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I am asked by one of the few remaining Northern Immigration practices to advise upon the key CCA fail factors. Whilst some of this is quite specific there are some general messages especially to civil suppliers. It is also worth remembering that the new “file assessment” process proposed as part of the Preferred Supplier Scheme will reintroduce a degree of contract compliance assessment of fixed fee matters. It will certainly test the data integrity of your monthly returns.
(In the following when I refer to CAG I mean Cost Assessment Guidance, which is the General Civil Contract Appendix E. Actual references are from my increasingly fragile memory and cannot be verified as I have no LSC manual with me)
1 Proof of Means
Evidence of means compliant with CAG 3.3. This means NASS, sponsor/supporters letter etc. which covers the appropriate computation period. If involved in the NWP ring Simon.
2 LH/CLR Form Completion
Is the form fully completed, the calculations correct, all appropriate boxes ticked, any devolved powers decision (especially those LH ones) properly justified.
3 CLR Grant
If it is a self granted CLR has the merits test been properly recorded in line with the questions to be asked in GCC Rule 5.1 preferably not by way of a pro forma sheet. This remains a testy area of argument with the LSC more info from Simon over the phone.
4 Preparation Basics
Is everything there, especially items prepared for trial bundles.
5 Are Disbursements Reasonable
This is another currently live issue, especially regarding Interpreters fees and is another one worth a call to SP. Travel also sometimes falls under scrutiny. To a degree there is little that can be done retrospectively.
6 Cost Limits
Again by audit time your file will have been billed so if you have involuntarily exceeded and claimed above the limit there is little to be done however as a pointer to the future.
7 Mainstream Assessment
Does your file justify the time claimed? This is of course the main element of the assessment and needs clear explicit file recording in order to succeed. Pay particular attention to long interviews and exceptional circumstances, country of origin material and internet research, translation effect (read back of statements etc). This is always a pretty subjective element of the process so make what you did clear.
8 Billing Time Limits
By CCA time if it was billed out of time this will be intractable, again it is one to watch.
There are of course many more of these points, and a lot of sub divisions, but as a quick start without reference to our archive bank of now nearly 200 completed appeals this will have to do for now.

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