Legal aid – guidance

Legal aid crime tender 2015

This publication was withdrawn on 22 July 2016

This tender has been superseded by the Legal aid crime tender 2017.

Information for legal aid providers tendering for a 2015 crime contract.

Documents

Procurement of 2015 Own and Duty Provider Crime Contracts notice

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2010 Standard Crime Contract extension: FAQ

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Prison Law and/or Appeals & Reviews Appeal pro-forma

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2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts: Devon and Cornwall 1 supplemental tender exercise, frequently asked questions

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Invitation to tender for 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contract: Cornwall and Devon 1 procurement area, amendment notice 20 August 2015

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Cash flow forecast template

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Established business financial assessment form

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Expression of Interest - Hampshire 2 (Isle of Wight)

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3 procurement areas update: 28 July 2015

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Prison law and/or appeals and reviews contract: information for applicants

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Own client crime contract 2015: amendment notice 13 May 2015

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Invitation to Tender for 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts Amendment Notice with effect from 16 April 2015

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LCCSA and CLSA questions

Duty provider crime contracts: notice to potential bidders

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Duty provider crime contract 2015: final frequently asked questions - 22 December 2014

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2015 Duty Provider Crime Contract: guidance on using the eTendering system to respond to the invitation to tender

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Duty provider crime tender: business structures

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Duty provider crime contract 2015: pre-tender frequently asked questions - 15 September 2014

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Detail

Latest updates

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The Lord Chancellor has made a written ministerial statement to Parliament setting out a change in policy with regard to criminal legal aid contracting. The Legal Aid Agency will therefore discontinue the procurement process for 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts and 2015 Own Client Contracts (including Prison Law and Appeals and Reviews work). As a result, we have removed the 2015 Own Client Contract verification FAQ from this page as this is no longer valid/applicable.

Background

On 18 August 2015 the LAA launched tender activity aiming to secure supplemental 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts in two procurement areas where the initial tender process in 2014 and 2015 received insufficient bids. These areas are:

  • Devon & Cornwall 1 (Devon)
  • Hampshire 2 (Isle of Wight)

See the ‘Latest Updates’ section above for further detail.

The invitation to tender (ITT) for all other 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts has now closed. The deadline for tenders was 12 noon on Tuesday 5 May 2015.

The ITT was the second stage of the procurement process for duty provider contracts and was restricted to those applicant organisations who had been notified of the LAA’s intention to award them a 2015 Own Client Crime Contract (the first stage of the procurement process).

Contract work under all 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts will begin on 11 January 2016.

Further supporting information

Previous updates

7 December 2015 - Own Client Contract verification FAQ

We have today published an updated version of the Own Client Contract verification FAQ.

The FAQ document can be found on this page under ‘Documents’.

December 2 2015 - Own Client Contract verification FAQ

We have today published an updated version of the Own Client Contract verification FAQ.

The FAQ document can be found on this page under ‘Documents’.

November 30 2015 - 2015 Own Client verification

On Wednesday 25 November we resumed the verification of 2015 Own Client contracts. Remaining organisations are requested to provide information to verify their Own Client tenders.

On 13 November the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) announced its intention that services under the new 2015 crime contracts will start on 1 April 2016 rather than 11 January, as previously planned.

That means we intend to start all 2015 Own Client contracts on 1 April 2016.

In procurement areas where it is viable to do so given ongoing litigation, we will also seek to enter into and start 2015 Duty Provider contracts from this date. In procurement areas where this is not possible we intend to offer duty work to holders of the 2015 Own Client contract.

On Wednesday 25 November 2015 we contacted all organisations who successfully tendered for a 2015 Own Client Contract but who have not yet been asked to verify their tenders. We have requested the information needed to verify their Own Client tenders.

This is necessary so that organisations are ready to start work under the 2015 Own Client Contract from the revised intended contract start date of 1 April 2016.

The deadline for submitting the information is 23:59 on 8 December 2015.

Organisations that do not hold a 2010 crime contract will be offered the opportunity to undertake own client work between 11 January 2016 and 31 March 2016 provided they submit all the information required by this deadline.

Contingency offer from 11 January to 31 March 2016

Under an extension of our previously announced measures, organisations that have been offered a 2015 Own Client contract but do not hold a 2010 Standard Crime Contract will now have the opportunity to undertake own client work between 11 January 2016 and 31 March 2016.

Provided such organisations have completed pre-contract validation for 2015 Own Client Contracts we will offer them a contingency contract for this period to undertake own client work only.

All necessary verification information must be submitted by 23:59pm on 8 December 2015 to conduct work under these measures.

Organisations that submit the necessary information to successfully verify their tender and who are eligible to be offered a contingency extension will have contract documents available to execute via the LAA’s Controlled Work and Administration (CWA) system in time for 11 January.

Duty rotas from 1 April 2016

As announced on 13 November 2015, our intention is to implement Duty Provider Crime Contracts from 1 April 2016 where viable.

