Legal Aid Agency’s intentions for tendering the remaining categories under the 2010 Standard Civil Contract

Set out below is a summary of the LAA’s intentions for the following areas:

Actions Against the Police, Community Care, Clinical Negligence, Family Mediation, Mental Health, Public Law, Housing Possession Court Duty Scheme, Immigration Removal Centres.

Community Care & Mental Health
Tenders for these contracts for these categories will be the first to be opened. This is because the LAA intend to introduce additional quality requirements for these categories.

The tender process will be a one stage process and shall comprise of completing a PQQ and an ITT. Remuneration will not change thus there will be no competition on price.

Matter starts will be based on lots as was the case with the 2013 tender round. Those successful bidding for the smallest lots will be guaranteed a certain number of matter starts. Those bidding in the highest lot may be subject to additional requirements.

All providers will need to hold either the SQM (as audited by the SQM Delivery Partnership) or Lexcel by the contract start date.

Proposed Timetable:

PQQ & ITT opensMid Feb
PQQ & ITT closeMid-March
Notification of outcomeLate April
Verification processMay to late June
Issue ContractsJuly
Contract Start Date1 August 2014

Additional Quality Requirements

A revised supervisor to caseworker ratio of 1:4 is mandatory in both categories.

In mental health, all representatives before the MHRT must be accredited by the Law Society’s Mental Health accreditation scheme and employ at least one authorised litigator (usually a solicitor).

The option for a Community Care supervisor to qualify via the housing route will be removed. Providers will need a Community Care contract if they wish to carry out Community Care Judicial Review work. This will have the effect of preventing those with a Public Law contract being able to do Community Care JR work under ‘tolerance’.

Other Categories

Tenders for the other categories shall commence in late 2014 with a view to contracts starting in November 2015. Current contracts will be extended in order to allow for this timetable.

Immigration Removal Centres (IRC)
These will also be re-tendered for services starting in November 2015.

Clinical Negligence
A revised supervisor standard will be introduced to more closely reflect the restricted scope of work in this area post LASPO.