Courts service looks to tackle digital exclusion

Written by Sam Trendall on 12 November 2020 in News

HMCTS looks to appoint provider of support service

Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

HM Courts and Tribunals Service is seeking to implement a support service for those who might otherwise be disadvantaged by its £1bn digitisation programme.

The agency is in the midst of a long-term transformation agenda, a key strand of which is to adopt online services – and thus allow it to reduce the number of buildings it operates. To ensure that those who lack access to digital technology are not shut out of the justice system, the agency intends to implement an assisted digital service (ADS). 

It is seeking to engage with potential suppliers of such a service.

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“HMCTS recognised that not everyone who needs to use the courts and tribunals will want to access digital services, and that others may need some help and support to do so,” the courts service said. “This procurement was initially for a face to face support service, however due to Covid restrictions we have identified we need a service which can also be delivered remotely where [and] when needed. Requirements for this service are based on results from a pilot programme.”

It added: “The ADS supports digitally excluded HMCTS users to complete a variety of activities, such as understanding the service, completing online forms, and supporting through the full journey. We require a partner organisation who can provide a high-quality, value-for-money service, with knowledge of digital support and sit within existing referral networks across England, Wales and Scotland.”

HMCTS is inviting potential suppliers to take part in a virtual market-engagement event to be held between 3 and 5pm on 18 November. Those wishing to do so can email

Once this engagement phase has concluded, a full procurement process will take place in due course.


About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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