Quarterly service and finance reports
Priority project updates
New Virtual Offices
In July, Legal Aid WA installed Virtual Office screens at two Lucy Saw Centre women's refuges. The screens allow the refuges to connect their residents directly to Legal Aid WA lawyers. The refuges already provide emotional and practical support for women escaping domestic violence and now, thanks to the screens, they can also offer legal advice.
Culturally safe services
In September, Legal Aid WA achieved a 6% Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce. This is the highest level in our 45-year history and is the first step in our commitment to a 10% First Nations workforce. Having more First Nations staff will make our services more accessible to Aboriginal people and will help our organisation deliver better, and culturally safer, services. Nearly a quarter of Legal Aid WA's clients are First Nations.
In August we received the results of a satisfaction survey of family law clients. We surveyed 463 clients and the result was a 78% overall satisfaction rate. Client satisfaction with our legal advice and duty lawyer services were higher than in previous years. Apart from clients, the survey also queried Community Legal Centres. The survey found that CLCs awarded our online and print publications a 98% satisfaction rating.
Clean bill of health
In September, the Office of the Auditor General indicated a 'clear audit opinion' on our financial statements for the 2021-22 year. After a thorough audit, the Office of the Auditor General issued an unmodified auditor's report on the financial statements, design and implementation of controls and key performance indicators for the year ended 30 June 2022.
Congratulations to a new magistrate
In July, the Attorney General, Hon John Quigley MLA, announced the appointment of Legal Aid WA lawyer Tony Sullivan as a magistrate. The Attorney General described Mr Sullivan as an 'experienced and accomplished lawyer' who will enhance the availability of justice to the community. Our congratulations to Mr Sullivan on his appointment.
Legal Aid WA is expected to have a forecast deficit of $9.368 million at the end of the 2022-23 financial year. This differs from the budget deficit of $6.630 million set for the Commission and an increase of $2.739 million of budget target. This is funded from prior year carry overs and our health cash reserves.
|Year-to-date Sept 2022
* The forecast operating deficit of $9.368 million as at June 2023 is due to costs funded by the cash reserve under the Strategic Asset Plan for the digital transformation program and transition to Cloud, and the carry-over of unspent project funding from 2021-22.
^ Forecast Actuals are Legal Aid WA's best estimate of the Commission's finances for the year ending 30 June 2023.
These are management figures and have not been audited.