It has emerged this week that the Ministry of Justice has backtracked on a plan to outsource the collection of unpaid court fines and debts to one single supplier.
Minster for the courts Shailesh Vara has issued a written statement to the House of Commons, stating that the option of using a single supplier is “not the best option for HM Courts & Tribunals Service”.
In Vara’s full statement, he revealed that in the last financial year, HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) collected more than $550m of fines, other financial impositions, fixed penalties and debt. He also added that the money collected has helped to fund vital services for taxpayers.
Back in July 2013, Vara’s department began a procurement competition for a new provider of criminal court compliance and enforcement services, and a preferred bidder was identified in January 2015.
But the statement added: “Following re-consideration of the department’s requirements, we have decided that outsourcing these services to a single supplier is not the best option for HM Courts and Tribunals Service.
“This decision is based on the need to ensure that any contract we let completely meets our requirements, provides best value for the taxpayer and complies with procurement law.
“Ministers have set out the importance of reforming HMCTS to provide a modern and efficient service for society.
“Improving compliance and enforcement services will continue to form a key part of that work.
“We believe that in house modernisation is the best option for HMCTS.”
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