First firms fail franchise audit tests

TWO London franchise holders have been suspended by the Legal Aid Board after failing their first post-contract audits.

Legal Aid Board chief executive Stephen Orchard says the firms now have three months to put things right or face the termination of their contracts.

He says the suspensions will serve as a warning to other firms that “they can't allow things to slip”.

So far auditors have visited 30 franchised offices out of around 80 in London. Of 100 franchise categories audited there have been 16 suspensions in all, with some offices passing some but not all of the franchise contracts they operate.

Orchard says he is not surprised at the level of failure which is at the expected rate.

“The bottom line is that some problems have been identified in the first post-contract audits of some offices and they will now have to put things right. There are a couple of firms which have let it go.”