HC Deb 19 March 2002 vol 382 c181W
42. Mr. Amess

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what her policy is on payment of fees by the Legal Aid Board to members of the legal profession; and if she will make a statement. [41557]

Ms Rosie Winterton

In making any remuneration order for publicly funded legal work administered through the Legal Services Commission (LSC), formerly the Legal Aid Board, the Lord Chancellor is required by section 25(3) of the Access to Justice Act 1999 to have regard to

  1. (a) the need to secure the provision of services of the description to which the order relates by a sufficient number of competent persons and bodies;
  2. (b) the cost to public funds; and
  3. (c) the need to secure value for money.

The Lord Chancellor is required by section 25(2) to consult the General Council of the Bar and the Law Society before making any such order.

Payments made to members of the legal profession for publicly funded work under the General Criminal or General Civil contracts are of an agreed monthly amount and are paid on a regular basis. In addition, the Lord Chancellor requires the Legal Services Commission to publish targets for bill processing and payment in their annual report. The Commission monitors performance against these targets on a monthly basis.