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, Ms Tse Sze-fong, Ms Juliana Chan Miu-kuen, Ms Amy Lee Ngar-ling, Mr Li Chi-keung, Miss Ada Wong Yiu-ming

(Front row from left)
Ms Sherman Cheung Suk-ying, Ms Mo Yuk-wah, Ms Alice Chung Yee-ling, Mr Thomas Edward Kwong, Mr Chris Chong Yan-tung, Ms Juliana Chan Oi-yung, Ms Doris Lui Wai-lan
 
Implementation of the Strategic Plan in 2015
 

Extension of Strict Adherence to Assignment Limits

To address the concern of over-assignment of cases to panel lawyers resulting from aided persons’ nomination, strict adherence to the assignment criteria on the number of assignment has been adopted by the Department in late 2013 for personal injury and related cases whereby the aided persons’ nominations had been turned down when the number of assignments to the lawyer concerned has reached the assignment limit. Noting the effectiveness of the strict adherence to the assignment criteria, since June 2015, the Department extended this step up measure to cover all categories of civil cases including judicial review cases.

 

Step up measure to counter touting activities

In 2013, a new declaration system was introduced to address the growing concern on improper touting in legal aid cases. The aided person is required to give a written declaration in support of his / her nomination that the nomination of solicitor is not subject to any champertous agreements. As a step up measure, the nomination form to be completed by the aided person has been revised to extend the declaration to cover counsel nominated.

 

Information System

In 2015, to facilitate the effective updating exercise on panel laywers’ experience, the CM&CAS was enhanced to generate regular reminder letters to panel lawyers for updating their profile in the last 3 years.

To improve data accuracy and consistency in the means test, the CM&CAS was automated to capture foreign currency exchange rates directly from the Hong Kong Association of Banks. Further, a list of most popular Banks in Mainland China was extracted from the China Banking Regulatory Commission to facilitate the Department’s staff in compiling means reports for conducting means test.


Additional Payment Options Available

To offer the public a greater range of convenient payment options, in addition to the existing PPS payment method, in 2015 the Department introduced new payment alternatives to facilitate aided persons and opposite parties to make payment to the Department, which include payment via Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and Joint Electronic Teller Services Limited (JETCO) and payment through internet banking.

 

Customer Services

To provide quality services to the public, the Information & Application Services Unit (IASU) of the Kowloon Branch Office on the 3/F of Mongkok Government Offices has been renovated in mid 2015 to install seven interview rooms, set up a new reception counter and improve public waiting area providing our customers more comfortable environment. In addition, GovWifi service was installed to provide free wireless Internet access services to visitors. Upgraded barrier-free access and facilities in compliance with the latest barrier-free design standard were also adopted to enhance accessibility by persons with disability.

 

Publicity

The Department continued to organise various activities to promote public awareness and understanding of legal aid services. In 2015, the professional officers of the Department delivered talks on the services provided by the Department to a university, a secondary school with greater number of students of ethnic minority origin, an organization providing service for pregnant teenagers and two women’s organizations serving the victims of domestic violence.

As a measure to further combat improper touting activities of claims recovery agents among injured workers and accident victims, the Department had arranged a TV API (Announcement in the Public Interest) entitled “Beware of the touting activities of recovery agents” produced by the Department of Justice for broadcasting in the Department’s three waiting areas as well as 27 venues of the Home Affairs Department. In October 2015, the Department participated in the 4th episode of a radio programme entitled “Injuries, Safety and Protection at Work” (工傷權益知多少) organised by RTHK and a non-government organization to introduce to workers the Department’s services, legal aid eligibility criteria and application procedures.


Staff

To cultivate the culture of continuous self-learning, the Department has maintained a comprehensive collection of books available to our staff. It covers a wide range of categories such as general management, communication, use of language, national studies, personal development, positive thinking, stress management and healthy lifestyle. Workshops on stress management were well-received with positive feedback.

 
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