What's the opportunity? Local authorities have a statutory duty to house ex-offenders if they fall into a priority needs category as homeless persons. The Ministry of Justice's (MoJ's) plans to outsource its rehabilitation programme for ex-offenders creates a unique opportunity for local authorities to assist with preventing homelessness amongst such ex-offenders due to a new emphasis on providing on going rehabilitation and/or supervision of those offenders who have served less than two years in custody.

In order to cut reoffending which runs at very high rates, it is proposed that all offenders will be subject to a further 12 months rehabilitation plan. A key component of this is likely to be the provision of appropriate housing in addition to education, training, support for those with drug and alcohol problems.

The MoJ has established 21 contract package areas in England and Wales and in each the MoJ will award a contract to a prime contractor. Such primes may need specialist providers to provide appropriate housing and services and this is where local authorities can get involved. It may be possible to enter into partnership arrangements with a prime or carry out a subcontracting role where housing is to be provided.

A procurement process to select primes for each contract package area is due to formally start within the next two weeks. Contracts are expected to be awarded in Autumn 2014.

How do we get involved?

Many of our clients have asked how they can get involved in the procurement process. You can do this by registering your interest with the MoJ. The MoJ is encouraging all service providers strongly placed to provide housing for offenders to register their interest.

Once you have done this, you will receive all future communications from the MoJ on the procurement process and your details will be shared with all other organisations that have registered which will include primes who are looking for housing providers. The deadline for registering is currently 23 August 2013.

Bevan Brittan have extensive experience of advising both local authorities and bidding entities on large public sector projects including supply chain providers. We would be delighted to talk to you further should you be interested in bidding for this exciting project either as a prime or a subcontractor.