Best Value Tendering for CDS Contracts 2010: Annexes
Annex 2: CDS Contract 2010 terms
Summary of consultations on contract contents
Event Date Details
Consultation on 5 March 2009 Consultation with The Law
amendments to CDS Society and representative
Contract 2010 Standard bodies on revised standard
Consultation on May 2009 Series of local consultations
amendments to duty with all current members of
scheme boundaries the duty solicitor schemes
Consultation on July/August Consultation with The Law
amendments to the CDS 2009 Society and representative
Contract 2010 Specification bodies on amendments to
(BVT and non BVT terms), the specification and Duty
Crime Contracts for Solicitor Arrangements 2008
Signature and Duty Solicitor
Tender for the CDS October 2009
2.1. We propose to base the CDS Contract 2010 on the current Unified
Contract (Crime) 2008 with various updates and amendments. For
information, we summarise below the main proposals that are
currently expected to be included in the above consultations.
2.2. In October 2008 the Legal Services Commission (LSC) published
Civil Bid Rounds for 2010: A Consultation, which summarised
potential amendments to the Unified Contract (Civil) standard terms.
We aim to have one set of standard terms covering crime, civil and
Very High Cost Cases (VHCC’s). We have since revised the current
standard terms to update them and make them simpler and clearer.
We have reduced and incorporated the seven annexes to the current
Standard Terms (covering further detail liaison, equalities, monitoring,
personnel etc) into the main body of the Standard Terms to make
them shorter and simpler.
2.3. The revised terms are currently subject to a consultation with The Law
Society, Advice Services Alliance (ASA) and Law Practitioners Group
(LPG), which commenced at the beginning of March 2009.
March 2009 Annex 2: CDS Contract Terms 2010 50
2.4. Other key changes to the Standard Terms include:
• Restructuring of the Standard Terms and specification
We propose to move provisions currently in the standard terms that are specific to
crime or civil to the specification so that any amendments to take account of crime
schemes do not affect the standard terms of the civil contract and vice versa.
Provisions to be moved are those covering crime personnel and supervisors, contract
schedules and payment. This restructure in itself will have little effect on providers.
• Confidentiality and data protection
We propose to update the confidentiality and data protection provisions to comply
with new Government recommendations.
• Working with third parties
We have clarified the rules on third parties undertaking contract work. We have
retained the rules on using agents as in the current contract.
• Incorporation of Specialist Quality Mark quality terms
We have moved the key terms from the Specialist Quality Mark (SQM) into the main
standard terms, to allow bidders to apply for other approved quality marks as an
alternative. We also think having all the quality terms on supervisors, fee earners etc
in one place will be clearer for providers.
• Office moves and other changes
We have sought to clarify the rules concerning office moves and other changes in
order that firms can make informed decisions when seeking to relocate or make
• Dispute Resolution
We propose to continue with the current arrangements allowing providers to raise
disputes on their contracts internally through an application to the Legal Director for a
review. We will also continue to consider mediation if a dispute cannot be resolved
internally. If a dispute cannot be resolved through mediation, or is not suitable for
mediation, then we propose that application to Court should be the next forum, rather
than arbitration as at present.
2.5. In response to views expressed by providers, we aim to keep any
amendments to the crime specification to a minimum. There will, however, be
a small number of changes in addition to those regarding the Standard
Terms and the Duty Solicitor Arrangements mentioned above. These include
but are not limited to the following:
March 2009 Annex 2: CDS Contract Terms 2010 51
• as stated above incorporating crime specific requirements moved to the
specification from the current contract standard terms
• incorporating the Duty Solicitor Arrangements into the contract to remove
any ambiguities between the two documents and to move the responsibility
for compliance from the individual to the firm
• clarifying issues such as definition of an office
• correcting minor drafting errors from the current contract
• mapping of the Duty Solicitor Scheme boundaries using postcode sectors
to put the qualification process beyond doubt and thereby to remove the
uncertainty and delay caused by appeals against decisions based on travel
• minor amendment to Key Performance Indicator (KPI) 2 - duty rota call
acceptance, to bring the reporting period in line with all other LSC KPIs
• removal of requirement for duty solicitors to personally undertake over 50%
of all court duty and police station duty slots offered, given that slots are
now awarded to a provider, not an individual
• increase the requirement for duty solicitors to undertake a minimum of 24
police station attendances and 12 magistrates’ court attendances in each
12 month rolling period, including at least one police station attendance per
month and one magistrates’ court attendance per quarter
• review of serious offences (those cases where solicitors rather than
accredited representatives must have conduct) to ensure the list remains
up to date and relevant
• there will also be potential amendments to the specification arising from
the proposed changes to funding for prison law 1
• new clause to allow changes in payment arrangements where police
• amendments to limit contract scope for providers outside BVT pilot areas
to remove their ability to perform contract work at police stations within the
BVT pilot areas
• amendment to reflect the payment of the BVT magistrates’ court price for
any non-BVT provider who undertakes a case in a court in a BVT area.
2.6. We aim to consult with The Law Society on the detailed specification drafting
in July 2009.
Duty Solicitor Arrangements 2008
2.7. Following the significant number of appeals against our decisions on
membership of duty schemes, we are proposing to amend the membership
rules so that scheme boundaries are drawn according to postcode sectors, ie
down to the first number in the second section of a postcode, eg DE75 7, and
produce definitive maps of scheme boundaries. This will remove the
subjectivity of a rule based on travel time, and will make the application
process entirely objective based on the postcode of the applicant’s office.
