Duty crime contracts - more information
The LAA has published some more information about how the tender and the contracts themselves will work. In some ways the information raises as many questions as it answers but it also clarifies some important issues. There are two documents: 1. 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts Update This sets out 8 key bidding rules:
There will be a fixed number of equal sized contracts in each procurement area
An organisation can only make one bid as an applicant organisation in a procurement area
An organisation can only be included in two bids per procurement area
An organisation can only be included in two bids per procurement area, ie as an applicant organisation once and a delivery partner once, or twice as a delivery partner
The maximum number of organisations in a single bid for a procurement area is four, ie one applicant organisation and up to three delivery partners
Within a bid, the applicant organisation must deliver the largest share of the work
An applicant organisation must deliver a specified percentage of the total value of the contract - 30% in rural areas and 45% in urban areas
A delivery partner must not deliver more than 40% of the value of work in a single bid The document goes on to set out points to consider if bidding with a delivery partner, which emphasise that all the risks sit firmly with the applicant organisation - even as far as being responsible for the peer review result of a partner. It provides example scenarios in which organisations may consider bidding with others as delivery partners
Geographical coverage
To gain a key member of staff with expertise which would attract more points in the as yet unpublished scoring scheme
To allow very large organisations up to 140% of work in a procurement area Financial assessment Applicant organisations will have to submit financial information which will be assessed by a qualified financial professional based on key ratios from their accounts. New organisations will have to submit cash flow forecasts. Expansion capacity assessment Organisations bidding for contracts that are valued at more than twice their current value or are new entities will be subject to more detailed financial assessment. They will be able to designate a 'main bid' and an 'expansion bid'. If assessed as being able to deliver their main bid, it will be protected, rather than all bids being rejected due to expansion. 2. Example Duty Rotas
Each procurement area will have a separate duty scheme.
Outside London, the schemes will include a number of police station schemes and court schemes
In London, the schemes will be made up of 'a police station scheme and/or a court scheme'. This will undoubtedly give London firms much food for thought as schemes within the London area could be markedly different from each other. However, we will not know until the tender is actually published, which makes it very difficult to plan
Providers on rotas will receive an equal share of duty slots - the LAA sets out some examples of how these could work

About the author(s)

Description: Vicky Ling - author
Vicky Ling is a consultant specialising in legal aid practice and a founder member of the Law Consultancy Network.