Audits & checks


We conduct regular audits of legal aid lawyers to assess the quality and value of the services they deliver.

Find out more in the Legal Services Act 2011(external link), which provides us with the authority to conduct audits.

Legal aid lawyers are selected for quality and value audits based on an assessment of their risk profile. The number of audits we conduct each year is listed in the Ministry’s statement of intent.

Lawyers receive an audit rating, measured on a scale from one to 5, with one being excellent and 5 being very poor.

Find out more:

Auditing and monitoring policy [PDF, 417 KB]

Terms of reference for quality and value audits [PDF, 703 KB]

Proposed revisions to Audit Policy

We recently sought feedback on proposed changes to the Legal Aid Provider Audit and Monitoring Policy (policy) and the Legal Aid Provider Audit Terms of Reference (terms of reference). These proposed changes add additional risk assessment metrics used during the provider selection process for the annual Quality and Value audit round. 

The consultation process is now complete, and several respondents provided feedback. We carefully considered suggestions supplied by the New Zealand Law Society and the New Zealand Bar Association when determining the final policy and terms of reference. These changes will improve the transparency and efficiency of the auditing process.

You can find a copy of our consultation response report at the link below.

External Sector Feedback - Audit and Monitoring Policy [PDF, 393 KB]

Audit results and practice themes

The results of the 2016-17 audit programme have been collated and summarised in a new report. The report notes that of the 85 audits completed, 70 (or 82%) were rated as “acceptable” or above. This is indicative of the high quality of legal services offered by legal aid lawyers across the board.

The report also uses a qualitative analysis to identify the five main practice themes and comments on common areas of strength and areas for improvement.

Audit Summary Report 2016-2017 [PDF, 433 KB]

Reports for previous audit programmes are also available for review.

2016 Audit summary report [PDF, 609 KB]

Good practice themes from audits - summary [PDF, 549 KB]

Good practice themes from audits [PDF, 466 KB]

Quality assurance checks

We can also carry out quality assurance checks to ensure legal aid providers are delivering services efficiently and effectively, in accordance with their obligations.

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