LawWorks welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Government’s Green Paper on transforming public procurement. As £290bn of public money is spent on goods and services annually this is an important consultation that will have implications for many areas of public services, and across many different sectors.
Whilst we welcome the emphasis on broader outcomes, we note that while the Green Paper is largely silent on the subject of legal services procurement; most of our comments are directed towards this issue. In particular, our response highlights the contribution of pro bono in the legal services sector; LawWorks believes that pro bono legal services should not be seen as a substitute for an adequately funded system of civil legal aid, however the support of the legal profession acting pro bono makes a vital contribution to access to justice.
As the largest single purchaser of legal services in England and Wales, Government is in a prime position to use its market power to achieve positive social aims at no extra cost, simply through being more strategic in the way it procures services. Our response focuses on how Government might be better able to promote and support pro bono delivery in the private sector through policies on procurement designed to leverage socially responsible outcomes.