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Annual Report 2014 - 2015

Achievements against the 2014-2015 Legal Aid NSW Plan

Each action in the Legal Aid NSW Plan has a specified measure of success or target*. In 2014-2015, targets against completed actions were met or exceeded except for three, which were not met due to external factors.

Access to justice

Objective: To promote access to justice through early intervention and better targeting of legal assistance to disadvantaged people

Year ahead

  • Implement the new Reconciliation Action Plan
  • Expand inhouse capacity to conduct more committal matters across New South Wales
  • Provide targeted services to Aboriginal communities by expanding civil and family law services to regional and remote communities
  • Develop a new Domestic Violence Strategy across all areas of legal service delivery

Excellence in legal services

Objective: To pursue excellence, innovation and efficiency in legal service delivery

NOTE: The impact on Legal Aid NSW of the Government's accepted recommendations of the NSW Law Reform Commission's Inquiry Into Encouraging Appropriate Early Guilty Pleas could not be assessed as the recommendations were not publicly available.

Year ahead

  • Implement Activity Based Costing across all legal practices
  • Develop a strategy for the better use of technology to improve engagement and accessibility for clients, partners and stakeholders
  • Develop a client service strategy to ensure quality and consistency of services to clients
  • Implement the new National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services 2015-2020 

Supporting our people

Objective: To support and develop our people and improve our systems to meet organisational goals

NOTE: The accepted recommendations of the University of NSW study into health and wellbeing in Legal Aid NSW could not be implemented as the study's final recommendations were not received before the end of the financial year. This action will be implemented in 2015-2016.

Year ahead

  • Develop options to improve staff health and wellbeing based on the findings from the UNSW Health and Wellbeing study and the Workplace Behaviour and Ethics Project
  • Develop and launch a Workforce Development Plan to improve staff development and performance
  • Develop a business case for a new case management system for Legal Aid NSW
  • Develop a strategy to capture data and information that demonstrates the value and quality of Legal Aid NSW services

Strong partnerships

Objective: To build strong, effective service partnerships to respond to the legal and non legal needs of our clients

NOTE: Formal relationships with the network of Aboriginal community justice groups (CJGs) could not be established due to a rationalisation of CJGs within the Department of Justice. 

Year ahead

  • Develop new initiatives to improve access to legal services in correctional facilities through the use of technology, in partnership with Corrective Services NSW
  • Collaborate with the legal assistance sector and the Department of Justice to implement the requirements of the new National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services 2015-2020
  • Develop a framework to establish regional service delivery plans for Legal Aid NSW offices