The primary responsibility for assessing the suitability for sub-contractors rests with the lead provider with whom the agency contracts. As of last year, the agency also required all sub-contractors with an aggregate contract value of £500,000 and over to go through its gateway assurance process. This is the same process the agency uses to assess the providers it funds directly. This requirement has now been extended to all sub-contractors and they have until December 2012 to provide the necessary assurance.
However, the agency's gateway assurance process does not remove any responsibility from the lead provider in relation to assurances it needs to seek in relation to entering sub-contracting arrangements. Rather, it supports those arrangements and also enables a public list of sub-contractors that have passed a lead provider and the agency's checks to be used by lead providers and the agency in making procurement judgments.