Page 1: Introduction
The Legal Services Commission is a service organisation. It provides legal services through its Providers in the form of advice and legal help to a large number of people on low incomes. The Commission runs the legal aid scheme in England and Wales. Legal aid is a system of government funding to enable people who would otherwise not be able to afford legal services to obtain those services.
The Commission receives abudget of £2 billion a year from the government. It is able to help around two million people access legal aid. The government provides funding for legal aid to help people:
- protect their basic rights and get a fair hearing
- access the court process to sort out disputes, for example, with landlords
- address problems that contribute to social exclusion.
With its budget the Legal Services Commission is able to fund solicitors and not-for-profit advice agencies to:
- advise people on their legal problems (such as family breakdown and debt)
- help people understand their rights and the law
- advise people detained in police stations
- if necessary, represent people in court.
The Commission is part of the Ministry of Justice 'family' and works alongside partner agencies. Currently it is engaged in a process of reform which has been going on since 2008 to provide a better service. Its aims include:
- 'to improve the service we provide to customers
- to improve our productivity through better processes and performance management
- to "live within our means" in a challenging financial climate
- to create a culture of continuous improvement where we are striving to deliver the best service possible for the best value for money to the taxpayer .'
This case study shows how the process of reform, using lean production principles, is helping the Legal Services Commission to cut down on any wasteful expenditure.
By introducing improved information systems and processes, it is able to simplify and cut back on wasteful activities and work more efficiently.