MaPS Chief Executive Officer, Caroline Siarkiewicz, said:
"We know that debt advice works and has a transformative impact on people’s lives. This is why I am delighted that through these new contracts, working alongside ongoing community-based debt advice services, we will be able to provide more expert, free of charge debt advice than ever before.
"Our funding envelope for debt advice in England has increased to £76 million – 80% more than pre-pandemic – but we have a big challenge to meet. We know that the number of people needing debt advice will increase over the months and years ahead, so taking a different approach to how we commission debt advice was essential.
"As we go forward, our collective focus will remain on the people who need our help: supporting a seamless transition for those already partway through their debt advice journey, and that anyone beginning to struggle with bills and payments knows that expert help is available to them. And we’ll support both our existing and our new suppliers to make sure that advisers are supported through this transition.
"I would like to thank all of the organisations who have participated in this commissioning process. We recognise the considerable time and effort this takes. All of these organisations, as well as others we have funded in the past, continue to provide excellent debt advice and help many people, and remain invaluable stakeholders for MaPS."
MaPS now enters a ten-day, legally mandated “standstill”. After this concludes, MaPS will contract with successful bidders and the implementation process begins.
Following the conclusion of the standstill period, MaPS will follow up with any bidders who were unsuccessful on this occasion to provide further feedback on their bids and ensure that they are well positioned for any future bids.
As commissioning moves forward to the next phase, MaPS will support all providers as they work to ensure continuity for existing debt advice clients and to explore how the unique experience and expertise of debt advisers can be retained within the sector.