The Duty Solicitor Arrangements will be amended to reflect this.
For more information please see Prison Law Funding, a Consultation Paper on our website at
www.legalservices.gov.uk following the links to CDS > Crime Consultations > Prison Law Funding
March 2009 Annex 2: CDS Contract Terms 2010 52
2.8. In conjunction with the above, we propose to amend the sections of the Duty
Solicitor Arrangements 2008 that deal with the process for appealing LSC
decisions regarding qualification for duty solicitor schemes. Where schemes
are mapped as described above, eligibility will be an objective assessment,
which will obviate the need for an appeal process.
2.9. We also propose to move the requirements of the Duty Solicitor
Arrangements into the contract, which will remove the tension that exists
currently between the requirements on the individual duty solicitor as set out
in the Duty Solicitor Arrangements and the requirements on the firm as set
out in the contract. As a result of this proposed change, responsibility for
compliance with duty solicitor service requirements will fall with the firm.
2.10. This consultation will be with The Law Society.
Police station closures
2.11. We currently have in-house guidance regarding the impact of long-term
police station closures (final closure or closure in excess of a 6-month period)
on fixed fees. Where work is diverted, providers from the original area are
able to claim either the previous fixed fee or new fixed fee, whichever is the
higher for the remaining duration of that contract. This ensures that we have
capacity in the system to deal with increased volumes at the diverted site,
and contains expenditure at or below current levels. Subsequent contracts
remove the obsolete fixed fee rate and all providers have to revert to the
remaining fixed fee level. It is recommended that this approach is formalised
in the 2010 contract.
2.12. The application process will comprise an electronic registration process,
similar in content to that followed for the July 2008 contract, although we are
working to extend the process and implement an online application system to
replace the previous hard copy forms.
2.13. The e-tendering system will be hosted by a procurement software specialist
company widely used for government procurement, and the benefits of the
system are set out at Chapter 3.
2.14. The application process will comprise the following three steps:
March 2009 Annex 2: CDS Contract Terms 2010 53
Step one The Legal Services Commission (LSC) has a basic duty to
Pre ensure that those firms we contract with are suitable
qualification organisations to enter into such contracts with a public
questionnaire procurement body. To meet this duty, we must take steps to
(PQQ) satisfy ourselves that any applicant firm is legitimate and
financially sound, and that those responsible for that organisation
are technically competent and honest.
We propose that the PQQ stage should cover the following
Professional/ business qualification and conduct including
registration with a regulatory body and criminal convictions and
other business or professional misconduct.
Financial record including payment of VAT, tax and social
security liabilities and insolvency issues.
Compliance with key legislation including health and safety,
equalities and diversities and data protection.
Bidders’ insurance position.
Termination for fault within previous public sector contracts
(including LSC contracts).
Assessment of Criteria
Wherever appropriate, the questions will be posed to require a
Yes / No answer.
However on appropriate questions, bidders will have the
opportunity to explain any circumstances surrounding a ‘no’
answer (where a ‘yes’ is required). This information will then be
assessed to determine whether or not the application can
In addition we will reserve the right to request and assess further
supporting evidence where we feel that this is necessary to
satisfy ourselves about the viability of a firm, or where we have
concerns about the validity of an application.
March 2009 Annex 2: CDS Contract Terms 2010 54
Step two Following assessment against the PQQ criteria, each applicant
Crime specific must demonstrate that they meet/ will meet a number of key
invitation to criteria in the operation of crime specific contracts.
(ITT) The criteria contained within the crime specific ITT will be
exclusionary. Wherever possible, the questions will be posed to
require a Yes / No answer, equating to in essence, self-
We are proposing the following areas be included:
• where Peer Reviews have been conducted, a
minimum Peer Review rating of three has been
• for those applicants who hold/have held a Unified
Contract (Civil), an unrecouped payment on account
(UPOA) value less than 200% of the value of the
previous year’s fund take
• ability to provide services and have an office in place
from the start date of the contract.
At the end of this stage, providers not located in pilot areas for
best value tendering will be awarded their CDS Contract 2010.
Please see chapters 4 and 5 for further details of our proposals
for providers located within the BVT pilot areas of Manchester
and Avon & Somerset.
Step three Providers who wish to conduct duty work must then apply for
Application for inclusion on those duty schemes for which they are eligible.
(non-BVT areas To assist with this stage of the application, we will provide an IT-
only) based tool where applicants can enter their office postcode to
produce a list of all the schemes for which that office is eligible.
Applicants will upload relevant CDS12 Duty Solicitor Qualification
Forms at this point. The current CDS12 form will be revised to fit
with the tender processes.
Slots on Schemes not within the proposed BVT areas will be
allocated on the same basis as for the Unified Contract (Crime)
July 2008, ie on a basis proportionate to the number of duty
solicitors employed by the firm and normally based in the eligible
We recognise that in some instances providers will not have had a Peer Review conducted and the
criteria will not be applied in these circumstances. However, retention of the contract will be dependent
on a confirmed PR3 rating when the assessment takes place.
March 2009 Annex 2: CDS Contract Terms 2010 55
Rotas will continue to be produced to cover a six-month period.
2.15. For the avoidance of doubt, providers bidding for slots in BVT areas will not
undertake step three as outlined above but will then proceed to the price
element of the tender as detailed in chapter 4 of this consultation document.
March 2009 Annex 2: CDS Contract Terms 2010 56