Quarterly service and finance reports
Priority project updates
Blurred Borders Project
Blurred Borders is a Commonwealth-funded multi-agency project led by Legal Aid WA. This innovative project re-invents the way frontline justice services communicate with Aboriginal people in the East Kimberley. Legal Aid WA developed this practical visual tool kit to combat the unique legal issues faced by Aboriginal people who cross the Western Australian and Northern Territory Borders. The kit uses visual art, plain language and storytelling cards to help explain key legal concepts to Aboriginal people, resulting in better access to justice. This project will help prevent Aboriginal people, especially those who speak English as a second language, becoming caught up in the justice system because they don't understand what is expected of them. Senator Dean Smith launched Blurred Borders at an event in Kununurra on 19 July 2018.
Legal Aid WA has updated its website. The new website adapts to any screen size on computers and devices, is easier to read, is more intuitive to navigate, features a powerful search function, literacy support and has information available in 30 different languages. It has substantial legal information content delivered through guides, fact sheets and videos. With over 219,000 page views over the last three months, the new website has become the trusted and authoritative source of legal information for the Western Australian community.
Auto Payments Project
Legal Aid WA has developed a new Auto Payments Project. This innovative project aims to automate 50% – 60% of accounts from private panel lawyers. By eliminating manual handling of these accounts, this product will create efficiencies and free up our assessors to focus on reducing turnaround times for applications and extensions. In this way, the product will improve service to clients and private lawyers and contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of the courts.
The Client Services Division is hoping to pilot the product in early 2019 for full implementation six weeks later.
Client Satisfaction Survey
In July 2018, the results of Legal Aid WA's Client Satisfaction Survey became available. Legal Aid Commissions aim to provide services that are appropriate, tailored and proportionate. Every year we measure our effectiveness against these indicators with a client satisfaction survey. External consultants carried out the survey and they questioned 463 people who had dealt with us over the last tweleve months. These people had received advice; or a grant of aid; or duty lawyer services; or used our Dispute Resolution services. The survey asked questions about how easy we were to contact; whether our advice was helpful; and whether our staff clearly explained what the client needed to do next. Compiling the results, the consultants estimate an overall satisfaction rating of 83%.
In late September, the Commission approved a corporate plan that sets a direction for Legal Aid WA over the next 2 - 3 years. The corporate plan arises from a planning workshop attended by Commissioners and the management team on 10 August 2018. Our vision is for a fairer and safer Western Australia through equitable access to justice. This corporate plan sets out five high-level goals - things we must get right if we are to pursue that vision. The corporate plan then outlines six key strategies that will contribute to achieving those goals. As a final step, the plan identifies 39 concrete actions that we will take in support of those six strategies. The corporate plan will soon be available on the website.
By the end of September 2018, Legal Aid WA was tracking $580,000 ahead of the budget set by the Commission, after adjusting for the expected receipt of both State and Commonwealth supplementary funding.
Commonwealth funding: $15,999,566
State funding: $15,361,000
Other income: $1,093,326
Total revenue: $32,453,892
Total expenditure: $22,059,422
* The operating surplus of $10,394,470 at 30 September 2018 is due to the receipt of Commonwealth funding 6 months in advance.
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