Crime Tender - Timetable Published
Crime Tender - LAA have published the tendering timetable
Those who suggested that this might all go away, sadly, have been proven to be wrong.
The LAA today published its timetable for the Crime tender for contracts to start on 1st July 2015.
Existing 2010 crime contracts will be extended until 30 June 2015.
The "Own Client Contract" tender will open when the criteria for this stage are published on 25th April 2014.
This first stage of the tender will close at 12 noon on 23rd May 2014.
Firms should put these dates in their key-dates diary and treat them like Limitation Dates.
They also should not leave their tender submission until the 11th hour. The tendering portal is complex and easy to get wrong. Firms should check and double check and check again the contents of their submission before submitting them to the LAA.
Get it wrong and there is no appeal. You would then not be able, as a firm, to provide legally aided Crime services after 30th June 2015.
You would also not then be eligible to tender/participate in a tender for the Duty Provider Contract when that procurement process (and criteria) is published around July 2014.
Therefore, please do take care and get this first stage right!
Read the "Key Tendering considerations" document on the MOJ website (see link below) and if you haven't already done so register now with BRAVO solutions and get used to their tendering portal.
If you are awarded an Own Client Contract then "subject to passing verification" of your bid/submission you will be eligible as a firm to bid for a Duty Provider Contract in the summer. You may want to cancel your holiday as dealing with this from a distance is not recommended.
Those firms who want to bid for Prison Law IN ADDITION to an own client contract need to take extra care to include this in this initial tender. Those who may want to do Prison Law as a stand -alone service will have to watch out for another procurement process.
Crime Information packs presumably showing details of Crime firms' take from fund in a procurement area should be published by the MOJ/LAA next week - W/C 14th April 2014. They will be published in the "legal aid crime news" section of the MOJ website.
We are told they will include amongst other information:
- volume and value data for police station attendance claims
- litigator graduated fees
- magistrates' court representation fees
Do read this information and if you still haven't done so, engage with this process as soon as possible.
If you intend to tender for Duty Provider work then you should by now have prepared a first draft of a delivery plan either alone or as a lead provider with delivery partners.
Further details can be found on the MOJ website: https://www.justice.gov.uk/legal-aid/contracts-and-tenders/tenders