This Gazette job advert is causing a bit of a stir. It is self described as “the most exciting on-going project to have happened within criminal law for sometime”. The recruitment consultants are saying that there will be an exciting announcement at 4 this afternoon.
On this basis I think we might knock of early, find a quiet corner in the local and wait for the twitter storm to commence.
(If you detect some scepticism in the tone you are correct)
We do not know who to contact at the Agency but Page 22 of the “Civil Finance Electronic Handbook” suggests that the escape threshold in Private Law certificated matters is twice the standard fee. This is contrary to 2013 Contract Specification 7.88, and our understanding, which is that it is 3 times.
You may wish to amend the Handbook accordingly – or better still change Contract.
This has been recorded against your rejections KPI under our Zero Tolerance policy. If you provide an email address we will forward the Contract Notice and/or sanction.
End of communique.
Earlier in the year the LAA conceded the central point in a Cost Appeal. (Have to keep the detail confidential).
It seemed a fairly obvious one to me coming as is did as a result of cost recoupment “makeitupaswegoalongery”. It never got as far as an ICA let alone an application for a Point of Principle – they just keeled over and agreed with us.
Now I sense that you can guess where this one is going.
“Do you remember our disagreement earlier in the year? Well I don’t, so can we go right back to the beginning?”
Brought these opening lines to mind:
We are in one of those phases where we are surrounded by files, with loads to do, and all against tight deadlines. Posting here is consequently likely to be sparse in the following days.
If you have a Mental Health or Community Care contract, or want one next time round, plans are now afoot for a retendering exercise,. Do have a look here.
*These are not a few of my favourite things
Tonight we get to see the wonderful I Am Kloot for the third time this year (hopefully for longer than their trunkated Festival No 6 slot). Tickets are still available.
You may take a different view, but I prefer this live, bare bones version to the full, Elbow produced album track with its star-studded video
We have just had the result of our only oral costs hearing since 2005. It is a thoroughly fair and very satisfying result.
At the heart of our case were a set of arguments we have rerun in a number of appeals. This is the first time we have had the opportunity to discuss them with a panel of 3 ICAs – and a proper discussion it was. I would go further, in the absence of a LAA Presenting Officer the panel tested our position more thoroughly than had they simply been adjudicating between two positions. There is no harm in that. Unanimously they agreed with our interpretation. The very same position has, on more than one occasion, been rejected by a single ICAs sitting alone, in camera.
At the weekend I spoke to a client who only achieved a similar degree of common sense by threatening JR.
One anticipates that there is no appetite to resolve this unhappy state of affairs.
Once again I am walled in by files including a Peer Review appeal and one of the weirdest set of instructions I’ve ever received – and about which I cannot elaborate.
Equally strangely last week involved more client questions about the former than I have received in a long time, though I think I am forming a view as to why that might be. I also made the point at the CLSA conference that this scheme is now long past its sell by date. A Peer Reviewer confirmed to me afterwards that there has been none of the essential “consistency training” in, at least, the last 3 years somewhat supporting my point. If Peer Review was ever the “Gold Standard” they thought it was it definitely isn’t now. Why in the present climate are they wasting about a Grand a time on the whim of a Contract Manager, or worse, at random?
That is not going to save me from this pile of files however – although it probably should.
You might want to blog or tweet this for your own publicity.
7th worst last year for rejections
Now the best in the country
The background to this involved a very rare face-to-face discussion with a Contract Manager. Equally rarely I had little or nothing to say – the firm were bang to rights, the reasons for rejections were their fault, no excuses. The LAA HQ we leaning heavily on this local operative to sort it out, she was frustrated by the lack of progress.
The solution – we checked every civil bill for 6-months, liaised closely with a single member of the family team and hey presto. Last reported performance stats 0% rejects.
Worst 6 months of my life.