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Compliance and reporting

Australian Government agencies have reporting obligations under the Legal Services Directions 2017.

This includes reporting on:

Reporting of significant issues

Non-corporate Commonwealth entities under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013, and any agencies that were an FMA agency on 30 June 2014 are required to report as soon as possible on issues arising in the delivery of legal services, especially the handling of claims and litigation.

Once a matter has been reported to the Office of Legal Services Coordination (OLSC) as significant:

  • entities are required to provide updates on the progress of those issues
  • significant claims are not to be settled without the Attorney-General's prior agreement.

A guidance note on the reporting of significant issues is available on the Legal Services Directions and guidance notes page.

Refer to paragraphs 3 of the Legal Services Directions 2017 and paragraphs 2(e)(iv) and 5.2 of Appendix B of the Legal Services Directions 2017 for more information.

The Significant issues reporting template and Significant issues settlement request are available to download below:

Legal services expenditure

Australian Government agencies are required to report to OLSC about their legal services expenditure within 60 days after the end of the financial year.

Agencies submitting expenditure reports should use the XLS template as the PDF template is read-only. If you are unable to use the XLS template, contact OLSC on olsc@ag.gov.au or 02 6141 3642.

Attorney-General's Department legal services expenditure report

Compliance with the Legal Services Directions 2017

Non-corporate Commonwealth entities and former FMA agencies are also obliged to report to OLSC as soon as practicable about any possible or apparent breaches of the Legal Services Directions 2017.

Download the Agency notification form below:

After each financial year, the accountable authority of a non-corporate Commonwealth entity or former FMA agency must provide a certificate setting out the extent to which they believe the entity has complied with the directions.

Download the compliance certificate below:

Compliance Framework

The Compliance Framework sets out the approach of the Office of Legal Services Coordination to support Commonwealth entities to achieve compliance with the Legal Services Directions 2017.

Download the Compliance Framework below:

Statistical data

  Matters recorded Assessed as non-compliant Assessed as compliant Matters awaiting assessment at year end or withdrawn
2016-17 63 14 42 7
2015-16 75 29 45 1

In 2016-17, OLSC recorded 14 assessments in which agencies advised of instances of non-compliance with the Directions. Of these assessments:

  • three related to the model litigant obligation
  • three related to the performance of tied work by non-tied work providers
  • four related to the engagement of counsel
  • three related to the process for seeking constitutional law advice
  • one related to the handling of a request for public interest immunity.