Last updated:2023-09-18
Crime tender notifications released today
The LAA has been sending bidders for crime duty contracts the outcomes of their tenders today. At the time of writing, many firms still had not been told their result. The LAA have told the Law Society Gazette that they will release all results before midnight. Even those results that have been released have not been trouble free. One firm was briefly awarded a contract in Cheshire despite neither being based nor having bid there. Legal aid consultant David Gilmore tweeted that he knew of two bids which failed because they had been marked down for not discussing working with partners - even though they weren't proposing to deliver in a partnership.
One duty firm has just lost out today as they 'failed to discuss their delivery partner arrangements' despite no partners being on the bid!! — David Gilmore (@DavidLGilmore) October 15, 2015
It's happened again. Same firm different area. Missed out by one place because of 'ghost' delivery partners. Cut and pasting errors? — David Gilmore (@DavidLGilmore) October 15, 2015
So assuming that LAA correct their plain error re delivery partners - then what - do they take away a contract awarded to someone else? — David Gilmore (@DavidLGilmore) October 15, 2015 The results were delayed because of "quality assurance". That "quality assured" results nevertheless contain such glaring errors is worrying, and lends support to the allegations of poor quality processing and decision making made by one of those assessing the bids yesterday. It is hard to see an explanation for taking 15 hours to contact less than 1,100 bidders unless the process is still not finished. The LAA also announced today that the timetable for the rest of the process hasn't been lengthened despite the delays. Successful bidders must confirm acceptance by 23:59 on 20 October - only three working days for those not notified until this evening. That is despite the whole economic model on which many will have tendered having since been undermined by the advocacy consultation and the court closure programme announced since bidding closed. Whatever the truth of yesterday's allegations - a matter that will no doubt be much litigated in the coming months - the way that the LAA has handled this process has been quite disgraceful.