How to avoid non-compliance notices

How to avoid non-compliance notices

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Third party disbursement deadlines

Practitioners are reminded that claims for third-party disbursements must be submitted within 30 days.

Some third-party providers have had to reconsider participation in the legal aid scheme when practitioners have unreasonably delayed payment for their services.

Victoria Legal Aid is committed to ensuring creditors are paid within a reasonable time. This means practitioners must submit claims no more than 30 days from completion of the matter for final accounts. Interim accounts must be submitted no more than 30 days following a court event. In addition, billing must be up-to-date prior to submitting a request for an extension of assistance.

Practitioners must forward payments as early as practicable to providers, and no more than 30 days after receiving reimbursement from Victoria Legal Aid.

We will issue non-compliance and/or restitution notices to practitioners who do not meet deadline requirements. Repeated breaches may result in Victoria Legal Aid requiring a practitioner to pay third parties up front and submit confirmation of payment before seeking reimbursement from us.

Be prepared for compliance checks

A practitioner was recently informed that Victoria Legal Aid will be requesting significant restitution to the legal aid fund after failing to comply with repeated requests to submit files to a Victoria Legal Aid compliance check.

Practitioners are reminded that it is a condition of membership to the section 29A panels that practitioners promptly produce legally aided files for compliance checking upon request by Victoria Legal Aid.

The compliance process is designed to ensure the validity of grants of legal assistance and that legally aided work is performed to standard. Practitioners who cannot produce evidence of compliance will be required to repay any money received for return to the legal aid fund, so please ensure all files and paperwork are compliant.

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