The Standard Crime Contract is the contract between the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) and providers for the provision of face-to-face criminal legal aid in England and Wales.
Why is this happening?
The current 2017 Standard Crime Contract will come to an end on 30 September 2022 and the LAA therefore need to take steps to procure a replacement contract.
The 2022 crime contract ensures continuity of service for the public and practitioners, pending the delivery of a new contract based on the outcome of the Criminal Legal Aid Independent Review (CLAIR).
The Government aims to publish its response to CLAIR before the end of 2021. Once CLAIR reports and we understand the extent of the recommendations, there will need to be a period of policy development prior to the procurement process for the implementation of a new contract. The LAA are therefore taking this approach to best align our contract activity with the forthcoming work of the CLAIR and intend to build maximum flexibility into the 2022 criminal contract to implement any changes from CLAIR as soon as they are ready.
LAA are finalising draft contract documentation ready to consult with consultative representative bodies. We anticipate the tender will open in October 2021 and will be published on GOV.UK.