MoJ tenders for compliance and enforcement services
Provider must have transferred at least 500 staff under TUPE and held an ICT contract worth over £15m
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is seeking to outsource the compliance and enforcement activities of the HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS), including acquiring an integrated ICT system.
The agreement will see the chosen provider administering and collecting fines, and enforcing other court orders, with a view to making sure these services are carried out in a more compliant, cost-effective, efficient and timely manner.
In particular, the MoJ hopes that the contract will help reduce the £2bn total of outstanding, uncollected fines levied as part of the administration of justice and tribunals. Approximately three-quarters of all offenders are sentenced by way of a fine. The average Magistrates' Court fine is £175 and the average fine issued from a Crown Court is £3,000.
According to a spokesperson from HMCTS, the information needed to estimate the annual value of the contract is currently not available. However, a prior information notice for the contract, issued in February, valued the contract as being worth up to £675m. The spokesperson explained that this figure reflects 'the annual cost to HMCTS of providing the services'.
The provider will be required to carry out all back office administrative work, debt management and service centre activity related to compliance and enforcement and all activities currently undertaken by Fixed Penalty Offices such as compliance activity, the endorsement of licences, processing of payments and the registration of unpaid notices and orders as fines.
The supplier will be responsible for managing and tracking confiscation orders and managing warrants issued by HMCTS, contracted enforcement agencies and local police forces. They will also undertake all relevant financial, accounting and money handling activities.
The department expects the contract to be awarded to a single supplier for five years, with two options for it to be extended by two years each, bringing the maximum potential duration of the agreement to a total of nine years.
The successful supplier will be expected to either deliver the services using their own ICT right from the start, or continue to use HMCTS' systems, including the magistrates' courts ICT application Libra, for a maximum of one year before transitioning to their own ICT. The chosen provider's system will need to process and store MoJ data with a security level of up to Impact Level 3 for individual records and up to Impact Level 4 for aggregated records.
The competition procedure will be negotiated, rather than a competitive dialogue, and there are a number of requirements around which type of supplier can bid. For example, they must have experience of the TUPE transfer of at least 500 staff, implemented ICT services with a one-off or annual contract value of more than £15m and have transferred a large contract from the public to the private sector, with a contract value of over £5m.
An HM Courts and Tribunals spokesperson said, "We recognise that more must be done to improve fine collection. An external provider will bring in the necessary investment and technology needed to help increase fine collection, reduce enforcement costs and importantly ensure more criminals pay."
According to Kable principal analyst Chris Pennell, the deal "will require significant up-front investment, a point reflected in the fact the MoJ is looking to a negotiated procedure, suggesting that they already have a set of suppliers lined up."
The deadline for the submission of tenders or participation requests from potential providers is 22 August 2013, with invitations to tender or participate due to be sent out to selected suppliers on 26 September 2013.