HC Deb 06 December 1999 vol 340 c399W
Mr. Malin

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will publish the names and addresses of the solicitors' firms and other agencies which have been awarded block contracts by the Legal Aid Board to give advice, assistance and representation in immigration and asylum cases. [101295]

Mr. Lock

The Legal Aid Board has only recently offered contracts in immigration and asylum work to solicitors and other agencies and the exact number of contracted providers will not be known until the end of December 1999. Almost 500 contracts have been offered and the Board expects a high proportion of them to be taken up. From January 2000, the Board will be able to provide information on those contracted to do immigration and asylum work. It would not be right to publish the names and addresses of firms and agencies who have been offered contracts, but who have not yet decided to accept them, because to do so would be breaking the commercial confidentiality held between the Board and the suppliers. The names and addresses of those solicitors firms and other agencies awarded contracts will be placed in the Library in January 2000 and will also be set out in the Community Legal Service Directory. The Directory is expected to be published in April 2000.