To Buy or not to Buy

The Press Release accompanying the announcement of the new civil bid round begins as follows:

“People facing problems like homelessness or domestic abuse will have better access to legal aid, Legal Services Commission (LSC) announced today, following its decision to buy at least 40,000 extra cases of face-to-face civil legal aid”.

I know about, and have trained on, the transformation of the LSC into a procurement agency but surely the use of “buy” rather than “fund” is inappropriate. How do you “buy” a case? It does demonstrate a corporate attitude however and one we will need to get used to.
The other factor which strikes me is a further twist in the Social Welfare law saga. Preference in bidding is now to be given to those with multiple franchises. I spoke to at least 2 firms yesterday who have voluntarily given up such contracts, under a degree of arm twisting from their Account Managers, over the years. What is more tolerance work as an avenue into these areas has also been largely closed off. Add to that the professed move to CLACs (we have a client who may lose their SWL category if they do not sub contract for the CLAC) and we have a snaking development of policy in which firms struggle cope with. Sighs.
This is too dry for a Friday isn’t it?

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