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Annual Report 2019 - 2020

Information technology

Information technology played a key role in improving online services to our clients and supporting staff working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year we completed the implementation of our new Client and Case Management System (CCMS), replacing our legacy CASES system. We also progressed a range of client-facing digital initiatives and introduced a number of technology solutions to support staff delivering services remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Digital tools helped our clients engage with us

We provided support for the development of new digital client tools, such as the Grants Tracker, client portal and guided pathways, to improve our clients’ experience of Legal Aid NSW’s grant application process, improve access to our services and legal information, and to reduce client uncertainty.

Introducing Office 365 to the organisation

We completed the initial rollout of Office 365 across Legal Aid NSW, providing a range of benefits to our staff. Aligning with our strategy towards moving to cloud-based services, this implementation reduced our dependency on our own infrastructure for email and document management services. Most significantly, this rollout laid the foundations for new collaboration tools to be used by staff to improve both our internal business processes and our services to clients.

Putting clients at the centre of our Client and Case Management System (CCMS)

We changed the way we manage and record our information about clients, their legal problems and our services.

Our new Client and Case Management System (CCMS) was developed to replace our existing case management system, known as CASES. The first phase of the CCMS rollout was implemented in February 2019. The new CCMS is a modern, client-centred platform that allows more efficient:

  • client information management
  • matter and service management
  • document management, and
  • office management.

Importantly, the CCMS helps staff identify client needs more easily by recording important client information in a single location as the source of truth, such as whether a client requires an interpreter or needs to be contacted in a certain way for safety reasons.

The CCMS allows staff to work in new ways, with the ability to send emails, text messages and appointment reminders to clients directly from the system, and to easily refer clients between different services within Legal Aid NSW. It also better captures the services we provide to meet clients’ non-legal needs.

Our new Client and Case Management System supports our staff to work in entirely new ways, and it will grow with our organisation.

Support and training was provided to staff in readiness for the deployment of the second release of the CCMS, which went live on February 10, 2020, fully replacing the CASES system.

CCMS is a cloud-based system, which proved its immediate benefit to Legal Aid NSW when we were able to transition case management relatively smoothly to online working during the pandemic. Enhanced reporting capabilities have allowed the organisation to closely examine the effects of COVID-19 on clients and adjust our services.

Regular improvements to CCMS continue and further investments are planned.

Launch of a new, modernised staff intranet

Legal Aid NSW’s Knowledge Management team launched a new staff intranet in 2020 using a contemporary design making it easier for staff to find the information they need. It provides staff with a single portal to access knowledge resources, staff communications, business systems and a range of online forms.

The modern design and increased functionality has proved to be very popular with staff. The intranet features the following new applications:

  • The Legal Locator map is an interactive map developed to assist our solicitors to find the nearest legal service or duty service for our clients wherever they are located across the state.
  • An organisation-wide calendar that provides a consolidated view of major events such as diversity days and legal conferences.
  • A dynamic news app to engage and update our staff on key news.

We will continue to take on feedback to adapt the intranet to be suitable for the organisation’s changing needs.

Introducing robotics technology

This year we implemented several robotics initiatives to improve business efficiency and outcomes for our clients. We’ve implemented a robotics solution to ensure our business systems are promptly updated with the location of our clients in custody and a solution to improve our audit compliance process in the Grants division.

Year ahead iconThe year ahead

  • We will continue to enhance our Client and Case Management System (CCMS).
  • We will launch our new business intelligence platform providing enhanced reporting and data analysis capabilities about the services provided to clients.
  • We will develop new ways to exchange and sign documents with clients as we move to new service delivery models.
  • We will continue to implement additional robotics process automation initiatives to improve business efficiency.
  • We will launch web chat on our client-facing LawAccess NSW website and determine the future strategy for the LawAccess NSW website.