Post by Richard Wilkinson on Oct 26, 2010 6:45:44 GMT
Thanks for this r
If that is the case then I am not sure anyone will be falling off their chair in shock, but fair play and congratulations to DGL. Presumably when these firms that have lodged JRs and got leave then been awarded a contract then there must be others in that PA who may have also finished joint second or joint whatever and also as a result been offered nms?
Post by Patrick Torsney on Oct 26, 2010 7:38:32 GMT
I believe it is actually a little bit more complicated than that (funnily enough). The LSC considers each appeal in isolation. Whether it would then go on to re-score all other unsuccessful providers in an area is moot. In a situation like this, I doubt it. Would it re-score all successful bidders? Again, I doubt it. I think once the scores are done, they are done. I'm inclined to believe that appeals don't mean re-scoring for others full stop, although I'm open to any alternative view-points?
Irrespective of this, whether it's an issue is, I think, very much dependant on what basis DGL may have been offered a contract. There may not even be any other bidders in the same bracket, assuming they were even re-scored on the basis that the LSC accepted DGL's argument(s) as opposed to being given a contract for other, more obscure reasons
As to whether you would ultimately be able to find out what people actually scored to determine whether the LSC should have re-scored others? Well, the LSC has already said that it considers the individual scoring of unsuccessful applicants against the Selection Criteria to be exempt from the FOI. As for successful bidders, all it has said is that scoring requests may be made following the conclusion of the tender process. It states:
"We would then consider your request under the terms of the FOIA and in the context of any applicable exemptions."
Note, however, in respect of unsuccessful applicants, when refusing to divulge information under FOI it says:
"It is considered that this information is commercially sensitive under section 43(2) and to disclose the information would or would likely prejudice the interests of the Providers. Applicant’s scored differently for a number of reasons and therefore the reasons why an Applicant scores higher than another in a tender may create a potential false negative image which is or is likely to damage Provider’s commercial interests (including non publicly funded work). Therefore, to provide you with details of the scores all Applicants would, when combined with the details of those successful applicants, also confirm which Providers were not successful thus engaging section 43 exemption."
Writing on the wall in respect of FOI requests for the actual scoring of all successful applicants too, so that no-one will ever actually know for sure who scored what? It looks that way to me
You can read the full FOI statement on the 2010 Civil Bid Rounds here:
Is it likely that the LSC are waiting for the outcome of the DGL JR before announcing whether or not they intend to appeal the Family JR decision?
It is diapoointing that the family JR was weeks ago, they have had the typed judgment for nearly the full two weeks now, and still family providers are kept guessing about what is going to happen. Surely the LSC must know by know what route they plan on taking?
Post by nickd (Mylegal) on Oct 26, 2010 12:59:02 GMT
Interesting news re DGL. According to an alert from the Law Society the impact upon Legal Aid is not as bad as initially feared following the CSR last Wednesday. Does this mean some of the political pressure will be eased?
I wonder if the LSC will go through the Family contracts zone by zone and where there is a clear winner (as in enough points ahead to be safe whatever the challenge - a clear winner situation) they will award a contract, presumably this would still be acceptable despite the ruling of the JR? - after all the competition rules would not be broken if there is no other competitor; I assume?
Remaining zones could then be looked at by re-evaluation of the points to make it 'fair', presumably where a tie-break still exists, NMS could be split or proportionally allocated according to the initial procurement allocation. I assume this won't be revised in the light of CSR?
I think the LSC can correct the wrongs without re-doing all the family tenders, it now seems the other SWL categories should be, dare I say it........safe?
CLS news LSC will not appeal the Law Society judicial review judgment
27 October 2010
After careful consideration, the Legal Services Commission has decided not to appeal against the judgment made on the Law Society’s judicial review of our tender process. The priority is to focus on the delivery of future public services; any appeal would only prolong the uncertainty over the future of family legal aid contracts, causing difficulties for clients and providers alike.
The LSC is now working closely with representative bodies and the Ministry of Justice on how to manage family legal aid contracts as well as combined family and housing contracts. Key decisions to make concern:
* the future extension for the Unified Contract for family and family & housing matters, which currently runs until midnight on 14 December, 2010 * harmonisation of family fees * allocation of new matter starts.
Following constructive discussions with the representative bodies, we hope to provide greater clarity on these matters shortly. As previously announced, we are proceeding to let other 2010 civil contracts on 15 November 2010.
LSC Chair Sir Bill Callaghan said, “Our priority must always be to ensure family legal aid clients get the help and legal advice they need. We still have some work to do but we hope that this constructive engagement with the profession will help to provide certainty for clients and providers.”