Community Legal Services Program Reform Project update

Community Legal Services Program Reform Project update

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

From 1 July, the first round of reforms to the Community Legal Service Program (CLSP), Victoria Legal Aid’s funding arrangement with community legal centres (CLC), will take effect.

The reforms are part of an ambitious three-year action plan, committed to at the end of 2018, following a review of the CLSP.

The reform project will ensure that CLSP aligns with current expectations regarding the planning and delivery of quality legal services, and accountability for expenditure of public money.

While consulting and working with CLCs and the Federation of Community Legal Centres, it became clear that a more open funding program was required, one that is easier to navigate and better supports Victoria Legal Aid to fulfil its obligations.

‘This reform project encourages and challenges the legal assistance sector to consider how we can continually improve to better service the needs of our clients and communities,’ said Associate Director, CLC Funding and Development, Amy Schwebel.

The reforms

The funding agreement between Victoria Legal Aid and CLSP-funded CLCs has been extended for an additional year to 30 June 2020.

Revisions to the agreement lay the foundation for subsequent reform actions focused on quality, improvements in service design and administration, streamlined financial reporting and evidence-based collaborative planning in the legal assistance sector.

We have also been collaborating with a working group of CLCs to develop and trial a new workplan and reporting template in 2019-20, which all centres will use from 1 July 2020.

As implementation of the CLSP Reform Project progresses, ‘we remain committed to working closely and collaboratively with our CLC partners in the implementation of these reforms,’ said Amy.

More information

Community Legal Services Program Reform Project

Community Legal Services Program Reform Project – Phase One final report

Federation of Community Legal Centres

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