We updated you in January on the status of the new performance framework for SLAB. The aim of the framework has been to introduce more meaningful measures of our performance to help us focus on what matters most to our customers.
For example, we made changes to the way the civil legal aid (CivSol) application process worked in May 2018.
In the three months to March 2018, 60% of non-AWI civil legal aid applications were granted on the first decision and the percent of applications requiring further work was 24%.
In the three months to March 2019, the equivalent figures were 68% and 17%. At the same time the average duration of how long it took us to take this first decision increased from 73 to 78 days.
So it took us slightly longer but we granted more applications which meant there was less rework for both solicitors and SLAB. We understand that this is of significant benefit to firms.
This insight is contained within the operational report (SOPOR) now being produced.
We have now reviewed these initial reports and made the following key changes to improve their effectiveness:
These benchmarks will be set each year based on previous performance and on management objectives for the forthcoming year. The intention is that the benchmarks are challenging but achievable.
A fixed benchmark simplifies reporting and aids comprehension. It includes a clear statement of where we consider better to be.
For example, in 2019-20 we have set a benchmark of 70 days average duration for civil (non-AWI) first decisions to help us speed this up now we have improved the other civil duration metrics.
Every quarter we will report on each of the past 12 months’ results. There will be no aggregate figure for the year as a whole. If some months show a poorer performance then they will be reported as such.
The intention is that this reporting structure will encourage more consistent management of performance. Having 12 months of figures also enables us to see wider trends when a new month’s information is included.
We are using a very visual colour-coded presentation. This enables a large amount of information to be quickly and clearly presented.
The actual measures we are using have remained the same. We have simply changed the way we report them.
The first quarterly report in the new format is now available in the publications section of our website.
Please note the Annual Report for 2019-20 will present performance information in the old format. This is because this was the format in use by our management during the year.
For more information: Please contact Cathrin Innes, firstname.lastname@example.org