Civil legal aid providers, chambers and other Client and Cost Management System (CCMS) users will not be required to use the system for all new casework until 1 February 2016.
The new mandation date follows discussions with representative bodies and feedback from those using the system, who have asked for:
more time to prepare for the system; and
improvements to be embedded before mandation.
A number of improvements have already been made to the CCMS as a result of user feedback and there are more in the pipeline (for more information, see the Legal Aid Agency's Enhancing CCMS web page).
Formal communications confirming this change in timetable will be issued to all provider users this month.
New timetable will help you
Making this change to the timetable will allow you to:
take advantage of improvements as effectively as possible;
become more experienced in using the CCMS before it is mandated; and
adapt your business practices to online working.
Do you still need to use the CCMS?
The LAA strongly recommends that you continue using the CCMS to build up your experience at using the system. It also welcomes your continued feedback while it further improves the system. Please remember that it will be mandatory in 2016.
Can I put off starting to use the CCMS?
If you are a new user, it is very important that you start using the system. You will need time to train staff, get used to using the CCMS and adapt your business practices.
How are likely are further delays?
The LAA has made a strong commitment to online working for both civil and criminal legal aid and does not anticipate further delays.