The year 1997-98 has seen Barnet's legal service make a major step forward with its stated aim of providing a high-quality, cost-effective and responsive service. Towards the end of 1997 the practice management team decided to relaunch the Practice Quality Plan.
Staff are required to establish and respond to clients' requirements. One of its purposes is to reiterate to staff the need to operate cost-effectively and sustain good working relationships.
It was a stimulating and productive 12 months in which we made real quality gains against a background of continuity achievement.
Bolton's Legal Services Division pleads guilty of having committed the following:
- Organising effectively under CCT and making surpluses
- Carrying out large and complex legal projects
- Achieving consistently high standards
- Working closely and supportively with clients
- Clients increasingly satisfied with the quality of our service
- Being cost-effective
- Investing in the development and improvement of our service
- Investing in our staff
- Planning and developing our service
- Meeting our objectives.
Brighton and Hove
We implement and test quality and continuous improvement through measuring client satisfaction and two external accreditations (ISO 9001 and Lexcel).
Staff motivation and satisfaction is high and measured.
We implement the council's objectives through our business plan and translate them into individual work and training objectives using our quarterly appraisal scheme.
We are proactive in supporting policy developments in interpreting planned and future legislation.
Our cost and value is tested through service level agreements, external trading, benchmarking and adherence to council financial plans.
Through external networking we share best practice and innovation.
Our external partners are used efficiently and effectively to further and protect the council's interests.
East Riding of Yorkshire
East Riding is the largest unitary authority by area and second largest by population. When legal staff came together few knew more than a handful of their colleagues, many had 'slotted in' and had not even met their managers. We each had a desk, telephone, our native wit and a common drive to get things done.
Having earned the support of our clients, we then took a fundamental look at service delivery; client needs and how resources could best be mobilised. A co-ordinated approach involving clients, staff and management was essential.
We have established a modern, well-bonded, proactive team. Our aim is to deliver the service clients want, earning the respect of those we serve.
In recent years, Kent CC Legal Services has become a leader in its field in terms of quality and cost. It has been proactive in transforming itself in pursuit of the highest standards of excellence.
Our role in driving the council forward is founded in our commitment to introduce change rather than just respond to it, being market leaders in high quality, cost-effective professional services and identifying client needs and monitoring client satisfaction.
We have adapted to major changes in our client base and local government reorganisation to become the council legal team serving the largest area by population in the UK.
We aim to be the first legal practice in the country (from both the private and public sectors) to have ISO9001, Law Society Practice Management Standards (Lexcel) and Investors in People accreditation.
Sunderland City Council
During the year to September 1998 we completed major development agreements, furthered the city's strategic vision of a safer city by providing a rapid response troubleshooting service to the Safer Estates Task Force and boosted economic regeneration by expediting the preparation of agreements and grants to entice companies to relocate.
During the year we were awarded the Law Society's Lexcel quality standard as well as maintaining our ISO9001 and Investors in People registrations.
Risk Management Partners is a joint venture between American Re Corporation, (now owned by Munich Re, who are AAA rated and the world's biggest reinsurer) and Arthur J Gallagher, a leading supplier of insurance and risk management services to the public sector in the USA and worldwide with a network of over 100 offices. The Risk Management Partners philosophy is that the correct mixture of insurance protection, self insurance, sophisticated risk management practices and stringently monitored claims management will go towards minimising exposure and significantly reduce the overall cost of risk in the medium to long term or Public Sector bodies.
They have built a reputation with local government clients in the UK for offering a completely flexible approach, based on listening to the customer and creating a unique solution, rather than selling, 'off the shelf' packages.
Risk Management Partners personnel have been selected for their experience in the local government market, their expertise in risk management and insurance services and their ability to communicate.
Such has been the success of this philosophy and style, that Risk Management Partners is now well established, not only as an innovator, but also as one of the major players in the UK Public Sector market.'
Arthur Morris, director, Risk Management Partners.