1)Information regarding the tariffs or fee structure paid to independent providers of domiciliary care, to include the specific rates paid currently, and previously back as far as 2014.
These tariffs and fee structure is a commercial arrangement between Primary and Sub Providers, the rates are not set by Devon County Council. We consider that the information is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act Section 43(2) Commercial Confidentiality. We are satisfied that disclosure of the information would, or would be likely to, prejudice or harm the commercial interests of ourselves and our providers. A commercial interest relates to an ability to participate competitively in a commercial activity. As Section 43 is a qualified exemption we have applied a public interest test to decide if the balance of the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs that of disclosing the information. There is a public interest in encouraging transparency about the tendering process and the negotiation of public sector contracts. This may encourage companies to take part in the process and help them improve their bids, which in turn increases competition and help public authorities to get value for money. However, there is a counter argument in favour of non – disclosure where disclosure would reduce our ability to negotiate or compete in a commercial environment. We consider that, on balance the public interest lies in non-disclosure of the detailed cost breakdown and are therefore applying the exemption.
The tariff and fee structure information we hold is dated 2016 and is still current. Work required to compile the same information back to 2014, which may be less commercially sensitive, we estimate would take more than 18 hours which exceeds the time allowed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Section 12 – Cost of Compliance. Therefore, that information is exempt.
The original award and ball park figures have already been published in the Tender award and Cabinet report, accessible via the links below.
2) The processes or protocols for identifying and commissioning suitable independent domiciliary care providers.
In 2016 we awarded tenders for a Primary Provider in each of eight zones. These Primary Providers in turn secure other providers using their own contractual arrangements to support the main contract. In addition, there are spot contract providers who are outside that arrangement and who must be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and sign up to a Devon County Council contract.