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Legal Aid: Immigration

Volume 498: debated on Wednesday 28 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice for what reasons the Legal Services Commission does not allow consortium bids for funding on immigration cases. (294862)

Following consultation, the LSC proposed that consortium arrangements should only be permitted for core social welfare law categories such as debt, housing and welfare benefits. This was in order to ensure that integrated services can be provided for people who will often have multiple problems. In immigration cases, the necessary services are capable of being delivered by single providers; therefore there is not the need to allow consortium bids.

Providers will be able to bid for asylum and immigration new matter starts as part of the 2010 process and the number of starts available will vary from area to area according to demand. Providers will be required to do a minimum volume of cases in each area of law (except in Devon where only non-asylum starts will be made available).