Decision details

Improving the efficiency of homelessness applications

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


The decision is whether to enter in to a formal arrangement with the current provider, RMG Ltd for one year to undertake statutory Sec. 202 homeless review decisions and any associated administrative work. Since April 2015 due to recruitment problems we have been outsourcing reviews, which has enabled us to keep control of our backlog and number of cases in TA under review. The quality of the decisions has been consistently high.In addition, outsourcing reviews in this way rather than appointing a reviews officer has contributed to an underspend in the budget (if we disregard TA) and has proven to be an economical option for the Council.

There is a limited market for this kind of service and we have an effective client relationship with this provider. There would be a cost in replacing this with another short term provider who would have a steep learning curve and this would impact upon performance and cost to the council. The service is low value and the flow of work is hard to predict. Because of this we need 12 months to review the requirements for a longer term arrangement and put a proper procurement into place.

Legal services has advised that this is a decision that has to be made by cabinet under the requirements of the Housing Act.


The Cabinet Member for Housing introduced the report and noted it sought to improve the speed of applications and provide certainty for applicants, since the Council was falling behind on its legal duty to review homelessness decisions within 56 days and the proposed change would lead to a better and cost-efficient service that served the people of Lambeth.


The Leader of the Council noted the report as reasonably straightforward and with no further questions from Members, moved to the vote.



1.         To authorise officers to enter in to a pilot with the current provider, RMG Ltd, for one year to undertake Section 202 homeless review decisions and any associated administrative work.

2.         To note that officers will set up robust systems for monthly reports and contract monitoring meetings to review performance.

3.         To seek approval to procure the future management of the function at the expiration of the 12 month period.


Report author: Neil Wightman

Publication date: 15/04/2016

Date of decision: 11/04/2016

Decided at meeting: 11/04/2016 - Cabinet

Effective from: 30/04/2016

Accompanying Documents: