Key dates and progress so far for the NPA Review (second update)
Extracts taken from the Attorney-General's Department newsletter on the NPA Review
The Review officially started on 1 May 2012 when the Allen Consulting Group (ACG) was appointed as the successful consultant. The Review is to be conducted in two parts. In Part A, ACG will review legal aid commissions only against the performance indicators and benchmarks in the National Partnership Agreement. In Part B, ACG will analyse the quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of all four Commonwealth-funded legal assistance programs: LACs, CLCs, ATSILS and FVPLSs.
In May, ACG commenced a desktop review. As part of this, ACG considered previous reviews, program documentation, literature reviews and what’s already being reported upon and collected by the Attorney-General's Department.
The first Advisory Committee meeting was held in Sydney on 4 June 2012, which brought together key representatives from within the legal assistance sector and included two NACLC representatives - Michael Smith and Julia Hall.
In June, ACG commenced the first round of national consultations with staff from LACs, ATSILS and selected CLCs and FVPLSs around Australia. Those consultations focused on:
- the context within which service providers operate
- key issues confronting services
- key areas that the ACG should explore when assessing the appropriateness, quality, efficiency, effectiveness, cultural sensitivity, collaboration and cooperation of the four program areas
While ACG will not meet with every service provider during the Review, service providers will be consulted several times throughout the process. There is also an opportunity to contribute your views through your Advisory Committee representative, or by making a submission to ACG at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In July 2012, the priority is to develop a draft evaluation framework that will enable ACG to measure and report on the quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of all Commonwealth-funded legal assistance programs now and into the future, and which will provide a good evidence base to inform future government decisions.
The draft evaluation framework will be released around 27 July 2012, and will be available for public consultation for three weeks. Once sector feedback has been considered, a second draft will be released for further consultation. The framework will then be piloted in Queensland from September to October.
It is highly recommended that feedback be provided on the framework in the initial consultation period (27 July – 17 August), before the pilot study commences. However, comments on the framework can be made until 7 October 2012.
Data Standardisation Working Group
The Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department has been working with legal assistance service providers to develop a more consistent approach to data collection across all four legal assistance programs. This is the data standardisation project.
This group will feed into the NPA Review by contributing to the development of common data definitions which will be used in the draft evaluation framework.
- National consultations to inform draft evaluation framework: June 2012
- Initial consultation period for draft evaluation framework: 27 July – 17 Aug 2012 (highly recommended to provide feedback on the framework within these dates)
- Revised framework released for consultation: 7 Sept 2012
- QLD pilot of draft evaluation framework: 7 Sept – 7 Oct 2012
- Consultation period on draft evaluation framework closes: 7 Oct 2012
For further information on the Review, please visit www.ag.gov.au/ReviewofNPAonLegalAssistance
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