Tender FAQs


What is the budget?

Up to £1.6 million of funds has been allocated to each site for a three-year period

Where is the funding coming from?

Without substantial funding from the Big Lottery Fund Women and Girls Initiative and further funding from The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Peter Cundill Foundation, The Aurum Charitable Trust and match in each site this project would not be possible.

What are the tender timescales?

The Norfolk Connect tender opened on 14th February and closes at the end of the day (midnight) 23rd March. Shortlisting will take place week commencing 26th March and successful bidders will be asked to interviews the week commencing 9th April.

The West Sussex Connect tender timescales will be updated on these FAQs once confirmed.

I’ve done lots of work in this sector before, will this hold us in good stead with the tender?

We welcome bids from all services with areas of expertise relating to the gaps identified and experience of service delivery and provision

Can we get together with other organisations to submit a joint proposal?

Yes, we welcome and encourage consortium bids.  We have set up a chat facility on our community platform which will help you contact other services, please sign up here and join the ‘Beacon Norfolk and/or ‘Beacon West Sussex’ groups.

What are tenders evaluated against?

Tenders will be set against strict criteria as outlined in the Invitation to Tender and Service Specification document.

Do we have access to advice before submission?

Yes, we are happy to help with any questions you may have, please email pmo@safelives.org.uk. Any questions asked (unless confidential) will be added to these FAQs.

We note that the answer to each question must not exceed 3 sides, can separate documents (such as an implementation plan) be submitted along with the written response?

Yes – separate documents relevant to your answer such as an implementation plan or existing policies can be sent as an appendix, rather than being reproduced in the text. If doing so please refer to the attachment explicitly in your response and highlight where the relevant points can be found within the attachments.

Regarding fixed costs on page nine of the Invitation to Tender, could you please provide some further detail regarding the value and confirm who is responsible for them?

Engage costs are a fixed, non-negotiable part of the service provider’s budget, and the agreement will be between the service provider and Cheshire Without Abuse (who looked at the gaps in support for those wishing to remain in their relationships).

The value is the £21,500 quoted (over three years) which includes; Engage training (four days for the whole team), bi-monthly two hour clinical supervision sessions, two ‘challenge days’ per year (practice review with the Engage teams by Saskia Ritchie, Cheshire Without Abuse and Emily Alison, Psychologist) and support with roll-out of the model with partner agencies.

Ref: 2.4 ‘The delivery team will receive accredited specialist training’ and 5.3 ‘SafeLives will provide training to the relevant staff’; can the Authority confirm if there will be a cost associated with this that the successful provider will need to be charged?

SafeLives Outreach training and the Engage training is provided at no cost.  SafeLives will also provide training to the Skills Enhancer at no cost, who will be employed by the successful provider and will then be responsible for delivering further training.

In relation to the interview and presentation and specifically the ‘Presentation’; can the Authority confirm if there will be any additional set questions as part of this, or if it is for providers to decide how and what content to present as part of the submission/tender?

This will be confirmed at shortlisting stage and we will let people know when they're invited to interview.

If there are any unspent funds from either the set up phase or any of the annual budgets, can they be carried over to the subsequent year or will they need returning?

While funding is paid quarterly in advance, the provider is expected to provide Actual Spend reports at the end of quarter.  Any reported underspend will then be adjusted from the following advance payment.

Where a provider spends less than their agreed budget, SafeLives would be happy to roll this allocation forward and allow them to spend up to the agreed total budget at a later date.

P30. At the end of the 6-8 week Stage One Engage intervention, what happens if the perpetrator is not suitable to move on to Stage Two? Is there any guidance on containment / unpacking-repacking?

The Engage team will work as part of a multi-agency partnership approach where risk management is a collective responsibility. If at the end of the assessment stage a perpetrator is not ready or able to move onto stage 2, the Engage team will compile a report outlining the reasons for this and any suggested next steps and alternative support to feedback to partner agencies. They will also work with the perpetrator to explain the reasoning and aim to support them to access alternative support or interventions.

If a perpetrator doesn’t move onto stage 2, the offer of support for the victim/survivor and any children will remain in place.

P31. Potential Impact. Is there any evidence on the project’s effect on DVA (increased / decreased) as part of the evaluation?

Yes, the Insights monitoring data will be able to evidence the change in types of abuse experienced, severity and frequency from the client’s Intake to exit from the service.

Invitation to tender 2.4.5 Due diligence is this information just for lead organisation to supply about itself, or is for all subcontractor/partners to provide as well?

All partners are to provide this information please.

We would like some clarification, we have only filed one year of accounts but are not the lead organisation for the bid, can you advise if this is acceptable please?

Yes, that is absolutely fine.

Norfolk specific FAQs

FAQs relating specifically to the invitation to tender for Norfolk Connect

Please could you clarify the submission date?

The submission date is midnight at the end of 23rd March.

Please could you clarify which system we should use for clarification questions & submitting the tender?

All tender enquiries and submissions should be directed to pmo@safelives.org.uk.  Please note the Norwich City Council in-tend system will not facilitate applications for the Norfolk Connect tender, and should be used for information purposes only.

Can the Authority confirm that, as a new service, there is no TUPE?

Yes, there are no planned secondments or transfers of staff.  Recruitment is the responsibility of the service provider, within the requirements defined in the service specification and draft contract.

With  reference 2.5 (Service Specification) and Schedule 5 (Invitation to Tender) can the Authority confirm any office/resource cost contributions providers are expected to pay as part of the co-location agreement  in the Early Help Hub?

Please note that the Norwich Early Help Hub is not provided for co-location of the entire Connect service.  However, it is expected that there will be daily attendance for contribution to the daily Early Help Hub collaboration meeting by some of the Connect service staff.  There will be no costs attached to operating from Norwich Early Help Hub for voluntary sector providers.  However, the arrangement will need to follow current hot desking procedures, whereby partners access their own work systems via wifi using their own mobile devices, lap top computers or tablets and mobile telephones.  The successful provider will need to liaise with Early intervention and community safety manager at Norwich City Council to determine available days and times for participation.

In the previous documentation supplied at the engagement event it stated 2 children & young people workers, but the ITT states 2.5, please can you confirm that this has been increased by a part time post?

Yes, this post has now increased to 2.5 in Norwich.

Can you clarify the in kind budget outlined on slide 24 of the presentation:  

"2. In-kind funding provided by and Norfolk Funding Partners, which may be up to 25% of the whole budget". Does this refer to the items that will be provided by the partnership or is this available for the applicant? What might that cover?”

Since the local workshops the model has developed and there is now no in-kind element in this tender, as all Norfolk provision is in cash. Please ensure bids are based only on the tender documentation provided and not on any previously circulated materials as it is important that all bids are based upon the same information.

Please may we raise the following clarifications regarding the contract terms and conditions:

Page 7 – The definition of ‘funding partners’ requirements’ suggests that requirements set by funding partners in relation to this contract/service would apply. Please could you identify what these additional requirements may be at this stage?

The contract reflects all funding partner requirements we are currently aware of.

Clauses 25.3 and 25.4 – If a complaint is received about the services, SafeLives may uphold the complaint and can withhold or deduct a maximum of 10% of the contract price payable for that month. Please could you advise as to the calculation used to decide the amount deducted?

This would be at the discretion of SafeLives, however a more specific formula may be identified during contract negotiation if this was required and could be mutually agreed.

Clause 31.2.4 – We need to have in place any specific insurances identified in the funding partners’ requirements. Please could we clarify which specific insurances will be required in addition to those mentioned in clause 33?

These are the insurance requirements listed in 33.2

Clause 36 – We currently have no right to terminate the agreement. Please can we request that this clause is amended to a mutual clause?  

Unfortunately we’re unable to enter into any contract negotiations until the tender has been awarded.  However, given certain conditions, there is no obvious reason why this could not be accommodated.

We note that page 9 of the ITT states that the budget includes VAT.  This is very unusual as tenders usually ask for pricing to be submitted exclusive of VAT.  Please can you confirm that this is not an error and that providers’ prices are to include VAT?

We confirm that the budget is inclusive of VAT.

All tender enquiries and submissions should be directed to pmo@safelives.org.uk.  Please note the Norwich City Council in-tend system will not facilitate applications for the Norfolk Connect tender, and should be used for information purposes only.

What are the expected levels of public liability insurance?

We expect the delivery partner to take out and maintain public liability insurance in a minimum of £10million. Please refer to section 33.2 of the draft contract for more information.

This was incorrectly recorded in the draft contract as a minimum of £5million – this has now been updated to reflect the correct amount.