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National legal assistance data

Under the National Legal Assistance Partnership 2020-25 (NLAP), Legal Aid Commissions, Community Legal Centres and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services must collect and report legal assistance data.

This data provides a greater understanding of the delivery of legal assistance services and supports frontline service delivery.

National Legal Assistance Data Strategy

The National Legal Assistance Data Strategy was developed in consultation with the states and territories and the legal assistance sector, in accordance with the National Legal Assistance Partnership 2020-25 (NLAP). The Data Strategy sets the policy framework for the collection, storage, reporting, transmission, and analysis of data that is collected and reported under the NLAP.

The department will review the Data Strategy before July 2025, to ensure that it is fit-for-purpose for legal assistance agreements beyond the current NLAP.

National Legal Assistance Data Standards Manual

Data is collected in accordance with the National Legal Assistance Data Standards Manual across the legal assistance sector. In consultation with state and territory governments and the legal assistance sector, we have revised the Data Standards Manual to align with the new data reporting requirements introduced by the NLAP.

The second version of the manual came into effect on 23 September 2020 and applies until 30 June 2021. The third version of the manual is in effect from 1 July 2021.

To ensure that the document remains relevant and is fit-for-purpose we will conduct an annual review in consultation with state and territory governments and the legal assistance sector.

Legal assistance services data project

Under the NLAP, the Australian Government will have access to unit level data for legal assistance services for the first time. The Australian Bureau of Statistics will collect and store this data.

This collection of consistent and comparable legal assistance service data will form the basis of a national evidence base. This will enable us to analyse and gain meaningful insight into the delivery of frontline legal assistance services.