News story

Crime news: results for legal aid Duty Provider Crime Contracts tender announced

Organisations who have bid for the new Duty Provider Crime Contracts will find out the result of their application today (Thursday 15 October 2015).

The Legal Aid Agency will send notification letters to all bidders through the message board in the eTendering system. The process will start at 9.15am and completed by the end of the day.

If an organisation submitted bids in more than one procurement area, it will receive a separate letter for each bid. These letters may arrive at different times during the day. The decisions follow a careful and rigorous assessment of all of the tender bids.

Each successful applicant organisation in a procurement area will receive a notification stating the outcome and explaining what the successful organisation needs to do next.

Unsuccessful organisations will receive a full breakdown with the following information:

  • The outcome of the bid;
  • The score achieved in the award stage of the competition in that procurement area;
  • The organisation’s rank in that procurement area;
  • The breakdown of the score for each question;
  • The reasons for the scores given.

All successful firms will be asked to confirm their intention to accept the contract through the eTendering message board by 11.59pm on 20 October 2015. The LAA anticipates entering into contracts in the week starting 26 October.

The LAA is notifying bidders in all 85 procurement areas across England and Wales.

Organisations in Devon (Devon & Cornwall 1) and the Isle of Wight (Hampshire 2) where additional tendering activity has been required will receive further information on the outcome of these processes in the week of 19 October.

All successful organisations will receive a further letter once they confirm their intention to accept the Duty Provider Contract. This letter will set out how their bid will be verified. The verification activity is also set out in Section 7 of the Information For Applicants (IFA), which was published when the tender was launched. Organisations must provide the information requested in that letter in order for contract documents to be issued for signature.

Contracts must be signed by the ‘click to accept’ function within the LAA’s online Contracted Work & Administration (CWA) system.

If a successful firm declines its contract offer, fails to confirm it wishes to accept the Duty Provider Contract by the deadline, or fails the verification activity, the LAA may choose to offer the contract to the next ranked organisation in the relevant procurement area. This means a firm that has not been offered a contract today, may be offered one at a later stage. The LAA will contact firms if these circumstances occur.

The LAA has also today published final versions of the 2015 Own Client Crime Contract and the 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contract.

Firms should note that their contract manager will be available to answer queries and to discuss next steps for successful and unsuccessful firms. All information about the outcome of an unsuccessful organisation’s bid and the reasons for it will be contained in the notification letter. Contract managers will not be able to provide any further detail about the decisions made.

The LAA will continue to support the successful applicants as they work through the mobilisation period leading up to contracts starting on 11 January 2016.

The requirements of the tender process and procurement law mean that further contract discussions must take place in confidence, respecting the commercial sensitivity of the information involved. The LAA, including contract managers, will not be in a position to disclose publicly the final outcome in any of the procurement areas, or to list the successful bidders, until all of the contracts have been confirmed later in the process.

The government is confident the tender process means we will have the crime provision we require in place and that defendants across England and Wales will have access to the legal services they are entitled to.