Quarterly service and finance reports
Priority project updates
New family violence service
In September, we launched our Family Violence and Cross-Examination of Parties Scheme. This new service protects victims from having to directly cross-examine, or be cross-examined by, perpetrators during Family Court hearings. Legal Aid WA will provide lawyers where the parties are self-represented and family violence is an issue. No longer will victims need to abandon their rights out of fear of having to directly confront their ex-partners.
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.
Services appropriate to people's needs
In August, the results of our client satisfaction survey became available. We survey clients every year to check that our services are appropriate, proportionate and tailored to people’s legal needs and level of capability. The survey questioned 420 clients who had received criminal law help. The survey found an overall satisfaction rating of 88%. Clients getting grants of aid were 93% satisfied whilst duty lawyer clients registered a 88.5% satisfaction rating.
Increased online chats
In September, we enhanced our online legal chat service. Whenever someone is browsing our website for longer than 15 seconds, a banner now appears inviting them to chat. The enhancement has doubled Western Australians’ use of this service. We completed 987 online chats in July and August combined. With the banner invitation, we completed 1,025 chats in September alone.
At the end of September 2019, Legal Aid WA finished the first quarter with:
Year-to-date September 2019
Commonwealth funding: $16,244,949
State funding: $17,193,540
Other income: $951,982
Total revenue: $34,390,471
Total expenditure: $24,278,847
* The operating surplus of $10,111,624 at 30 September 2019 is due to the receipt of Commonwealth funding 6 months'
in advance; including the impact of applying the new Accounting Standards effective from 1 July 2019. These are management figures and subject to end of financial year audit.