A4e is intending to compete as Prime contractor for the Transforming Rehabilitation programme and we are currently preparing our response to the initial Prequalification stage.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) intends to compete 21 contracts for the provision of services for low- to medium-risk offenders across England and Wales. The existing individual Probation Trusts will be reorganised into a single national public sector Probation Service and 21 new government-run companies (‘Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC)’). The latter will map on to the 21 Contract Package Areas and will encompass all of the business to be contracted out. These ‘CRCs’ will then be transferred over to the winning bidders following the completion of competition. MoJ/NOMS will engage in different ways with different ‘tiers’ of potential providers:
Tier 1 – Prime providers: It is expected that the majority of providers in this tier will be large private sector organisations or consortia with a sizeable private sector component (i.e. able to bear a significant amount of financial risk).
Tier 2 – Service providers: This tier could encompass larger VCSE organisations, Mutuals or other private sector organisations. Organisations within this tier are still likely to have a sizeable annual turnover.
Tier 3 – Local and community organisations: Clinks anticipates that most individual VCSE organisations will fall into this tier.
To protect and strengthen the position of tier 2 and tier 3 providers in the current market, MoJ and NOMS will:
Register potential Tier 2 and 3 providers and provide a comprehensive list of organisations to all potential primes through the registration process outlined above;
Create industry standard contracts, enshrining the market stewardship principles of an enhanced set of Merlin Standards and The Compact, to ensure that subcontractors and VCSE organisations are treated fairly by primes (NB. This will only apply where subcontractors have completed the MoJ registration process);
Require primes to sign up to clear market stewardship principles within the prime contracts;
Incorporate market stewardship into the bid evaluation process, by making it clear criteria for potential primes to reach threshold quality scores.
The MoJ have announced their new registration process recently which requires Tier 2&3 providers considering bidding to register onto a dedicated MOJ database. The details are below, and have been taken from the Clinks website:
http://www.clinks.org/criminal-justice/transforming-rehabilitation#Introduction to Transforming Rehabilitation
You will need to provide details of your existing services, comment on any plans for expansion and give consent for your information to be shared with potential Tier 1 providers.
This new database will contain more detailed information, and will be circulated to Tier 1 providers that make it through the current PQQ stage. Registration on this new database will mean that if Tier 1 organisations include you in their supply chains they will have to use a standard partnership agreement and won't be able to ask you to partner with them exclusively. This will provide some protection in your contracting arrangements. The deadline for registering on this new database is 31st October, 2013.
Should A4e’s PQQ submission be successful, it will be our intention to access the Tier 2 &3 information co-ordinated by the MOJ and therefore recommend that you register on this new MoJ database. If you have any questions about A4e’s involvement in the Transforming Rehabilitation programme, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A4e Partner Solutions
In fact, do not contact A4e but have a look at the Ministry of Justice website: https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/transforming-rehabilitation
The CLINKS database (oh what wags they are) http://www.clinks.org/criminal-justice/transforming-rehabilitation
The Problem that A4e are ignoring is this: anybody can bid for the work. So all of those people and organisations that register on Tier 2 and 3 could simply form a consortium and bid. Someone could even ask for a judicial review of the contract process if they were Tier 2 or Tier 3 registrants since it would provide better value for money to remove the Tier 1 (Prime Contractors) from the process as they are adding no value to the process at all.
Lots of people really do not want to be involved in this. Which is fine. But the truth is that all the Parliamentary Parties are pushing the same agenda. Which locks voluntary organisations into the supply chain of the prime contractors.
"MoJ and NOMS have expressed their desire to see the VCSE Sector play a full role in the new arrangements, stressing that this could be as a subcontractor in another organisation’s supply chain or as part of a consortium arrangement. Potential lead providers will be expected to provide evidence of how they would build and sustain partnerships working with local organisations (see What market stewardship mechanisms will MOJ and NOMS put in place to help small- and medium –sized providers? below)." (Ministry of Justice Website).
Essentially: sign up to be the servant of the Poverty Pimps or be cut out of the Voluntary Sector altogether.
Deadlines for the process
May 2013 – Prior Information Notice
July 2013 – MoJ/NOMS complete competition design.
September 2013 – Competition opened
31st October 2013 - deadline for potential Tier 1 providers to submit Pre-Qualification Questionnaires.
Winter 2013/2014 – evaluation of contracts
Autumn 2014 – new services go live
In the evaluation of contracts, it is really important for anybody in any voluntary organisation to point out how badly A4e perform. How little value for money they provide and just how much they destroy other organisations.