In procurement areas where this is not viable we will produce contingency duty rotas to allocate duty work to organisations who have signed Own Client Contracts.

If an organisation wishes to be included on a contingency duty rota from 1 April it should submit its Own Client verification information before by 23:59 on 8 December 2015 to allow LAA to issue Own Client Contracts for execution.

We will write to organisations separately with details of the eligibility criteria and method of allocation of duty slots in any procurement areas where it is not viable to implement Duty Provider Contracts on 1 April.

Information requested

Verification requests sent on 25 November were issued via the eTendering message system and specified the information each organisation must provide to verify their tender.

Own Client verification began in late October for organisations that successfully bid for a 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contract in addition to an Own Client Contract. We have written to these organisations again to request they provide a compliant Supervisor Declaration Form.

Organisations wishing to decline a 2015 Own Client Contract offer

The Own Client procurement process allowed organisations to tender both as constituted at the time of tendering and as the organisation it intended to become for a duty provider contract.

Organisations may therefore have been notified of our intention to award them a contract as more than one entity.

Any organisation that was notified of our intention to award them a 2015 Own Client Contract and does not intend to accept it should notify us via the eTendering message system.

17 November 2015 - Update to FAQ for 2010 Standard Crime Contract

We have today published an update to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) published on 13 November 2015 that applies to the 2010 Standard Crime Contract extension.

The FAQ document can be found on this page under ‘Documents’

Opportunity for holders of legal aid crime contracts to continue providing services between 11 January and 31 March 2016.

The government remains committed to introducing 2015 Own Client and Duty Provider Crime Contracts and delivering market consolidation through the dual contract model at the earliest opportunity.

Following our procurement process 519 out of 520 successful bidders have indicated their intention to accept the new duty contracts. This is very welcome and reinforces our confidence that the new model will deliver high-quality criminal legal aid services across the country.

However, a number of unsuccessful bidders have chosen to legally challenge our decisions. There are now automatic injunctions on us proceeding with the new contracts in a number of procurement areas until those legal challenges are resolved. Our first priority is to ensure criminal legal aid remains available to those who need it and we cannot risk gaps in provision due to ongoing litigation. We have therefore taken the difficult but necessary decision to delay the implementation of the new contracts.

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) now intends that services under the new contracts will start on 1 April 2016 rather than 11 January, as previously planned. The new litigator fee scheme will be introduced at the same time as the new contracts.

LAA is writing to existing 2010 Standard Crime Contract holders today (13 November) to offer them the opportunity to continue providing criminal legal aid services from 11 January 2016. The offer will be a contingency extension based on the 2010 Standard Crime Contract and the extension will last until 31 March 2016. There is backstop date of 10 January 2017 for the contingency extension in the unlikely event that a further extension beyond 31 March is required.

This will allow existing providers to continue to deliver both own client and duty work from 11 January 2016 until 31 March 2016.

The short delay to the start of the new contracts will mean the transition to the new contracting model can start securely in April.

The government will continue to defend robustly all legal challenges issued against the procurement process for crime duty contracts. The government is confident that the tender process was robust and fair

Contingency extension offer letter

The Legal Aid Agency will offer a contingency extension to all providers who currently hold a 2010 criminal legal aid contract.

All 2010 criminal legal aid contract holders will receive a letter on 13 November 2015 giving them the opportunity to accept the contingency extension.

Any organisation holding the 2010 Standard Crime Contract and accepting the contingency extension will continue to be able to carry out Own Client and Duty work from 11 January 2016 until 31 March 2016.

Organisations that have been offered the 2015 Own Client Crime Contract and been through pre-contract validation but who do not currently hold a 2010 Standard Crime Contract will be made a similar offer of a contract based on the 2010 Standard Crime Contract enabling them to carry out own client work from 11 January 2016 until 31 March 2016.

We have produced a Frequently Asked Questions document to anticipate the questions we are likely to receive from organisations. This can be found in the documents panel above.

What will happen on 1 April 2016?

We intend to start all 2015 Own Client contracts on 1 April 2016. We will also seek to start 2015 Duty Provider contracts from this date in all procurement areas where it is viable to do so given ongoing litigation. In areas where this is not possible we intend to offer duty work to holders of the 2015 Own Client contract.

As the new litigator fee structure was designed to complement the Own Client and Duty Provider contracts, it will be introduced on 1 April 2016 rather than on 11 January. The existing fee scheme will continue to operate between 11 January 2016 and 31 March 2016.

How to accept/decline the contract extension offer

Organisations must confirm to LAA their intention to accept or decline the contingency extension offer by completing the offer acceptance form contained in their offer letter. The offer acceptance form must be completed, signed and a copy returned by email to crime.contracts@legalaid.gsi.gov.uk by 23.59pm on Sunday 22 November 2015.

Organisations who do not accept the contingency extension offer by the deadline will not be entitled to undertake and be paid for Contract Work from 11 January 2016.

Contract documentation for the period of the contingency extension will be available to view in the Controlled Work and Administration (CWA) system no later than 18 December 2015.

Providers will receive an automatic email from CWA when this documentation has been uploaded and is available to view. Providers will not need to take action to accept the contingency extension documents in CWA. Once uploaded they will be authorised to conduct crime contract work from 11 January 2016.

Duty rotas

LAA will publish rotas no later than Friday 18 December 2015 to organisations that accept the contingency extension. New rotas will cover the period between 11 January and 31 March 2016. These will be based on the current scheme membership. Any queries or amendments should be emailed to CMcrimequery@legalaid.gsi.gov.uk

2 November 2015 - Supplemental crime duty contract notification

Supplemental crime duty contract notification

29 October 2015 – Crime contracts tender update

The verification process for organisations successful in the Duty Crime Tender is taking place throughout this week. The LAA plans to enter into duty contracts in the week commencing 2 November.

23 October 2015 - Procurement in Devon and Cornwall 1 and Hampshire 2 update

An additional procurement exercise was launched on 18 August 2015 in Devon (Devon and Cornwall 1 procurement area) and an expression of interest exercise was launched in the Isle of Wight (Hampshire 2 procurement area), as LAA received fewer bids than contracts available in the original tender process.

Devon and Cornwall 1

LAA will notify all bidders about the outcome of the supplemental procurement exercise the week commencing 2 November 2015.

The overall timetable remains unchanged. Following contract acceptance and a mobilisation period the new duty and own client contracts will commence on 11 January 2016 as planned.

Hampshire 2

Expressions of interest were invited in relation to available duty provider contract work in the Isle of Wight (Hampshire 2 Procurement Area) from eligible organisations.

Owing to the level of interest received the LAA will now run a tender for the remaining available contract work. The tender will be open to all eligible organisations and will not be limited to those who have submitted an expression of interest. We anticipate that the invitation to tender will open before the end of November 2015.

Organisations eligible to bid will be invited to tender through the e-Tendering system.

22 October 2015 - Acceptance of Duty Provider Contract offers

Organisations successful in the Duty Crime Tender were given until the end of 20 October 2015 to contact the LAA to confirm their intention to accept the contract offers. This confirmation has now been received for 519 of the 520 contract offers made on 15 October.

15 and 16 October - Duty Provider Crime Contracts results and notification

Results for legal aid Duty Provider Crime Contracts tender announced

Crime duty provider contract notification completed

September - Notification of Prison Law and/or Appeals & Reviews Contract Work Tender Outcomes

Organisations will be notified from 15 September 2015 of the outcome of the tender for Prison Law and/or Appeals & Reviews Contract Work in England and Wales.

Notification letters will be sent to all Applicant Organisations via the eTendering system. Letters will include a request for any outstanding information required to verify Applicant Organisations’ Tenders ahead of contract documentation being issued.

Where an Applicant Organisation has been unsuccessful, rights of appeal are limited and set out at paragraph 12.22 of the Information for Applicants (IFA) document. If you have been unsuccessful and, after reading paragraph 12.22 of the IFA, consider that a right of appeal applies and you wish to appeal, you must do so using the appeals pro forma.

We have today published a FAQ document that applies to the procurement of 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts in Devon and Cornwall 1 procurement area. This document gives answers to common questions received through the eTendering system message boards.

The FAQ document can be found on this page under ‘Documents’.

The deadline for asking questions about the content of the tender or Information for Applicants (IFA) was 12pm on 25 August 2015. The LAA is unable to respond to any questions received after this date.

Many questions will be answered by the information given in the IFA document, which is also available on this page under ‘Documents’.

Organisations that have technical queries about using the eTendering system can continue to contact the helpdesk on 0800 368 4850 or help@bravosolution.co.uk.

The deadline for submission of Tenders is 12pm on 9 September 2015

1 September 2015 – Crime duty contracts deadline reminder: Devon and Cornwall 1

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) has launched a procurement process for supplemental 2015 crime duty contracts in the Devon and Cornwall 1 procurement area to secure coverage in time for the service start date on 11 January 2016.

The deadline for the submission of tenders is 12pm on 9 September 2015.

Organisations wishing to tender for a contract should do so using the LAA’s eTendering portal.

Technical questions about how to operate the eTendering system should be sent to the helpdesk - email: help@bravosolution.co.uk; or telephone: 0800 368 4850.

We have subdivided the procurement area into 4 access points. As set out in the information for applicants (IFA) document, New bidders submitting a tender in all 4 access points are required to submit financial assessment information. The deadline for submission of financial assessment information is 12pm on 23 September 2015 and is after the tender deadline.

You can see more information, including requirements, criteria and how to submit a tender in the IFA document -see the documents section above. Financial information assessment forms and a link to the eTendering portal for the Devon an Cornwall 1 tender process can also be found in the documents section above.

20 August 2015 – Amendment to the Duty Provider Contract Devon and Cornwall 1 procurement area Information for Applicants

Applicant organisations should refer to a notice amending the IFA and financial assessment documents to be used in this procurement process published on this page and on the eTendering portal.

