LAA annual report 2014-15
.
.
.
Administrator
The LAA's recently published annual report shows how much less money has been spent on securing legal advice and representation for the poorest people in England and Wales. There was an overall net reduction in expenditure of £244 million (all figures in £000), a further decrease from 2013-14, which was the first year of the LASPO scope cuts. The reasons for the increase in crime higher were given as higher numbers of sitting days and more pages of prosecution evidence in more complex cases.
2014–15 (£000)
2013–14 (£000)
Funding type
Civil legal help
112,165
129,776
Civil representation
510,212
693,527
Crime lower
332,578
367,304
Crime higher
586,457
553,677
Central funds
44,238
89,070
The costs of legal aid administration reduced by £3.1 million, when calculated on a cash basis; although total administration costs rose by £3.3 million, largely due to the development of the widely criticised CCMS system for civil applications and bill processing, which will now not become mandatory until February 2016. Key milestones noted include:
Sustained monthly above target levels for processing civil applications (97% in 20 working days)
Quicker processing of civil bills (99% in 25 days)
Reject rates for civil bills brought down to 9.2% (against a 15% target)
Call waiting times for the civil certificated helpline below 2 minutes 48 seconds
Abandoned call rate for the civil certificated helpline 10.47% (target 12%) In relation to internal issues, the LAA:
Launched a management skills programme for their staff
Increased participation in their staff survey to 89%
Had lower staff sickness than the civil service average (7.1 days against 7.6 days) Plans for the future include:
Concluding the legal aid change programme
Making CCMS compulsory
Finalising the transfer of crime application processing from HMCTS
Developing crime online billing
Improving telephone answering and support for digital working by providers
Making the LAA a better place to work

About the author(s)

Description: Vicky Ling - author
Vicky Ling is a consultant specialising in legal aid practice and a founder member of the Law Consultancy Network.