2014 Legal Aid Department Annual Report
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Main Page
Vision, Mission & Values
Foreward
Departmantal Strategic Plan
Legal Aid Service
Case of Public Interest or Concern
Customer Service
Publicity Programmes
Organistion, Administration and Staffing
Appendicies
     
  Chapter 1  
Departmental Strategic Plan
 

The Department's strategic plan sets out our objectives and describes how the objectives can be achieved. The strategic plan provides a rational basis upon which priorities are determined and is regularly updated to ensure that resources are well targeted and used effectively having regard to the changing needs of society.

The Department's strategic plan can also be viewed at the Department's website.

 
(Rear row from left)
Mr Steve Wong Yiu-fai, Mr Francis Chan Wan-kit, Mrs Christina Hadiwibawa Cheung Ying-man, Miss Linda Ng Wing-ping, Ms Tse Sze-fong, Ms Juliana Chan Miu-kuen, Miss Ada Wong Yiu-ming, Mr Li Chi-keung

(Front row from left)
Ms Doris Lui Wai-lan, Ms Mo Yuk-wah, Mr Chris Chong Yan-tung, Mr Thomas Edward Kwong, Ms Alice Chung Yee-ling, Ms Juliana Chan Oi-yung, Ms Sherman Cheung Suk-ying
 
Implementation of the Strategic Plan in 2014
 

Updating Legal Aid Panel

The Director of Legal Aid maintains the Legal Aid Panel for counsel and solicitors who are willing to investigate and give opinion on legal aid applications and to act for aided persons as required under the Legal Aid Ordinance. For selecting lawyers for the assignment of legal aid cases, panel lawyers’ updated information on their experience, expertise and the number of cases handled in the past 3 years is important. Following the comprehensive updating exercise of the Legal Aid Panel in May 2013, to maintain the integrity of the legal aid assignment system being based on the experience of lawyers in the past three years, the Department has planned to enhance the Case Management and Case Accounting System to send letters before the expiry of the three-year period to panel lawyers who have not updated their profile inviting them to complete and submit Data Update Form so that their personal particulars as well as their experience and expertise would be updated regularly.

 

Further Expansion of the Scope of PPS and More Payment Options Available

The scope of Payment by Phone Service (PPS) was further expanded to cover one-off payment for judgment debts and costs to facilitate aided persons and opposite parties to make payments to the Department. To offer the public a greater range of convenient payment options, in addition to the existing PPS payment method, the Department will provide more payment alternatives, including payment via Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and Joint Electronic Teller Services Limited (JETCO) and payment through internet banking. These enhancements are targeted to be implemented in 2015.

 

Enhancing User-friendliness of the Legal Aid Electronic Services Portal

In order to encourage more frequent usage of the Legal Aid Electronic Services Portal and to facilitate Portal users, following a review on the user interface of the Portal, the Department has further enhanced the user-friendliness of the Portal by including a step-by-step static screen guide demonstrating how to download and submit e-reports and displaying messages to guide users in submission of e-reports and data input and adopting newly designed webpage layouts for the Portal.

 

Customer Services

The “Encouragement from the Public” corner was set up on the Department’s homepage to post compliments given by the public through our questionnaires. Furthermore, to provide a convenient way for the public to express their appreciations to our staff, a mini thank you card was designed and is expected to be available to the public at the Department’s reception counters in 2015.


Publicity

The Department continued to organise various activities to promote public awareness and understanding of legal aid services. In 2014, the professional officers and law clerks of the Department delivered talks to a university, a secondary school and two non-government organizations serving ethnic minorities and the victims of domestic violence on the services provided by the Department.

As a measure to further combat improper touting activities of claims recovery agents among injured workers and accident victims, the Department has arranged to display anti-touting posters at the Accidents and Emergency Departments of 17 public hospitals in March 2014 warning the public of the risks of using recovery agents. The Department also liaised with the Information Services Department to arrange a territory-wide display of anti-touting posters at various sites including public housing estates, bus stops/terminuses, footbridges, subways and government premises such as government offices and community centres.


Staff

The Department places great importance in promoting staff well-being at work. To improve the work environment and upgrade the waiting area as well as interview rooms of the Kowloon Branch Office, the Information & Application Services Unit on the G/F of Mongkok Government Offices was fully renovated. Five interview rooms with glass partitions were provided to facilitate our staff to meet applicants and aided persons. The waiting area was also refurbished to afford greater comfort to our visitors.

To improve indoor air quality and maintain room temperature at a comfortable and energy-efficient level, air-conditioning units in headquarters were replaced by new models with temperature adjusting panel installed. Apart from reducing electricity consumption, with the new conditioning system, the temperature and ventilation can be adjusted by staff to suit their needs thus providing a more comfortable and healthy work environment.

In 2014, the Learning Resource Centre acquired new books on stress management, positive thinking and healthy lifestyle. Furthermore, four workshops on “Chinese Dietary Therapy for Managing Stress” were organised to promote the staff well-being. The workshops were well-received with positive feedback.

 
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