Quarterly service and finance reports

In 2018, the Commission resolved that Legal Aid WA would report at regular intervals on its performance. The Commission's view was that the once-a-year Annual Report was insufficient and that Legal Aid WA should report quarterly.

Western Australians have a right to clearly understand Legal Aid WA’s performance and so these reports will be publicly available on our website. We will produce these reports every quarter to provide updates on our services, outputs, financial position and priority projects. More regular release of information is consistent with broader moves across government to open data. We’re confident that more transparent information will contribute to better operational efficiency and improved engagement with stakeholders. 

It is taxpayers’ money that we use and we are an open and accountable organisation. Creating and distributing quarterly reports in this way will put Legal Aid WA at the forefront of openness and transparency in the Western Australian public sector. 

You can read the most recent quarterly report below and download copies of quarterly reports from the past two years.

infographic from current quarterly report

Priority project updates

New family violence service

In October 2019, we added a dedicated Men’s Support Worker to our integrated duty lawyer and family violence support service. This new service operates at the Perth registry of the Family Court of WA (FCWA) and on FCWA Magistrates circuits to Bunbury, Albany, Geraldton and Broome. This social support role provides ‘support without collusion’ to men where there are allegations that they have used or experienced family violence. This will enhance the social support services already provided to families experiencing family violence by our Family Advocacy and Support Service (FASS) and will help to ensure families are safe by supporting people to change their behaviour.

Adding more rigour

In July, our Automated Payments innovation went live. This new system enables us to automatically pay a lawyer’s bill if it meets certain business rules. We’re now paying 60% of all law firm bills automatically. This frees up assessing staff from manual processing and gives them 20% more time to quickly determine applications for aid. Auto Payments pays law firm bills within 5 days and the cash flow helps to keep top lawyers doing legal aid work.

Best practice entity

On 14 November the Auditor General tabled a report in Parliament naming Legal Aid WA as an example of best practice in finance. The Auditor General recognised Legal Aid WA as one of the 2018-19 best practice entities for timeliness and the quality of financial reporting and controls. The report acknowledges our high-quality financial reporting, and our good financial controls.

New legal communication tool

In November we launched the new Blurred Borders ‘Keep ‘em Safe’ child protection kit. Blurred Borders is an award-winning legal communication tool that uses visual art, plain language and story-telling to improve understanding of legal concepts. It’s particularly useful for people who don’t speak English as a first language. These new story cards will improve the way frontline services communicate with Aboriginal people in child protection matters. Improved understanding supports better justice outcomes for children in Western Australia.

Lawyer of the year

In November, the Law Council of Australia presented its President’s Award to our lawyer Haley Allan. This award recognised Haley for her outstanding contribution to the legal profession. In presenting the award, the Law Council President said: ‘it is a humbling experience to read of the work undertaken by Haley.’ The President noted Haley’s selfless contribution to her community and the assistance that she provided to Australia’s most vulnerable people.

Financial performance

At the end of December 2019, Legal Aid WA finished the quarter with:

Year-to-date December 2019

Commonwealth funding:  $16,496,420

State funding: $28,426,540

Other income:  $2,038,660

Total revenue:  $46,961,620

Total expenditure: $47,706,723

Deficit*: $745,103

 

* The operating deficit of $745,103 at 30 December 2019 is primarily due to overspent in State indictable and expensive cases which is expected to be covered by supplementary funding, offset by the receipt of State re-current funding for Jan-2010 in advance. These are management figures and subject to end of financial year audit.

 


 

Download quarterly reports

Disclaimer

The information displayed on this page is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a legal problem, you should see a lawyer. Legal Aid Western Australia aims to provide information that is accurate, however does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions in the information provided on this page or incorporated into it by reference.