This month the Ministry of Justice published “A Strategy for Reform” which contains details of how it plans to transform the rehabilitation of offenders who have spent less than 12 months in custody. A key component of this is likely to be the provision of appropriate housing. This alert takes a closer look at the MoJ’s plans and how registered providers can get involved.

In short, the MoJ is determined to drive down reoffender rates and has formulated a strategy to achieve this. The proposed strategy will involve transferring work that could be undertaken by probation trusts across the country to providers from the private and/or voluntary sectors.

What is clear from the MoJ’s strategy is that offenders require much greater support “through the prison gate” and that appropriate housing forms part of this range of support. 

Current estimates for the value of the services that the MoJ intends to outsource to the private sector over a 10 year period ranges from between £5 and £20 billion. The MoJ is planning to kick start a competitive procurement process in the summer where it will aim to appoint lead providers for these services. It is likely that each lead provider will have to form partnerships with other organisations or “supply chain partners” capable of providing elements of the rehabilitation services. It is here where registered providers are likely to have a role in providing housing support. The MoJ has established 21 “contract package areas” and at this stage it is likely that it will be open to lead providers and their supply chain partners to submit bids either in one of more of these areas.

The MoJ has also made clear that it will adopt a “payment by results” (PbR) approach to certain parts of the service. This means that a proportion of the total payment will only be made when certain outcomes have been achieved (such as ensuring that certain offenders have desisted from reoffending over, say, a 12 month period). The MoJ is also keen to ensure that smaller outfits such as voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations are able to bid to deliver services.

Bevan Brittan have extensive experience of advising registered providers bidding either as a lead provider or as part of a supply chain on large public sector projects. We can assist with the application of the EU procurement regulations, your approach to bidding, key bidder messages, how you form partnerships with other providers interested in this project and advice on any contracts issued by the MoJ. 

We are also market leaders in advising on payment by results contracts having advised on a wide range of PbR schemes in local government, health, social care and third sectors.

We would be delighted to talk to you further should you be interested in bidding for the rehabilitation services either as a lead provider or as a supply chain partner.