Post by Patrick Torsney on Jan 30, 2007 8:58:09 GMT
Does it appear that the LSC is doing little to communicate with organisations?
...to discuss the likely impact of the Unified Contract in April (and then October) on an agency by agency basis – whilst we know that a couple of LSC Regional Offices have met with organisations, what has your LSC Regional Office been doing, have you met them and discussed the future for your organisation under the Unified Contract regime?
What has the LSC done on a national level to reassure you or to maintain your involvement? Whilst the LSC continues its move to a procuring body, is what might appear to be an apparent lack of interest in its best interests?
The LSC needs you - should it be doing more to keep you?
Please reply to this message thread with your experiences and your views
As a manager I always try to communicate with staff and partner organisations what is required and why; it is the only way to get people on board. This silence does not imbue me with much confidence in the new 'Relationship Manager' idea that the LSC are proposing.
I think you are right, we continue to underestimate the fact that the LSC do need us. But at the end of the day they offer a stream of funding, and as such many of us will continue to jump through hoops to retain the cash. Maybe the issue is a wider one, with regards to the overall squeeze on funding in the sector, which puts us under an enormous amount of pressure on all fronts.
Post by richardholland on Jan 31, 2007 15:22:00 GMT
The advice sector has underestimated how much we are needed by the LSC. But this has been true for years. What has been needed (and sadly lacking) has been some good old-fashioned solidarity and a willingness to confront the LSC over this issue and others. Remember the response when the LSC mooted maximum case times some years back? There was a s[edited]t-storm and they backed down.
Whatever my employer has done, I don't think CitA have given a lead and been aggressive enough. But then they're mooting changing the 'aims and principles' anyway, so perhaps they think that if the wind blows in a certain direction you bend with it? If so, they're at odds with the majority of staff in Bureaux.
At the end of the day, we have to ask whether it's about the funding or about the work we do. Saying that 'if we don't do it someone else will' just doesn't cut it when the result for the client is still inadequate advice.
I'm sure that whatever happens, we will eventually get another government trying to reinvent the wheel at a later stage. After all, from a debt advisers perspective, we all know that debt is getting profoundly worse. There will be a 'bill' to pay for all the knock-on social effects the combination of soaring debt and [auto mod]/inadequate advice will have. A sticking plaster will not heal a wound.
I had a meeting with my new "relationship manager" this week. This is because she was new in post and I invited her over to see how our organisation works. She came along with her boss, not sure of his job title though. Overall it was a very good meeting with them assuring me that our contract will run for the next 3 years, that they are very happy with how the current contract is being run, and if we continue to perform as we have been doing then they couldn'e see us having any problems when the new contract is "imposed" in April. We have a single welfare benefits contract. All well and good, but I'm still worried. This is because I still have not seen the final version of the contract and I understand it may be as late as March when they issue it.
Post by Patrick Torsney on Feb 2, 2007 12:11:46 GMT
I'm really glad that your meeting went well, I think getting (or taking) the opportunity to discuss issues with your LSC regional office is vital and hopefully it is occuring elsewhere
In terms of the way the contract will look, 'The Way Ahead' document says that it will continue largely in its current form - specification section that is - so it looks pretty certain it will continue on the basis of hours, until October when the LSC will introduce payment on the basis of fixed fees/matter starts rather than hours
The detail and what it will mean on an agency-by-agency basis has yet to be confirmed by the LSC - one big issue will be what the effects of any underperformance against the present schedule/contract might mean in terms of allocation of hours under the Unified Contract - hopefully some information will be sent to organisations sooner rather than later
The LSC have also said that they will consult on the specification section that will come into force in October so we will have to wait and see what it contains when a further draft is produced!
call me a cynic, but I'm having doubts as to whether the LSC will be able to sort out the softwear to deal with the tailored fixed fee scheme and I wouldn't be surprised that an announcement will be made extending the deadline. This is because in my experience of government departments introducing major changes, there's always delays because of softwear problems.