Legal Assistance Strategy and Funding
Under the legal assistance services program, the Queensland Government will allocate approximately $51.3 million of Queensland and Commonwealth funding for the delivery of legal assistance services in Queensland over 2017-20.
Legal assistance services are:
a) free legal services for vulnerable and disadvantaged people; and
b) free court/tribunal support and advocacy services for vulnerable and disadvantaged people.
The Queensland funding available to be allocated for service delivery through this process is based on the amount allocated in 2016-17, plus indexation and an additional $200,000 per annum over 2017-20.
The Commonwealth funding available to be allocated for service delivery through this process is approximately $1.8 million less in 2017-18 compared to 2016-17. The Commonwealth funding is provided to Queensland under the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services 2015-20 (the NPA).
The NPA also provides guidance on priority clients and services. The principles of the NPA should be adopted in the delivery of legal assistance services, as applicable.
An open application process with mandatory evaluation criteria will be undertaken to allocate the funding. The process involves applicants:
a) demonstrating how they deliver legal assistance services in accordance with the principles of the National Strategic Framework for Legal Assistance 2015-20; and
b) drawing on the latest evidence and analysis of legal need, overlaid with any additional evidence (i.e. local evidence) to support their applications.
Community Legal Centres Queensland has delivered a report containing the latest evidence and analysis of legal need. Practically, the report should assist:
a) generalist service providers to identify vulnerable groups within their catchment, which are overrepresented within their region. The information should be used in service design and delivery, including adopting strategies to make legal assistance services appropriate and accessible for these groups; and
b) specialist service providers to identify regions where people are more likely to need their assistance, and develop a service delivery model which incorporates strategies to ensure legal assistance services are appropriate and accessible for these groups.
Information provided in the application form and required attachments will be the only information considered during the evaluation process. Additional information (e.g. letters of support) provided by applicants will not be considered.
The Queensland Government reserves the right to negotiate with applicants in relation to the services and funding.
The Queensland Government reserves the right to request an independent review of applicants’ financial statements. The Queensland Government may decline to consider or accept an application from an organisation that has not been able to satisfy that it has sufficient financial capacity to satisfactorily deliver the services in accordance with the terms.
Funding and services will be formalised under service agreements. The Queensland Government’s standard terms for contracting social services will form the basis of the service agreements. Financial and performance reporting requirements will apply.