Significant developments with the Care and Support Services tender early this evening ...
I'll simply re-produce the relevant text/News Releases below:
Please forgive the impersonal nature of this update
Contracts for the provision of Care and Support Services
We've just learned, very late this afternoon, that the Council's Chief Executive is postponing any award of the Care and Support Services contracts. An independent investigation is being launched into the whole process, which will report back to the Council in January 2010.
The special meeting of the Finance and Resources Committee will still go ahead tomorrow, but it will simply last a few minutes and the Convener will announce the intention to postpone award of contracts pending an independent investigation.
Our Group's reaction to this whole situation follows immediately below, thereafter a copy of the News Release from the Chief Executive's office.
I hope this information is all of some assistance - please don't hesitate to get back to us if you need any clarification.
--- and, once again, many thanks for all your efforts in keeping this process in the political spotlight.
News Release from Edinburgh Labour
For immediate release
Burns and Hinds welcomes postponement of Care Contracts
Edinburgh Labour's Group Leader, Andrew Burns, and Spokesperson for Health and Social Care, Lesley Hinds, today welcomed the fact that the Chief Executive of the City of Edinburgh Council has intervened directly on the issue of the Care and Support Services tender and that at tomorrow's meeting of the Finance and Resources Committee the award of these contracts is to be postponed.
Councillor Hinds commented:
“The Labour Group has been asking questions in relation to this whole process for many, many months now and has consistently voiced serious concerns about how the tendering has been managed.
I would like to thank all the individuals and organisations who have contacted their local Councillor, and raised this issue with them, over recent weeks. That direct lobbying has helped keep this process under proper scrutiny."
Councillor Burns added:
"Many service users and their carers are, however, still in a state of uncertainty and anxiety and the Convener of Health and Social Care, Councillor Paul Edie, now needs to tell us how he personally intends to sort this out as quickly as possible.”
FINAL DRAFT OF CEC NEWS RELEASE
from Chief Executive's Office
The following is a statement from City of Edinburgh Council Leader Jenny Dawe.
She said: “I recognise the importance of the Care and Support Services Tender to vulnerable people in the city and have insisted that all aspects of the tendering process must be robust. I have been in regular touch with senior council officials on this and have just been advised that there remain a number of outstanding issues surrounding the Care and Support Services Tender. As a result, I have instructed the Chief Executive to have the tenders independently evaluated.
“The specially convened Finance and Resources Committee will meet tomorrow when the Convener intends to adjourn the meeting to allow officers to provide an updated report in January.
“On behalf of the Administration, I would like to reassure service users there will be no interruption to their current care and support arrangements, pending a decision in January. Direct Payment applications will continue to be processed as previously agreed.
“We are determined to ensure the integrity of the tender process and believe an independent evaluation is the best way to achieve this.”