The furore over the Legal Aid Agency’s plan to make use of its Client and Cost Management System (CCMS) mandatory from October is set to go up a notch next week with two days of concerted action to highlight the problems providers have with it.
The ACL’s legal aid group, which recently published a major report on the problems with CCMS, has been working with other representative bodies to impress upon the LAA the need to make significant improvements to CCMS before it makes it mandatory – and, according to group chair Paul Seddon, “with some success”.
“However, based on the feedback we have had from members, we know that significant issues still remain with the system and, for many practitioners, it is still not fit for use. This is obviously a major concern with the imminent mandatory implementation of CCMS,” he said.
“As a way to highlight the problems that still exist, we, Resolution and other representative bodies are asking our members to participate in two days of action on Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 June.”
During those days, providers are being asked to do three things:
• Use CCMS on 16-17 June and report any problems to the CCMS support team (email@example.com), and copy in firstname.lastname@example.org so that the representative bodies have a record;
• Post a brief summary of the problems on Twitter using the hashtag #CCMSreport, and also a longer version on online groups;
• Complete the CCMS survey which will be launched on the eve of the action days. This will also enable users to submit screenshots of any error pages they encounter.
Mr Seddon said: “If you can do one or more of the actions above, this will be hugely helpful in enabling us to make the case that CCMS is not yet fit for use. Please do encourage as many legal aid practitioners as possible to take part in these two action days. The more people that participate, the stronger our collective voice will be.”