As we previously reported, the own client crime tender has opened today. An ‘own client’ is defined in the standard terms as ‘…an individual who selects you, at the point of request, anywhere in England and Wales and who does not fall within the arrangements under the 2015 Duty Provider Crime Contract.’
Firms will need to obtain an own client contract in order to do any crime work from 1 July 2015. There will be a separate bid process wanting to do ONLY prison law and/or appeals and reviews work, likely to open in late 2014/early 2015. If you want to do prison law/appeals and reviews as well as other own client work, you must apply now.
There will be a further tender for duty work, opening in July.
The timetable for the own client tender is as follows:
- Final date to submit questions – 12 May at noon
- Final FAQ answers to be published – 19 May
- Deadline to submit a tender – 23 May at noon
- Outcome communicated – Late June 2014
- Verification process – January-May 2015
- Own client only contracts to start – 1 July 2015
The likely timetable for the duty tender is:
- Tender process open – July-September 2014
- Notification to shortlisted applicants following assessment of selection criteria and financial criteria – November 2014
- Outcome communicated – Early February 2015
- Contract execution and start date – February 2015
- Mobilisation period – February – June 2015
- Duty contracts to start delivering services – 1 July 2015
The information you will need to consider your bid is:
- The draft Own Client Contract (standard terms and specification), schedule, contract for signature, supervisor forms, indemnities and guarantees, payment protocol and summary of changes from the 2010 contract. They can be downloaded here.
- The information for applicants and outline of the duty provider contract, which can be downloaded here.
- Thinking ahead to a duty provider bid, you will need the previously published information packs.
- Procurement areas are set out in annex c – table C2 in the MOJ’s crime consultation response (see under ‘Results’ down the page .
Note that by the service start date you will need to have:
- SRA authorisation
- At least one office in England/Wales meeting the definition in the specification (para 2.33)
- A full time (equivalent – could be more than one person) supervisor. There is a new ratio of 1 supervisor to 4 caseworkers who do not qualify as supervisors – supervisors need training or experience of supervision as well as defined experience of criminal law practise.
- Note that except for prison law, a supervisor can only work for one organisation.
- Note also that the standard terms make it very clear that a superisor must be an owner or employee of the organisation. Freelancers/consultants etc cannot be supervisors.
- Current accreditation to Lexcel or the SQM.
- An operational email address.
If you are intending to operate as a new organisation in 2015, you must submit your application as from that organisation, even if it does not at present exist.
The IFA is full of detailed information and it will take time to assimilate it. You can’t start too soon.