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17/10/2010

Social Welfare contracts – not over yet

While Family and Family and Housing roll on under the old contracts, SWL new contracts are due to start on 15 November.

However, there is another judicial review claim by an unsuccessful firm, Davies Gore Lomax of Leeds. The hearing is listed for 27 October.

The claim is apparently on the grounds that:

The point for having 10 upper tribunal appeal cases was irrational (the same argument advanced by CLP in their settled proceedings)

The points for having an approved intermediary for debt at the time of the bid were unfair when “the LSC said in its consultation response last summer that we did not need to have one in place until six months after the start of the contract.” The requirement to have the intermediary in place at the time of the bid to gain maximum points was sprung on bidders. “The person we chose to be an intermediary was on maternity leave until July. She qualified on Friday last week, in time for the original start date of the contracts on 14 October.”

If the challenge goes ahead and is successful, then the implications for the lawfulness of the SWL tender process are clear. Solicitors Journal story here.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.

2 Comments

  1. CJ

    Delighted to report that Davies Gore Lomax have been awarded a contract , just short of their final hearing – not linked I’m sure!!

    Reply
    • NL

      Naturally. A last minute reconsideration of their failed appeal. I’m sure.

      I know of one more issued SWL JR challenge, originating in Norfolk, but have no further details on that, or even if it is ongoing.

      In the absence of further info, I guess we are all going ahead on 15 November.

      Reply

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