Innovation can take many forms, and can include taking a different approach for a better outcome. The Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) is hoping that a change coming into effect from today will help remove barriers to collaboration and improve management of Commonwealth legal risk overall.
On 1 July 2019, in accordance with a decision of Government, AGS will move to an internal charging model. This cost-recovery model means AGS will aim to set its rates in order to operate efficiently and effectively as a self-funded legal service. AGS will no longer aim to make a profit.
Before this change, AGS was required by Government to operate on a for-profit basis and to make sufficient money to cover competitive neutrality payments and to pay dividends.
The Australian Government Solicitor Michael Kingston believes the change is good news for agencies.
“I hope this change is a catalyst for an increasingly close and collaborative working relationship with our clients,” Michael said. “It will help us combine our knowledge, experience and perspectives to address the key legal issues faced by Australian Government agencies and to better manage Commonwealth legal risk more broadly.”
The move to internal charging removes barriers to collaboration between AGS and Commonwealth agencies. This should consequently improve management of Commonwealth legal risk and whole-of-government issues. The change is consistent with AGS not being just another external legal service provider, but rather being:
- the Commonwealth’s central, internal legal service
- a centre of excellence and expertise in areas of law of importance to the Commonwealth and in managing complex, systemic or precedential issues for the Commonwealth.
In accordance with the Secretary’s Review of Commonwealth Legal Services, the rates will be reviewed periodically. The Secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department, with help from an independent expert, will do this to ensure accountability.
For more details go to ags.gov.au