Enhancement of legal aid services through innovative use of information technology (Legal Aid Department)
The Legal Aid Department (LAD) commits to providing quality customer-oriented legal aid services. Aiming to improve service efficiency and provide prompt response to customers, LAD has developed new online services with the latest information technology to keep legal aid services abreast of the times.
Service 1: EFFECTIVE USE OF QR CODES
The pamphlet entitled How Your Financial Resources & Contribution are Calculated published by LAD contains calculation examples of different scenarios. However, as the rates of personal allowances and financial eligibility limits for legal aid are adjusted oftentimes, the calculation examples in the pamphlet require frequent updates, which are effort and time demanding but ephemeral. Resources were squandered consequently.
To resolve the difficulty, LAD has added in the pamphlet relevant QR codes, through which members of the public can access the latest calculation examples on LAD’s website. When there is any adjustment to the calculation examples, it is necessary to update only the information on the website but not the pamphlet. Not only does this help protect the environment, but printing costs and staff resources could also be saved.
Service 2: MOBILE VERSION OF MEANS TEST CALCULATOR
Since means assessment involves many factors concerning a legal aid applicant, LAD introduced in December 2008 an online Means Test Calculator, which provides a convenient way for members of the public to find out whether they are likely to be eligible for legal aid on means. The mobile version of the Means Test Calculator was subsequently introduced for easy access by mobile devices anytime anywhere.
Service 3: ENHANCING SERVICES BY INSTANT TRANSLATION SYSTEM
To overcome the language barrier faced by people of diverse race in making legal aid applications and the shortage of interpreters, LAD has developed an instant translation system, which can display and read out questions in languages commonly used by people of diverse race. The system also connects to an online translation programme which can translate the answers provided by legal aid applicants of diverse race in their own languages into English. LAD staff may then identify and provide suitable information to them to facilitate their legal aid applications.
(For more details, please visit Sevice Excellence Website)