All tenders must be completed using the eTendering portal.

Questions on how to use the eTendering system should be directed to technical support on 0800 368 4850 (lines are open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday) or at: help@bravosolution.co.uk.

Applicants can find the IFA, Frequently Asked Questions documents and other information relating to the Duty Provider Contract Devon & Cornwall 1 procurement process on this page.

18 August 2015 - Supplemental tender processes open for Devon and Cornwall 1 and Hampshire 2

On 28 July 2015 we published a statement (see the documents section above) outlining the action we will take in the procurement areas where we received insufficient bids through the initial duty provider contract tender.

We have launched tender activity to seek supplemental 2015 Duty Provider Contracts in two procurement areas:

  • Devon & Cornwall 1 (Devon)
  • Hampshire 2 (Isle of Wight)

Any eligible organisation may respond to these tender opportunities, including the organisations that bid for a duty provider contract during the initial tender process that closed on 2 May 2015.

To be eligible, organisations must have been notified of our intention to award them a 2015 own client crime contract and have an office in a qualifying procurement area.

Devon & Cornwall 1 Invitation to Tender

Organisations wishing to tender for a contract in this area must do so using the LAA’s eTendering system.

Organisations are strongly advised to carefully read the Devon & Cornwall 1 ‘Information for applicants’ document (available in the documents section of this page) and access the procurement opportunity early.

The deadline for the submission of tenders is 12 noon on 9 September 2015.

Hampshire 2 Expression of Interest

Organisations must respond using the Expression of Interest form (available from the documents section of this page).

Completed forms must be submitted by email as detailed in the form.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 12 noon on 2 September 2015.

28 July 2015 – Duty Provider Crime Contract tender update in 3 areas

The 2015 Duty Crime Tender successfully brought in sufficient bids in 82 of the 85 procurement areas across England and Wales. There were 3 procurement areas where insufficient viable bids were received. These were:

  • Devon and Cornwall 1 (Devon)
  • Dyfed Powys 2
  • Hampshire 2 (Isle of Wight)

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) has met with organisations in each of the 3 procurement areas and developed an approach for to ensuring adequate coverage in those areas. In Dyfed Powys and the Isle of Wight the LAA has chosen to utilise the provision with the 2015 Duty Provider Contract to increase volumes of work delivered through contracts by up to an additional 50%. In Devon we will make changes to create smaller geographic zones and run an additional tender in each. Further details of the approach for each of the procurement areas is set out in the 3 procurement areas update document in the documents section above.

The assessment process for the other procurement areas is continuing. We expect to notify applicant organisations about tender outcomes in September 2015.

9 July 2015- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document published for 2015 Prison Law and/or Appeals & Reviews Tender

We have today published a Frequently Asked Questions document that applies to the procurement of 2015 Prison Law and/or Appeals & Reviews Services in England and Wales from 11 January 2016. This document gives answers to common questions received through the eTendering system message boards.

The FAQ document can be found on this page under ‘Documents’.

The deadline for asking questions about the content of the tender or IFA was 12 noon on 3 July 2015. The LAA is unable to respond to any questions received after this date.

Many questions will be answered by the information given in the Information for Applicants (IFA) document, which is also available on this page under ‘Documents’.

Organisations that have technical queries about using the eTendering system can continue to contact the helpdesk on 0800 368 4850 or help@bravosolution.co.uk.

The deadline for submission of Tenders is 12 noon on 21 July 2015.

3 July 2015 - Crime Duty Provider tender assessment ongoing

The assessment process for the 2015 Duty Crime Tender is ongoing.

Applicant organisations are encouraged to check the Bravo eTendering system on a regular basis to ensure that any messages sent by the Legal Aid Agency are read and responded to appropriately.

19 June 2015 - 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts

The recent 2015 Duty Crime Tender successfully brought in sufficient bids in 82 of the 85 procurement areas across England and Wales.

Sufficient bids were received in more than 96% of the procurement areas and competition will be proceeding.

The assessment process for the tender is under way. This means applicant organisations may receive clarification requests about their response to the tender in the coming weeks.

We expect to notify applicant organisations about tender outcomes in September 2015.

We have plans on what to do in the areas where there were insufficient viable bids. The affected procurement areas as described in the Information For Applicants are:

  • Devon and Cornwall 1 (Devon)
  • Dyfed Powys 2
  • Hampshire 2 (Isle of Wight)

We will follow this up by meeting with providers in the above areas to consider next steps and finalise our plans. Once plans to procure services have been finalised we will publish further details on this page.

10 June 2015 - 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts

The LAA received sufficient bids to undertake a viable competition. 1,099 bids for duty work contracts have been received, from over 500 individual organisations.

13 May 2015 – Amendment to the Own Client Contract service commencement date

On Wednesday 25 March 2015 the Court of Appeal lifted the injunction which suspended the second stage of the procurement process for 2015 Duty Provider Contracts and as a result the procurement process for Duty Provider Contracts resumed on 27 March and closed on 5 May 2015. However, the legal challenge has delayed the anticipated service commencement date for 2015 Crime Contracts.

Under the revised process the service commencement date for 2015 Own Client Contracts is now anticipated to be 11 January 2016 in line with 2015 Duty Provider Contracts.

Applicant organisations should refer to a notice amending the IFA published on this page and on the Tendering portal.

16 April 2015 – Amendment to the Duty Provider Contract Information for Applicants

Applicant Organisations should refer to a Notice correcting the IFA and Mandatory Attachments to be used in this procurement process published on this page and on the Tendering portal.

All tenders must be completed using the eTendering portal.

Questions on how to use the eTendering system should be directed to technical support on 03330 037060 (lines are open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday) or at: LAATenderingHelpdesk@ventura-uk.com

Applicants can find the IFA, Frequently Asked Questions documents and other information relating to the Duty Provider Contract procurement process on this page.

14 April 2015 – Amendment to the Duty Provider Contract Information for Applicants

Applicant Organisations should refer to a Notice correcting the IFA and mandatory attachments to be used in this procurement process published on this page and on the eTendering portal.

All tenders must be completed using the eTendering portal

Questions on how to use the eTendering system should be directed to technical support on 03330 037060 (lines are open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday) or at: LAATenderingHelpdesk@ventura-uk.com

Applicants can find the IFA, Frequently Asked Questions documents and other information relating to the Duty Provider Contract procurement process on this page.

27 March 2015 – 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts: Invitation to Tender continues

The Invitation to Tender (ITT) for 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts (Duty Provider Contract) is now available for invited Applicant Organisations to submit Tenders on the eTendering portal.

The process opened on 27 November 2014 but was temporarily suspended due to an injunction put in place by the High Court. Following the ruling by the High Court on 18 February 2015 and subsequent ruling by the Court of Appeal on 25 March 2015, in which the tender process and associated consultation were found to be lawful, the tender continues with immediate effect, as of 27 March 2015.

This is the second stage of the procurement process for Duty Provider Contracts and is restricted to those Applicant Organisations who have been notified of our intention to award them a 2015 Own Client Crime Contract (the first stage of the procurement process).

The deadline for submitting Tenders is now 12 noon on 5 May 2015. This new deadline maintains the nine week period applicants have to submit their tenders, as set out in the Information For Applicants (IFA).

Applicant Organisations should refer to a Notice amending the IFA. Mandatory Attachments to be used in this procurement process are published on this page and on the Tendering portal.

Between 27 November 2014 and 15 December 2014, applicants were given the opportunity to ask questions about the tender via the eTendering portal. A number of questions were also received from practitioner representative bodies. The LAA’s responses to all of these questions have been published on this page. There is no further opportunity to ask questions about the content of the IFA or procurement process.

All tenders must be completed using the eTendering portal

Questions on how to use the eTendering system should be directed to technical support on 03330 037060 (lines are open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday) or at: LAATenderingHelpdesk@ventura-uk.com

Applicants can find the IFA, Frequently Asked Questions documents and other information relating to the Duty Provider Contract procurement process on this page.

25 March 2015 – 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts: Invitation to Tender to continue

Following the Court of Appeal’s decision today that the 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contract (Duty Provider Contract) tender process and consultation are lawful, the Invitation to Tender for those organisations eligible to apply for a Duty Provider Contract will continue on Friday 27 March 2015 and will close at 12 noon on Tuesday 5 May 2015.

The closing date for tender applications has been amended to ensure the overall nine week tender window for this stage of the procurement process is maintained.

All relevant documentation, including the FAQ remains available for you to view online. You will receive a further update when the tender continues on Friday.

11 March 2015 – 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts: Invitation to tender remains on hold

The tender process for the 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contract remains on hold following the Court of Appeal’s decision today to reserve judgment on the appeal. Once the judgment has been handed down, the Lord Chancellor will consider next steps and further information will be shared in due course.

27 February 2015 - Invitation to tender remains on hold pending appeal against court decision

The tender process for the 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contract (Duty Provider Contract) remains on hold following the Court of Appeal’s decision to extend the temporary injunction until 11 March 2015.

This is pending the outcome of an appeal by the claimants against the High Court ruling which found in favour of the Lord Chancellor. The appeal will be heard on 10 and 11 March 2015.

The LAA intends to continue with the tender as soon as possible and will issue further guidance to potential bidders in due course.

The following information remains available for organisations to view online:

  • Invitation to Tender for 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contract
  • 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contract documentation
  • Indicative (example only) duty rotas for new contracts
  • FAQ

18 February 2015 - High Court rules that the consultation and tender processes are lawful

The High Court has ruled that the 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contract consultation and tender processes are lawful.

The LAA intends to continue with the tender as soon as possible and will issue further guidance to potential bidders in due course.

The Divisional Court refused the claimants request for an appeal. An injunction remains in place until 4pm, Friday 27 February, to allow the claimants to seek leave to appeal from the Court of Appeal.

The following information remains available for organisations to view online:

  • Invitation to Tender for 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contract
  • 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contract documentation
  • Indicative (example only) duty rotas for new contracts
  • FAQ

30 December 2014 - Response to practitioner body queries

We have today published a document responding to the template questions document received from a number of individual organisations writing on behalf of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors’ Association (LCCSA) and Criminal Law Solicitors’ Association (CLSA). This also covers a number of questions asked directly by the Law Society.

While a number of the questions posed do not pertain directly to the tender process for 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts, the LAA has provided responses in this document for general information purposes only. Where questions have been answered in the Invitation to Tender for 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts Frequently Asked Questions document the relevant cross references have been provided in this document.

The LAA’s response to the LCCSA and CLSA questions can be found on this page, as can the final FAQ document it refers to.

23 December 2014 - Notice for potential bidders

The High Court has issued a temporary injunction which suspends the 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contract tender process. From today, potential bidders will be unable to access the tender documentation directly from the Bravo e-tendering platform and while the injunction is in place. However, all relevant documentation, including the FAQ will remain available for you to view above.

The LAA will issue further guidance to bidders in due course.

22 December 2014 - Publication of FAQs

We have today published an update to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document published on 3 December 2014 that applies to the procurement of criminal legal aid services in England and Wales from 1 October 2015. This document gives answers to common questions received through the eTendering system message boards and questions received from representative bodies.

The FAQ document can be found on this page under ‘Documents’.

The deadline for submitting questions about this procurement process was 12 noon on 15 December 2014. The LAA is unable to respond to any questions received after this date.

Many questions will be answered by the information given in the Information for Applicants document (IFA), which is also available on this page under ‘Documents’.

If you have technical queries on how to use the eTendering system, you can also contact our technical helpdesk by phone on 03330 037060 or by sending an email to LAATenderHelpdesk@ventura-uk.com.

The deadline for submitting Tenders is 12 noon on 29 January 2015.

19 December 2014 - Publication of amended indicative rotas

We have published amended indicative rotas to correct errors in the following rotas originally published on 27 November:

  • Dyfed Powys 2
  • Essex
  • West Mercia 1
  • West Mercia 2
  • West Midlands

The amended rotas can be found above.

9 December 2014 - Publication of a notice to correct an error in the IFA

We’ve published a notice to correct errors in the information given in Annex B ‘Table 2: London Procurement Areas’ regarding immediately adjacent London procurement areas for the Central London and Hammersmith and Fulham (West London) procurement areas in the Information for Applicants (IFA) document.

This notice and a corrected version of the IFA can be found above.

3 December 2014 - Frequently asked questions and business structures documents published

We have today (3 December 2014) published an initial frequently asked questions (FAQ) document that applies to the Procurement of Criminal Legal Aid Services in England and Wales from 1 October 2015.

This document gives answers to common questions and initial questions received from representative bodies.

The FAQ document can be found on this page under ‘Documents’.

Many questions will be answered by the information given in the information for applicants (IFA) document, which is also available on this page under ‘Documents’.

Any questions about the content of the IFA as opposed to technical queries should be directed through the relevant message board by 12 noon on 15 December 2014.

An updated final FAQ document will be published on 22 December 2014.

If you have technical queries on how to use the eTendering system, you can also contact our technical helpdesk by phone on 03330 037060 or by sending an email to LAATenderHelpdesk@ventura-uk.com.

The deadline for submitting tenders is 12 noon on 29 January 2015.

We have also published some additional information on business structures, this has been sent to all eligible organisations but is also available in the ‘Documents’ section above.

27 November 2014 – Duty provider contract invitation to tender opens

The LAA has today invited eligible applicant organisations (those notified in June of our intention to award them a 2015 Own Client Crime Contract) to take part in the next stage of the procurement process to award 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts.

The information you have to submit at this stage of the procurement process is more detailed and substantial than at the first stage so you are strongly advised to carefully read the ‘Information for applicants’ document (available in the documents section of this page) and access the procurement opportunity early.

If you have any questions about the content of the tender documentation, you must submit them by 12 noon on 15 December through the eTendering system. All questions must be submitted using the secure message boards in the relevant ITTs.

Questions of wider interest will be collated and answered centrally in writing to ensure that all interested parties have equal access to information. Questions and answers will be published on the tender pages of this website on 22 December in the ‘Invitation to tender for 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts frequently asked questions (FAQ)’.

Detailed step-by step guidance on how to complete the duty provider ITTs is available in the documents section of this page.

Technical support for those using the eTendering system

Questions on how to use the eTendering system should be directed to the Technical Support Team on 03330 037060 (lines are open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday).

Applicant Organisations can also email questions to: LAATenderingHelpdesk@ventura-uk.com.

27 November 2014 – Publication of indicative draft rotas

To further help the profession to understand our approach to allocation of duty slots under the 2015 duty provider crime contract we’ve published indicative rotas for each procurement area to show how slots will be allocated. These are available in the documents section of this page.

These are provided for illustrative purposes only. Slots will not be allocated to providers until the tender process has completed and contracts awarded.

15 September 2014 – Questions on further information answered

On 2 September 2014, the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) published further information regarding the forthcoming duty provider tender process and invited questions relating to this additional information. In response to the questions received, the LAA has compiled a frequently asked questions document, which is available above.

In addition to questions specifically relating to information published on 2 September 2014, the LAA received a number of other queries relating to the duty provider tender process. Answers to these questions are listed in the document, under the heading ‘Other queries’.

2 September 2014 – Further information on the duty provider tender published

The LAA has published some further information on Delivery Partnerships and Financial Assessment, to help applicant organisations in understanding these areas of the tender process.

To help providers in understanding the LAA’s approach to allocation of duty slots under the 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contract we’ve published illustrative rotas to demonstrate how slots will be allocated.

These are not tender documents – detailed information will be available in the Information for Applicants which will be published when the tender opens.

During September we’ll provide further information on the duty provider tender process and we also intend to hold online web chats which will give applicants a chance to find out more about the duty provider tender process and an opportunity to submit questions.

Applicant organisations who have questions regarding the information published today have an opportunity to send any questions to crime_tenders@legalaid.gsi.gov.uk. Any questions received by 5pm on 8 September will be answered in a Frequently Asked Questions document published here on Monday 15 September.

10 July 2014 – Data Pack Table 5 (13/14) correction published

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) has published an amended data pack Table 5 for 2013/14. This rectifies a small postcode error in the original table.

7 July 2014 – Data Pack Table 4 (13/14) correction published

The LAA has published an amended data pack Table 4 for 2013/14. The headings in the original table were incorrect so Table 4 (13/14) now rectifies that error.

27 June 2014 – 2015 crime tender updated information packs published

Further to the information pack published in April for those organisations interested in applying for a new 2015 crime contract, we’ve published data for financial year 2013 to 2014. The data can be found at the bottom of this page.

This information is to support firms considering bidding for contracts under the new procurement process and includes details of:

  • volume and value data for police station attendance claims
  • litigator graduated fees
  • magistrates’ court representation fees
  • additional information

The process was set out in the Ministry of Justice’s response, published on 27 February 2014, to the Transforming Legal Aid: Next Steps consultation.

If you have any queries about the information, send them to: crimedatapacks@legalaid.gsi.gov.uk If you have any general enquiries about legal aid policy, send these to general.queries@justice.gsi.gov.uk.

27 June 2014 – Notification process for award of 2015 own client crime contracts now complete

The LAA has sent notifications of our intention to award a 2015 own client crime contract to all applicant organisations through the eTendering portal. If you haven’t received a notification on the eTendering system, contact the LAA through the eTendering system as soon as possible.

24 June 2014 – Notification of award of 2015 own client crime contracts

Assessment of responses for the first stage of the procurement process for new criminal legal aid contracts from 1 July 2015 has been completed. The LAA will begin notifying applicant organisations of whether we intend to award them a 2015 own client crime contract from 24 June through the eTendering system. All contract awards will be subject to verification, which is not planned to start until early 2015.

Where an applicant organisation has been unsuccessful, rights of appeal are limited and set out at paragraph 8.22 of the Information for Applicants (IFA) document. Details of how to submit an appeal will be included in notification letters sent to unsuccessful applicant organisations. If you’ve been unsuccessful and consider that a right of appeal applies and you wish to appeal you must use the appeals pro forma found in the ‘Tender Documentation’ section of this webpage.

Organisations successful at this stage will be invited to tender for 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts. We anticipate that the next stage of the procurement process for Duty Provider Crime Contracts will open in late July 2014.

June 2014 – Data Pack Supplementary Tables 3a and 5a published

The LAA has published supplementary tables 3a and 5a. Table 3a

Table 3a provides details of magistrates court workload by court and CJS region. Table 5a shows the volume and value of virtual magistrates court work and the location of provider offices doing this work. The explanatory notes have also been updated in relation to Table 3a.

The procurement process for 2015 Own Client Crime Contracts closed at 12 noon on Friday 23 May 2014.

All completed responses will now be assessed and we intend to notify applicants of the outcome of our assessment at the end of June. Invitations to tender for 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts are planned to follow in July. Information published to date on Duty Provider Contracts can be found in the document entitled ‘2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts Additional Information’ available in the ‘Tender related documents’ section at the top of this page.

Organisations wishing to deliver only Prison Law Contract Work and/or only Appeals & Reviews Contract Work will need to respond to a separate procurement process likely to open in late 2014/early 2015.

20 May 2014 – Updated Final Frequently Asked Questions document published

We have today published an updated final Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that applies to the Procurement of Criminal Legal Aid Services in England and Wales from July 2015. This is to incorporate clarification on how organisations should structure their bids and the Contract terms.

