Compliance and reporting
Australian Government agencies have reporting obligations under the Legal Services Directions 2017.
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 paragraph 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 template 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 must submit expenditure reports using the template that OLSC provides to all agencies at the start of each financial year. If you have not received this template, please contact OLSC at LSER@ag.gov.au or 02 6141 3642.
Attorney-General's Department legal services expenditure report
The department’s legal services expenditure reports:
- Attorney-General's Department – Legal services expenditure 2018-19
- Attorney-General's Department – Legal services expenditure 2017-18
Legal services expenditure reports for years prior to 2017-18 are available in the department’s annual reports.
Compliance with the Legal Services Directions 2017
Non-corporate Commonwealth entities and former FMA agencies are 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.
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 Legal Services Directions 2017.
Download the compliance certificate.
A guidance note on compliance with the Legal Services Directions 2017 is available on the Legal Services Directions and guidance notes page.
The Compliance Framework sets out OLSC's approach to supporting Commonwealth entities to achieve compliance with the Legal Services Directions 2017.
In particular, OLSC's approach is to assist agencies to comply with the Legal Services Directions 2017 through support, guidance and training. This promotes awareness of obligations, recognition of better compliance strategies, identification of emerging issues, and appropriate management of legal risk.
OLSC will monitor (and where necessary verify) agency compliance with the Legal Services Directions 2017. However, OLSC does not conduct reviews or investigations in relation to possible or actual non‑compliance with the Legal Services Directions 2017, except in exceptional circumstances, such as where there is evidence of a systemic issue emerging within an agency or in the sphere of Commonwealth legal work generally.
In support of its role in monitoring compliance with the Legal Services Directions 2017, OLSC publishes statistical information about non-compliance.
From 2017-18, OLSC has made changes to its internal processes and record-keeping associated with compliance with the Legal Services Directions 2017. These changes have increased capacity to produce data readily and reliably, but makes it more difficult to compare previous years.
Download compliance statistics below for the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18 financial years: