Decision details

Supply of Temporary Agency Resource to the Council* - SEP23/CAB/38

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Cabinet considered the report and RESOLVED to: 


  1. Approve the award of a contract to OPUS People Solutions via ESPO MSTAR4 Lot1b Master Vendorfor the provision of all social care temporary resources for a period of three years with an option to extend for a period of one year. The estimated value of the contract is £4m per year. 


  1. Approve the award of contracts via the ESPO 3S_22 framework to the suppliers listed below for the provision of all temporary resources that are non-social care for a period of four years including an option to break at year three and the estimated total value of the contracts is £3m per year.  


· Eden Brown  

· Tile Hill  

· Capita  

· Morgan Hunt  

· Hays  

· Reed  

· Sellick Partnership  

· Penna PLC  

· Liquid  

· Blue Arrow  

· OPUS People Solutions  


  1. Delegate authority to the Executive Director Corporate Services and Section 151 Officer to award non-social care call-off contracts to additional suppliers that are listed on the ESPO 3S_22 framework on a case-by-case basis and following recommendation by the Council’s Work Force Board. The value of additional call-off contract(s) shall not exceed the value set out in recommendation 2.  


  1. Approve the Council entering into contracts with the contractors that are awarded contracts within recommendation 1, 2 and 3. 


Reasons for the decision:



Social Care: OPUS have been delivering social care via the current contract which terminates 30th September 2023. There are a substantial number of agency staff that are placed via the current contract. The best option to avoid disruption was to find a more cost-effective route to use OPUS to continue to deliver this element of the Councils requirements. OPUS is an awarded supplier on the ESPO MSTAR4 Framework. It was therefore proposed that we should direct award to OPUS via the ESPO Contract. OPUS will be a Master Vendor meaning that they will supply staff and could source via Agencies should the need arise. The Agency Fee is variable and is dependent upon the scale of pay. There is a fixed fee of £0.30 for the MSP Service. This is a standard fee across all frameworks although the amount may vary. OPUS Fees were competitive against other suppliers on the Framework.  


Non-Social care: There was a need within the Council to achieve greater compliancy and increased flexibility for Hiring Managers. In having 11 delivery partners that are drawn from the ESPO Framework and having contracts in place with each we can demonstrate robust compliance with PCR 2015. The Flexibility that is afforded to Hiring Managers will mean that fulfilling the need to fill a temporary vacancy will be flexible as Hiring Managers will have the ability to liaise directly with the Agencies and not have to go through a Master Vendor – this removes a layer of cost and facilitates accessing the right quality of candidate at the right time. Utilisation of the framework also ensures that we can be confident that pricing is competitive. YPO, CCS and ESPO Frameworks were considered but only ESPO 3S_22 met our requirements in terms of flexibility. It should also be noted that we receive a rebate from ESPO on total spend rates and fees are broadly similar to both CCS and YPO Contracts. The Key driver to achieve a more flexible process once Work Force Board approval had been secured. 


Alternative options considered:



Option 1 Maintain Status Quo – Continue with OPUS Contract however, this was discounted as it was not meeting all the Council’s agency staff requirements.  


Option 2 Exit Opus using Break Clause and use an alternative Framework (ESPO/CCS/YPO) via direct award. Whilst procurement would be quicker via direct award, it would still require a high level of procurement resource and potentially the addition of a specialist category manager and associated additional costs.  


Option 3 Exit Opus using Break Clause and use an alternative Framework (ESPO/CCS/YPO) via mini competition. Each procurement would be managed by procurement department and would result in a high level of procurement resource.  


Option 4 Exit Opus using Break Clause and complete open procedure in accordance with PCR 2015 for a local framework with appropriate lots. This would require a consultant and high level of business input to develop the detailed specification. It would also require a named contract manager to ensure good supplier performance of the resulting framework.  


Option 5 Exit Opus using Break Clause and appoint another managed Master or Neutral vendor. Fees would be applied for the finder service, which would result in the arrangement we have today and not give the Council the specific arrangements they need to meet their agency staff requirements. 


Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:

There are none.

Background Documents:

There are none.

Publication date: 18/09/2023

Date of decision: 18/09/2023

Decided at meeting: 18/09/2023 - Cabinet

Effective from: 22/09/2023

Accompanying Documents: