Preferred Supplier is Go

The post consultation Preferred Supplier Scheme is announced and outlined here. Given that I am in a hurry today you will have to wait for my considered thoughts. Briefly however some common sense does seem to have prevailed especially with regard to financial assessment/disclosure. There are a series of new acronyms to learn, KPI and RAG for instance, and the process is to begin more flexibly from next year. Most disturbing are the indication that electronic case management might become compulsory.
Here is the LAPG take on things:
“The development of preferred supplier has been delayed for too long, and we are glad to see some movement at last, although it is disappointing that even now, the exact roll-out of the scheme still cannot be announced. It is essential to the future of the legal aid scheme that the LSC takes a more hands-off approach to suppliers, and preferred supplier should enable them to do this.
“However, at current rates of remuneration, there are not enough suppliers operating at peer review levels one and two. There have been no increases for five years and according to the DCA, there is not the slightest hope of any in the foreseeable future. Quality cannot possibly even be maintained at current levels, let alone increased, without improved rates. While overheads go up continuously and remuneration remains frozen for years, quality is the only variable left, and must go down. That is market forces in operation.”

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One comment on “Preferred Supplier is Go

  • At last something sensible from LAPG! Lawyers need to actively work towards reducing quality thresholds, this is not just market pressure but pretty much what the the public wants! So one important question – why are lawyers getting involved in the peer review process?