The FAQ document can be found on this page in the Tender related documentation section.

The deadline for questions about the IFA or tender process was 12pm on 12 May.

If you have technical queries on how to use the eTendering system, you should contact technical support on 03330 037060 or by email at: LAATenderHelpdesk@ventura-uk.com.

The deadline for submitting Tenders is 12 noon on 23 May 2014.

9 May 2014 – Data Pack Table 4 correction published

The LAA has published an amended data pack Table 4. This table now lists the Harrow and Wood Green Crown Courts as part of the London CJS Region. This corrects an error in the version which originally appeared on this page, where these locations were listed separately under a ‘North West London’ descriptor.

19 May 2014 – Final Frequently Asked Questions document published

We have today published a final Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that applies to the Procurement of Criminal Legal Aid Services in England and Wales from July 2015.

The FAQ document can be found on this page in the Tender related documentation section.

The deadline for questions about the IFA or tender process was 12pm on 12 May.

May 2014 – Updated Frequently Asked Questions document published

We have today published an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that applies to the Procurement of Criminal Legal Aid Services in England and Wales from July 2015.

The FAQ document can be found on this page in the Tender related documentation section.

The deadline for questions about the IFA or tender process was 12 noon on 12 May 2014. A further, final, FAQ document will be published on 19 May 2014, incorporating questions received up to the above deadline.

If you have technical queries on how to use the eTendering system, you should contact technical support on 03330 037060 or by email at: LAATenderHelpdesk@ventura-uk.com.

The deadline for submitting Tenders is 12 noon on 23 May 2014.

2 May 2014 – Frequently Asked Questions document published

In order to promptly answer a number of queries relating to the Own Client procurement process, the LAA has decided to publish an early Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document in that applies to the Procurement of Criminal Legal Aid Services in England and Wales from July 2015.

The FAQ document can be found on this page in the Tender related documentation section.

The deadline for questions about the IFA or tender process is 12 noon on 12 May 2014.

If you have technical queries on how to use the eTendering system, you should contact technical support on 03330 037060 or by email at: LAATenderHelpdesk@ventura-uk.com.

The deadline for submitting Tenders is 12 noon on 23 May 2014.

30 April 2014 - Publication of a notice to correct an error in the IFA

We have published a notice to correct a number of typographical errors in the Information for Applicants (IFA) document.

This notice and a corrected version of the IFA can be found under the Tender Documents subheading.

The procurement process for Criminal Legal Aid Services to commence on 1 July 2015 has opened. The deadline for submitting responses to this procurement process is 12 noon on Friday 23 May 2014.

Organisations wishing to deliver publicly funded Own Client or Duty Provider services from 1 July 2015 must submit a response to this procurement process.

The Information For Applicants (IFA) that governs this procurement process is available in the ‘Tender related documents’ section at the top of this page. The IFA provides full detail about this procurement process, including the criteria that Applicant Organisations must meet.

Tender responses must be made online through the eTendering portal. A helpline has been set-up to support you if you have any technical problems with the eTendering system: 03330 037060 or at LAATenderHelpdesk@ventura-uk.com.

If you have any questions about the content of the procurement process or the Information For Applicants document these must be raised through the eTendering system by 12 noon on 12 May 2014. Questions of wider interest will be collated and answered through a Frequently Asked Questions document which will be published on the 19 May 2014.

Contract documentation has been made available on the 2015 Crime Contracts page.

Closing date for responses to this procurement process is 12 noon on Friday 23 May 2014.

Organisations wishing to deliver only Prison Law Contract Work and/or only Appeals & Reviews Contract Work will not be able to do so through this procurement process but will need to respond to a separate procurement process likely to open in late 2014/early 2015.

25 April 2014- 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contract Additional Information published

The LAA has published a document providing additional information for organisations considering applying for and working under the 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contracts. This is available in the ‘Tender related documents’ section at the top of this page.

Organisations should note that only those organisations awarded an Own Client Contract will be eligible to tender for a Duty Provider Contract or carry out work under a Duty Provider Contract.

The published document contains two sections:

  • Part 1 provides information which organisations should consider and take into account now in the course of deciding whether to apply for or work under a Duty Provider Contract.
  • Part 2 provides an overview of current thinking on key principles of the 2015 Duty Provider Contract, which successful bidders will be required to comply with

The document does not contain all information required in relation to the procurement process for a Duty Provider Contract and may be amended or added to at any time. The information contained in the document is intended to act as a useful guide but for the avoidance of doubt all prospective bidders must rely on and comply with the information and requirements of published tender and contract documentation.

15 April 2014 – Information packs published

On 15 April we published management information packs for organisations interested in applying for a new 2015 crime contract.

This information is to support firms considering bidding for contracts under the new procurement process and includes details of:

  • volume and value data for police station attendance claims
  • litigator graduated fees
  • magistrates’ court representation fees
  • additional information

The process was set out in the Ministry of Justice’s response, published on 27 February 2014, to the Transforming Legal Aid: Next Steps consultation.