06 Jan 2020
The Ministry is to trial a 6.5-month outsourced possession mediation services pilot.
The MoJ said it was “looking to procure and pilot a dedicated mediation service to engage with possession claims as they progress through court, and facilitate settlement without a substantive hearing where possible. This service aims to help further promote compromise to the benefit of all parties, sustain tenancies and manage capacity in the court system.”
The scope of outsourced services includes:
- arranging for remote mediation sessions with parties referred to the service. Mediations to be conducted by a team of mediators with appropriate skills relevant to the delivery of mediation in possession cases;
- management of these mediators to deliver a professional standard so that the parties involved are clear about the options open to them and any commitments they take on;
- provision of an appropriately skilled flexible workforce to enable fluctuations in volumes to be managed efficiently; and
- working effectively with stakeholders including MOJ, HMCTS, MCHLG and any Independent evaluator appointed to ensure the pilot operates smoothly.
The contract is expected to start on 14 January 2021 and run until 31 July 2021. The initial term may be extended by a period of up to three months giving a potential end date of 31 October 2021.