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Access to justice for disadvantaged communities$
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Marjorie Mayo, Gerald Koessl, Matthew Scott, and Imogen Slater

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447311027

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447311027.001.0001

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date: 23 August 2017

Public service modernisation and time

Public service modernisation and time

Chapter:
(p.92) (p.93) Seven Public service modernisation and time
Source:
Access to justice for disadvantaged communities
Author(s):

Marjorie Mayo

Gerald Koessl

Matthew Scott

Imogen Slater

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447311027.003.0008

Another aspect of marketization relates to the issue of time. There have been associated pressures to use time more effectively to maximise productivity. The funding system for the provision of legal aid meant that the time allotted to each individual client needed to be carefully monitored and controlled. If a client's problems were complex, requiring more than the allotted time, as was so often the case, this posed dilemmas for Law Centre staff. How could they meet their clients’ needs in such cases, whilst meeting their performance targets? Failure to square this particular circle would risk jeopardising the Law Centre's funding? Those interviewed pointed out that time was actually being wasted under the new funding system as a result of the cumbersome bureaucratic systems involved. And time was being wasted more generally as a result of poor decision making in public bodies, leading to the need for subsequent appeals. Meanwhile the time spent on preventative work, including public legal education, was actually time well-spent, it was argued, making savings for the longer term. But this type of preventative work was not being recognised as being in need of public funding, nor was this being recognised in relation to the funding regime's performance targets overall.

Keywords:   maximise productivity, time monitoring, performance targets, time valued, time wasted bureaucracy, time well-spent on prevention

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