Decision details

Termination of the Council's Agency Worker Contract – JUN23/CMDN/1

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Legal, Finance and Corporate Services

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Termination of the Council's agency worker contract with OPUS.


The Cabinet Member agreed to:


1.    Authorise the termination of the agreement for the supply of all the Council’s temporary resource (social care and other services) between OPUS People Solutions Limited and the Council with effect from 30 September 2023.


Reasons for the decision:

The Council’s annual spend on temporary agency workers, both social care and all other services has reduced in recent years, but there is still a requirement for provision of a temporary agency worker across the businesses and specialist care for Clare Lodge.


The new approach will allow recruiting managers to have more flexibility when procuring agency staff and remove the cost of using a Master Service Provider Plus (MSP+). The specialist care for Clare Lodge has always been difficult to procure but compliant arrangements will be put in place via a Crown Commercial framework. It is proposed that OPUS will be appointed via a framework and continue to provide social care staff which will also provide continuity with the existing agency staff we employ through the existing OPUS arrangement. Other agency requirements will be procured using the ESPO framework.

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.


Option 6 Exit Opus using Break Clause and procure three lots using the most appropriate procurement route. The three lots are: (i) social care; (ii) all other services; and (iii) Specialist care for Clare Lodge giving the Council a better way of meeting the individual specific agency staff needs for the three different areas and minimise the procurement resource requirement. RECOMMENDED


Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Background Documents:


Publication date: 14/06/2023

Date of decision: 14/06/2023

Effective from: 20/06/2023

Accompanying Documents: