In February, as we reported, the Legal Services Commission issued a paper called ‘Headline intentions for future tenders’ The LSC stated that a tender could start in some categories of law as early as May 2012:
- Asylum (including residual non-asylum work)
- Housing and Debt
- Housing Possession Court Duty Schemes
Given that the ink will barely be dry on the legislation, and the detail of the contract specification, rules and guidance cannot be ready, what can the LSC possibly do that quickly? The answer may be that they will ask organisations to register an interest in bidding later in the year, and they may ask you to complete the Pre Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ).
So, don’t be surprised if you hear something more about this fairly soon; but prepared to plan your summer holidays around a tender process, yet again. The LSC says new post LASPO contracts will start in April 2013. We cannot help but wonder if that deadline might slip due to the enormous amount of work the LSC will need to do in developing the reformed civil and family legal aid schemes. Only time will tell.