by Simon |
May 8, 2015 · 2:20 pm
The day after the election, there is no news yet on the new team at the MoJ – there will be at least one new minister, with Simon Hughes having lost his seat and the Lib Dems going into opposition. It seems, no doubt to the delight of legal aid lawyers everywhere, that Chris Grayling has said that he wants to stay as Justice Secretary:
Whoever is in charge at the MoJ, it seems unlikely that there will be significant changes in legal aid policy or at the LAA. The Conservatives have simply promised to “review” the legal aid system, so that it can “continue to provide access to justice in an efficient way”.
A key LAA project is the roll-out of CCMS, which is due to become mandatory from October. This week, the Association of Costs Lawyers released a report on CCMS, concluding that:
- it is fundamentally flawed, but that the LAA is in institutional denial about those flaws;
- some functionality has been poorly implemented, and some missed altogether;
- the system gets some of the basics wrong and ignores LAA and legal requirements.
The ACL warns that the system will lead to more inefficiencies and delays in payments, seriously affecting the cashflow of providers. Supported by the Law Society, LAPG and others, it calls on the LAA to delay implementation until the problems are fixed. Many practitioners who have used the system in the pilot and voluntary stages will know that it is currently far from providing access to justice in an efficient way.
by Vicky |
November 10, 2014 · 4:00 pm
Resolution, the Law Society and LAPG have spent many hours in meetings with the LAA, trying to secure improvements to CCMS (the LAA’s civil certificate client and cost management system). The LAA believes the system is functioning adequately but we hear that many practitioners encounter problems.
Some simply despair and cannot face adding yet more unbillable time to their day by reporting the problems to the helpdesk. We also know that a significant number have decided to wait until the system becomes mandatory next year. Unfortunately, unless the LAA has evidence that the system isn’t working effectively, they will be able to press ahead.
Resolution and LAPG are urging their members to report all problems, at least during November, so the LAA gets a more accurate picture. They would also appreciate feedback to Resolution or LAPG.
by Simon |
March 16, 2014 · 6:33 pm
The LAA postponed the roll-out of CCMS for civil providers earlier this year, following extensive and detailed criticism of the system by representative bodies and firms involved in the pilot.
There is still no news on when the system will be implemented, but this week the LAA put an item on its website asking practitioners to do more online training. It doesn’t say when roll-out will happen, merely that notice will be given. Interestingly, it does say – for the first time publicly – that roll-out will be voluntary. It was always the LAA’s intention that it would be mandatory, and a power was added to civil contracts allowing use of the system to be required. This therefore seems to be a significant concession, and perhaps an admission that – following the major problems highlighted by pilot providers – it has something of a credibility problem.
by Simon |
January 14, 2014 · 5:03 pm
The LAA has this afternoon announced a delay in the rollout of electronic working for civil legal aid, due to have started this week. No new date for launch has been given. This follows extensive representations by representative bodies and organisations participating in the pilot, who have found serious problems with the system.