7. Partnership working for community justice
7.1 This part of the guidance sets out who are the statutory community justice partners as well as other partners and partnerships which operate at a national and local level. It gives a brief summary of their respective roles in relation to strategic planning and delivery of community justice services. This information can of course be supplemented by other relevant local partner information.
7.2 Appropriate local governance and partnership working arrangements must be determined by the statutory partners for each local authority area. This could be based on an existing arrangement or a new arrangement but the approach must be agreed by all the statutory partners.
7.3 It is a requirement of the Act that the statutory partners work together to plan the effective delivery of community justice services in their local area. Partnership working is not a new concept and the benefits have been highlighted by Audit Scotland in their recent report on Community Planning (see Exhibit 1). It is intended that this collaborative approach will also deliver benefits for Community Justice outcomes improvement planning.
Source: Community Planning: turning ambition into action, Audit Scotland, November 2014, licensed under the Open Government Licence
Partnership working to improve local outcomes
7.4 The following exhibit relates to Community Planning Partnerships, but the principles it contains could also apply to other arrangements to be established for community justice.
Source: Turning Community Planning into Action, Audit Scotland, November 2014, licensed under the Open Government Licence
The link between commissioning and delivering improved outcomes
Commissioning: supporting the shared assessment of and forecast of needs, linking investment to outcomes, considering options and supporting partners to plan the nature, range and quality of future services in support of community justice outcomes. Contracting and procurement procedures will support the commissioning process and will rest with the appropriate local or national body or bodies.
7.5 By implementing this Guidance and the Outcomes, Performance and Improvement Framework and having regard to the National Strategy for Community Justice, partners will have the tools they need to understand the link between:
- the profile of their area;
- the evidence base and good practice;
- outcomes; and
- the extent to which existing services and models of delivery are meeting the needs of their local area.
7.6 If, based on this understanding, new or enhanced arrangements are required, statutory partners should take an approach to commissioning that ensures that services deliver against the needs of communities. This should be done in a way that utilises the potential that exists in the partners and takes account of the potential contribution of the third sector and communities in the area to help achieve improved community justice outcomes.
7.7 The default, in keeping with the local model, is for the majority of commissioning to take place locally. Partners may, however, work together to commission services in order where appropriate.
7.8 National commissioning would take place on the basis of being able to deliver value for partners, for example through economies of scale and would be subject to consultation with statutory partners as appropriate.
7.9 Not all national commissioning or the technical process of procurement and contracting which follows would necessarily be undertaken via Community Justice Scotland. Under the new model, lead authority or existing national arrangements may also be pursued where it is agreed that these are the most appropriate route. Community Justice Scotland could lend support to local partners and offer advice on the evidence base and best practice developed through its proposed Hub for innovation, learning and development.