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LSC FAMILY LAW TENDER 2011

 

LSC FAMILY LAW TENDER 2011

 

The LSC has now published its post-consultation Family Tender amendments and timetable

 

  • 1. The supervisor to caseworker ratio will be 1:4. This ratio requirement will be required at each OFFICE of the firm. It is therefore a far more onerous and costly requirement that the 2010 civil tender which had a 1 to 6 ratio and the requirement was at organisation level.

 

It seems rather odd that as the SRA moves to outcome based regulation, the LSC focuses on and becomes more prescriptive about HOW the practice supervises and manages the work. This adds cost to firms and perhaps discourages efficiency. It is also likely to reduce profitability.

 

  • 2. providers will not be required to undertake the full range of family work

 

This change should help avoid the debacle last year where those firms who did only predominantly Care work were severely disadvantaged by the scoring which in many procurement areas required equal experience across both Private and Public law.

 

However, the devil is often in the detail and as the LSC is intend on using Bravo solutions again, one wonders if there will be any traps for the unwary there as to supervisor requirements for example.

 

It should be noted that there will be a separate tender for Child Abduction work.  Given the intended MOJ scope cuts this work may become more important for Family providers.

 

 

 

  • 3. housing contracts will be offered with a minimum size of 50 new matter starts

 

It is not clear what the allocation of HOU NMS by procurement area will be. If the NMS allocation is not significantly larger than this Family & Housing firms then one wonders if a Housing department with the attendant cost of supervision is sustainable.

 

 

Unfortunately these tenders always seem to arrive when most of the profession are on or returning from holidays.

 

It is vitally important that a partner/director or senior manager in the practice downloads the details of this tender and starts to prepare on a paper a submission.

 

Also make sure that the relevant person/persons are registered on Bravo solutions and have a password.

 

When the tender opens on 5th September, it is important to read each page of the online tender document and any FAQ and guidance VERY carefully.

 

Days rather than hours need to be set aside for preparation of this tender.

 

 

The published tender timetable is

 

  • 5 September 2011 - tender process opens
  • 3 October 2011 - tender process closes
  • mid November 2011 - notifications of awards and requests for verification
  • early December 2011 - verification documentation received
  • 1 February 2012 - Family (Housing) contract begins

 

 

More information can be found on the LSC website:

 

https://www.legalservices.gov.uk/civil/cls_news_12923.asp?page=1&dm_i=4P,I2KJ,2JGIV,1GWHB,1