The LAA has released a set of FAQs for the crime tender. The deadline for tender submissions is 15 September – remember to check your bid carefully as the LAA has made several changes to the documentation.
The Family Mediation Contract is due to expire on 31 October 2016. You should have received a letter from the LAA (sent on 14 July 2016) offering you an extension to 31 March 2018.
The deadline for returning the offer acceptance form is 23.59 on 4 August 2016. The LAA says that if you do not accept the offer in time, your contract will expire on 31 October 2016 and you will not be entitled to payment for work carried out after that date.
As the summer holidays are upon us, it is possible that the person who would normally deal with the LAA contract is away. It is important that action is taken within the deadline.
More information can be found here.
The has LAA opened the tender process for new crime contracts to start on 1 April 2017. It is not a competitive process and contracts will be awarded to all those meeting defined criteria, whether they hold a contract currently or not.
- Mandatory criteria, eg professional standing, payment of taxes etc
- Regulated by an appropriate professional body
- Hold the SQM (at least passing a ‘desktop’ audit for new applicants) or Lexcel
- Have an office meeting defined standards
- Employ a full time supervisor (Criminal Investigations and Proceedings, Prison Law, Appeals and Reviews, depending on the area of law)
- Meet a ratio of one supervisor to four other designated staff/caseworkers (six for prision law only)
- Organisations wanting to expand duty solicitors by more than 50% or, where they currently have none, engage 10 or more duty solicitors need to submit additional financial information and their business plan
- 8 August 2016 – Final date to ask questions about the tender (FAQs)
- 22 August 2016 – Replies to FAQs published
- Noon 15 September 2016 – CLOSING DATE to submit tenders
- November 2016 – Outcome notified
- 12 December 2016 – Deadline to passs verification for inclusion on the rota from 1 April 2017
- 23.59 13 January 2017 – Deadline to submit Duty Solicitor information and CRM12s
- 28 February 2017 – Deadline to submit tender verification
- 1 April 2017 – Contract start date
There is more information about the tender here.
The 2017 Standard Crime Contract can be found here.
Following the successful Rights of Women JR, and the introduction of interim regulations, the Ministry of Justice is now consulting on revised regulations. It’s completely anonymous and the MOJ states that it won’t know which individuals or firms have responded.
The online survey, which takes around 20 minutes to complete, aims to gather information about:
- Practitioners’ experience of working with victims of domestic abuse and legal aid requirements
- Your thoughts on the current arrangements and whether they present obstacles for people in accessing legal aid
- Your views on the most straightforward way for victims to provide evidence in future
It’s great that the MOJ is asking you to give feedback on your experience and that of your clients (and those people who never became clients because they couldn’t provide the evidence required under the regulations).
Please complete the survey – the closing date is only a week away – FRIDAY 01 JULY 2016