Karl Turner – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Ministry of Justice

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Karl Turner on 2015-10-29.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many temporary agency staff were recruited by the Legal Aid Agency to work on the procurement process for crime duty provider contracts; and what proportion of staff assessing the bids for such contracts were external staff.

Mr Shailesh Vara

13 temporary staff were employed through the Brook Street Agency and a Crown Commercial Services Recruitment framework and were selected by the Legal Aid Agency and interviewed by permanent members of staff to ensure their suitability. These individuals made up 19% of the overall assessment team. In addition contracts were entered into with legal practices to provide additional resource.

The key criteria for employment were analytical skills and the ability to conduct a qualitative assessment. A legal or procurement background was considered an advantage but not essential, given that they would be supervised by permanent staff from the Legal Aid Agency.

The procurement was undertaken in line with the Public Contract Regulations and applicant organisations were required to pass a number of stages of assessment in order to be considered suitable to hold a duty provider contract. The criteria against which organisations were assessed is set out in the Information For Applicants which govern this procurement process.