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The attached response to a Freedom of Information Act request I made demonstrates massive financial mismanagement by the Legal Aid Agency’s Contract Management and Assurance Team. Such threatens the very existence of the Civil Legal Aid Scheme apparently.

The MOJ, through its Contract Management and Assurance Team, is in breach of Clauses 2.3 and 2.4 of the 2018 of the Standard Civil Contract Standard Terms as a minimum and the latter is currently involved in an unpublished recovery program which is likely illegal and may result in financial hardship to Legal Aid Providers, including you. If you are asked to pay back Payments on Account, including historical payments and you are concerned I can offer advice.
Finally, the Report referred to is the subject of a complaint to the Information Commissioner. In the event that the Information Commissioner orders release of the Report then confidential financial information about your organisation could be released into the public domain.
massive financial mismanagement by the Legal Aid Agency's Contract Management and Assurance Team, FOI request, Mark Gaskell legal aid tender assistance
assistance with legal aid contract tenders, MOJ FOI request by Mark Gaskell at MG legal solutions
legal aid peer review, payments on account recovery, mismanagement at legal aid agency

UPDATE 23rd Jan 2023:

I’ve had no response so far to the above. In the meantime, I have emailed David Thomas, Head of Contract Management and Assurance at the Legal Aid Agency, regarding the issue, particularly around the effect of this position on future tender exercises.

I have researched LASPO and there may be scope for grants and/or loans to place new entrants and Crime Providers on an even playing field with Civil Providers who are de facto in receipt of business support loans courtesy of the Legal Aid Agency’s apparent mismanagement of the Standard Civil Contract over a very long period of time.

Later in the week, I’ll follow with another blog post detailing how you can challenge the issue, by the Legal Aid Agency of a Contract Notice, up to and including formal review. 

What are your thoughts on the above issue?  Leave me a comment!