Following the decisions in R (Sefton Care Association and others) v Sefton Council  EWHC 2676 (Admin) and Forest Care Home Ltd and Others v Pembrokeshire County Council  EWHC 3514 (Admin), local authorities are likely to be facing the prospect of more challenges by care home providers to cuts in fees as they struggle to reconcile the spiralling cost of home care with a finite budget.
Archive for November, 2011
PLC Public Sector reports:
What may be the most litigated series of procurements ever, the Legal Services Commission’s (LSC) replacement of legal aid contracts, took a further blow this week with an adverse decision notice issued by the Information Commissioner. The Commissioner held that repeated requests for information from a tenderer for details of the LSC’s tender process for immigration services were not vexatious repeat requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and that the LSC must respond to the request substantively.
As the worlds of transparency and public procurement increasingly blur, the decision notice makes it clear that repeated requests relating to one procurement process will not easily be avoided.
PLC Public Sector reports:
With the formation of the first peacetime coalition government since the 1930s, fluctuating opinion polls, town hall control being passed to and fro and the worst economic prognosis since the World War II (or the Great Depression if some commentators are to be believed), it is clear that we are currently living in interesting political times.
A key theme of such times is the willingness of a party in opposition to be seen as a complete alternative, promising to undo the “wrong” that is occurring under the current party if they are given power. A recent Employment Tribunal relating to a Parish Council highlights that, once in power, this is not always as easy as it may sound.
This week the High Court has been considering the lawfulness of a consultation process undertaken by a public body. What differentiates the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust v Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts  EWHC 2986 (Admin) case is that this was the first ever judicial review challenge brought by one NHS organisation (the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust (RBHT)) against another (the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT)). The High Court’s decision, quashing the consultation that was undertaken by JCPCT on the basis it was unlawful, reiterates again the importance for public bodies of ensuring that they get the consultation process right.
Although the Public and Commercial Services Union and the Prison Officers’ Association were ultimately unsuccessful in their legal challenge by way of judicial review to the government’s decisions to change the Civil Service Compensation Scheme in relation to payments made on redundancy or early retirement, the two civil service trade unions did achieve some success in their July 2011 application for specific disclosure of materials upon which the government’s decisions were based (R (Public and Commercial Services Union) v Minister for the Civil Service  EWHC 2556 (Admin)).