Need for change
Following an approved application, a wide range of correspondence is required among Legal Aid WA professionals, its partners and clients. Much of the communication is highly sensitive and demands strict confidentiality. Previous methods for managing content at Legal Aid were not primed for digital evolution. They were also met with resistance by employees who were often left frustrated with generic information classification that did not reflect the way they worked.
For many documents, hard copies were placed into a file and delivered to the appropriate legal team. For electronic content, Legal Aid WA’s legacy system lacked options for advanced workflow and collaboration. It also lacked integration with core business solutions. Often, information was duplicated and scattered across disparate systems, complicating access as well as compliance with state requirements for circulation and storage. The COVID-19 pandemic also brought about a rise in alternative connections to services, with clients calling the telephone hotline as well as video and chat sessions.
“Australia is a very big county. In Western Australia we have a lot of people living in regional and remote locations,” noted Lee Baker, Director of Business Services for Legal Aid WA. “Meeting today’s challenges is about changing how we deliver our services to continue to reach those people that need our assistance.”
Embarking on the journey
Working to serve people in situations of disadvantage or special need no matter their resources or location, Legal Aid WA developed a pathway for digital collaboration, led by Chief Information Officer Graham Hilton and built on the OpenText™ Extended ECM Platform for next generation content management.
With integration to core business systems, an intuitive user interface and connected workspaces, Extended ECM connected Legal Aid WA’s executive and service teams, especially as they worked crossorganization for needs assessment and planning. “Technology has played an important role in efficiency and recording,” Hilton noted. “But, we’re about to embark on a major change with a focus on how we can use technology to improve the delivery of services to clients, as well as provide that back room efficiency.”