in’ period, during which any elected member of either Adur District Council or Worthing Borough Council can ‘call in’ the decision. If the ‘call-in’ is upheld, in accordance with clear and defined constitutional criteria, the decision will be discussed and debated at a meeting of the councils’ Joint Scrutiny Committee.

The councils’ statement added: “Although the scoring is in the public domain, the Councils are abiding by the terms of the procurement process which stipulates confidentiality until the final decision is made.”

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