The government has is to delay the imposition of its new online processing system following repeated warnings from legal aid lawyers and costs experts. The Client and Cost Management System (CCMS), which was originally intended to be made mandatory from October 2015, is now due to come into force in February 2016.
Last month the Association of Costs Lawyers argued that, unless glitches were sorted, payments for legal aid lawyers risked being ‘seriously delayed’ with dire consequences for firms.
‘We welcome the delay to making CCMS compulsory, and the six improvements that the LAA has committed to is a good start,’ commented the chairman of the ACL’s legal aid group Paul Seddon. ‘However, there is a long way to go in comparatively very little time to make the many more changes needed so that this system is fit for use. A great deal of commitment to making real change is required of the LAA in order to meet the new deadline.’
Writing for LegalVoice, Seddon pointed out that £50m had already been spent and complained of public money being spent on a system that is ‘not improving the delivery of legal services to the public‘. It was also reported that LAPG director Carol Storer, who had spent over two years working with the LAA, had said she would have no choice but to resign if the problems were not sorted. ‘I could not, in all conscience, stay in my post as director of the profession’s representative body, if the LAA goes ahead with CCMS in its current form,’ Storer said.
- Legal aid prison cuts could pose ‘unacceptable risk’ - 28th July 2015
- Exceptional funding safety net ‘not in accordance with the law’ - 16th July 2015
- ‘Lifeline’ returned as government fixes ‘unconsidered technicality’ restricting access to legal aid - 9th July 2015
- Leveson: ‘History is littered with examples of failed IT projects’ - 3rd July 2015
- Roll out of controversial online processing system delayed until new year - 15th June 2015
- Wealthiest criminals to pay back legal aid - 2nd June 2015
- Cameron delays scrapping Human Rights Act - 28th May 2015
- Legal aid legislation ‘disgracefully complex’, says Appeal court - 20th May 2015
- Lord Neuberger backs increased use mediation as courts face ‘perfect storm’ - 19th May 2015
- Gove in, Grayling out: what does the future look like? - 12th May 2015