What experience do you have of commissioning services, particularly from the voluntary sector?
As the Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council I was involved in commissioning a range of services including services from the third sector. I spent a considerable amount of time reviewing the agreement with Cambridgeshire Community Services in an attempt to get better value for money for the people of Cambridgeshire.
Commissioning services involves having a backbone of steel wrapped in velvet. It is important to see the big picture and how public money spent has the very best outcome for the people you serve. Sometimes small amounts of money spent in a very targeted way can be the enabler to much better services elsewhere.
It is not as simple as just letting contracts with suppliers.