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Posted: 29th October 2014 by Essex CRC.
Essex CRC Executives with Chris Grayling
Essex CRC Executives with Chris Grayling

The Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling, has announced today that the Preferred Bidder for Essex Community Rehabilitation Company (Essex CRC)  is Sodexo Justice Services in partnership with NACRO.

The government split the Probation Service into two organisations on June 1st this year. Essex CRC, which manages around 70% of the work, was offered for share sale, while the smaller unit, the National Probation Service, remains in the public sector, working in the courts and with the most serious cases.

As well as the lead provider bids, almost 1000 organisations registered to play a part in the wider supply chain, including more than 700 listed as Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise organisations. Over 80 bids for the 21 CRCs were received, with an average of four bidders for each area. They were evaluated using both quality and cost criteria, which were combined to assess overall value for money.

This is now the start of the final phase competition process which is called Mobilisation and Transition (MT), during which time any other bidders’ comments or objections can be heard, contracts can be finalised, and checks can be made that the winning bidders, the CRCs and the NPS are ready to enact the changes necessary.

In this commercial environment, and while the competition is still not finished, there will be very little information available about Sodexo and NACRO’s plans. The final signing of contracts is expected to be completed in December, followed by a great deal of activity, before transfer of ownership from the Secretary of State takes place in February.

“Essex CRC will continue its hard work, and its communication with all of our partners and colleagues, during this time. We aim to maintain the high standards we have achieved, and are now looking ahead to the next phase which should give us more clarity and direction, with the opportunity to try out a range of innovations to further enhance what we offer to service users and to the community,” said Mary Archer, Chief Executive of Essex CRC

The full list of Preferred Bidders for the 21 CRCs can be found HERE