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Annual Report 2012 - 2013

Highlights at a glance

What we did over the past year

We provided 972,650 client services and, despite a difficult financial environment, managed to introduce more programs and services by allocating resources effectively.

One of the biggest service increases continues to be the area of advice and minor assistance— partly as a result of the increased focus on providing services through outreach (face-to-face sessions offered to people in locations outside Legal Aid NSW offices).

This reflects the reforms set down by the Commonwealth Government under the National Partnership Agreement 2010–2014 (NPA) on Legal Assistance Services. In return for additional funding, the NPA required a 30% increase in early intervention services such as advice and minor assistance by 2014.

More early intervention programs have helped people resolve their legal issues at an early stage while expanded regional programs brought our services into the reach of more people in rural and regional New South Wales.

We completed our Legal Aid NSW Plan 2011–2013, and delivered a new plan for 2013–2014.

There are four priorities in the 2011–2013 Legal Aid NSW Plan:

PROMOTING ACCESS TO JUSTICE

Expanded our civil and family law outreach services to Aboriginal people

Increased advice and minor assistance services by 15.6%

Delivered new advice services to people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities

Implemented new services to complainants and defendants in domestic violence and sexual assault matters

Assisted vulnerable clients to clear over $7.5 million in outstanding fines through the Work and Development Order Scheme partnership

Developed the Legal Aid NSW Reconciliation Action Plan 2013–2015 to guide legal service access to Aboriginal people

SUPPORTING OUR PEOPLE

Developed and implemented a Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Completed a review of our grants management system

Implemented a new Business Intelligence tool that supports staff in their work

PURSUING EXCELLENCE IN LEGAL SERVICES

Implemented the Metropolitan Duty Scheme in metropolitan Local Courts

Reviewed a number of our services ensuring the best possible use of resources

Delivered Aboriginal cultural awareness training to private lawyers

Provided domestic violence training to over 18% of staff

Took part in a review of the National Partnership Agreement and submitted a comprehensive response to the Commonwealth

LINKING SERVICES

Published a monthly online newsletter, achieving a 53% increase in subscribers and 25% increase in page views

Reviewed the Cooperative Legal Service Delivery Program

Assisted vulnerable people with short-term credit contract issues

Financial management

Our net financial result was a surplus of $10.7 million, which is an $11.6 million improvement on the budgeted deficit. Before end of year actuarial adjustments, our financial result was within 1% of budget.

Financial summary 2011–2012
($M)
2012–2013
($M)
Change
(%)
Operating revenue 243.6 247.4 1.6
Operating expenses 244.7 236.3 (3.4)
Total assets 100.9 101.9 1
Total liabilities 92.5 71.7 (22.5)
Surplus/(deficit) (0.2) 10.7 5,450
Net equity 8.4 30.2 259.5