Post by Mr Fiona T. Wardle on Aug 12, 2009 11:06:19 GMT
Still no plans for my area, then, or London. I sometimes wonder if anybody realises that the north east exists, certainly beyond Newcastle...
I am not personally involved in setting up our bid, but as a very small provider about a zillion miles from any other providers (to date, at least) and currently only providing Welfare Benefits and Debt, we are going to have to consider a consortium. One of the most likely potential partners won't even entertain looking at this any further until more detailed plans are published, so this delay has my management, and trustee board, on tenterhooks...
I wonder what the problem is in London? Too big and complicated an area perhaps?
Post by StephenMichael on Aug 21, 2009 14:35:32 GMT
I have now had the opportunity to consider the procurement plans for areas A and areas B. I think they may have a problem legally speaking with distinguishing these areas due to discrimination. A bidder may be prevented from bidding in an area A but not in area B and vice versa. Can anyone get some legal advice on this from ASA?
Post by Patrick Torsney on Aug 27, 2009 12:57:28 GMT
Still nothing for the North East Wardoll. I've no idea why there's such a delay, particularly when they've got what you might have thought would be the more 'difficult' plans out
In any case, I'm certainly not confident that all the information in all the plans is accurate, and I'm sure the LSC would accept themselves that they need some tuning. For example, I know of one large London NfP organisation that has been put into the wrong London region in the CLS Directory (or whatever it's known as these days) and so their allocation of NMS has accordingly been viewed as spend in that (wrong) region rather than the true procurement area it is actually based in. I don't know to what extent this may have messed up the allocations of these two regions but, it strikes me that it probably has and needs sorting out
@ Steve: by all means ask ASA if they are thinking of getting proper legal advice. You probably need to be speaking to Ann Lewis, their Policy Manager. Bear in mind however, ASA are there to represent the interests of the advice networks themselves, ie not you directly as individual organisations. You might get more joy speaking to your network rep first in other words, to see if s/he is raising issues like this with ASA and/or the LSC. After all, the plans aren't written in stone yet, there are likely to be changes to them as we move towards the actual bid rounds next year. Not least, I would have thought, to pre-empt and avoid unnecessary and expensive legal action wherever possible
My theory is that they are basing their A/B area designation loosely on how many providers they think are currently operating in each area. Over about 3 appears to be an A, roughly 3 or fewer seems to be a B.
The only problem is that in at least some cases, their info is wrong. Eg. in the area I work in, the LSC thinks there are currently 5 housing, 5 debt and 6 WB legal help providers and has designated it an A area. We wish!! Even the CLS website doesn't show this many, and it still includes a few who stopped LSC work months if not years ago.
The LSC's figures appear to be somewhat imaginative, and the notion that the market is "well-developed" there is, frankly, potty. This is actually born out by the LSC's own figures which show that a grand total of 9 SWL certificates were issued in 08/09. If there really were that many providers in the area, this low level of certificates would be a bit worrying!
Is anyone thinking of challenging the LSC's assertions about the state of the market/number of providers in their area?