Quell surprise!! The National Audit Office wears an “I told you so!” tee shirt

21 Nov

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a report – please see the link below – critiquing the LAPSO Legal Aid reforms. The NAO concludes that the MOJ did not think through the reforms and did not consider the knock on effects that the reforms would have on the wider system

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The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a report – please see the link below – critiquing the LAPSO Legal Aid reforms. The NAO concludes that the MOJ did not think through the reforms and did not consider the knock on effects that the reforms would have on the wider system.

The loss of legal aid to family and civil cases has created a sudden reduction in the MOJ’s bills – estimated at up to £300m in the long run. However the lack of funding has provoked no corresponding rise in referrals to mediation as the MOJ hoped nor has it reduced the bills for the Court Service.

The report finds that the MOJ did not estimate the scale of the wider costs triggered by the reforms because it did not have sufficient understanding of how people would respond to the changes; and more importantly what costs would arise as a result. This extends to the MOJ being unaware as to the extent of the costs that its own ministry would have to bare.

The overall picture is that the reforms have failed to deliver better value for money for the tax payer. A commentator points out that the report reflects the fact that the MOJ failed to listen to the family law professionals and mediators who told then that this is exactly what would happen.

The link below gives you the report, its executive summary and the NAO press release.

http://www.nao.org.uk/report/implementing-reforms-to-civil-legal-aid/#

Dylan Morgan

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