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Legal services expenditure

Requirement to report

The following information about legal services is required to be published under paragraph 11.1(ba) of the Legal Services Directions 2005 issued by the Attorney-General under section 55ZF of the Judiciary Act 1903. In 2013–14 DVA spent a total of $9.429 million on legal services compared with $9.01 million in 2012-13. Expenditure included external and internal legal services.

External legal services

In 2013–14 DVA spent $6.244 million on external legal services compared with $5.6 million in 2012-13. Included were disbursements and engaging counsel who advised on litigation, procurement, contracting and management issues.

In accordance with Guidance note 8 to the Legal Services Directions, the table below shows expenditure on total external legal services and details the number of male and female counsel briefed and the value of this work in 2013-14.

External legal services expenditure (GST included) and number of male and female counsel briefed 2013–14
External expenditure on solicitors   $4.99 million
External expenditure on counsel Male counsel briefed 44 Value $0.475 million $0.661 Million
  Female council briefed 24 Value $0.185 Million  
Other disbursements on external legal services(1)   $0.586 million
Total external legal services expenditure   $6.244 million

1 Disbursements are costs incurred for goods and services that are not counsel or professional fees (e.g. filing fees, expert witnesses and administrative fees such as photocopying.)

Internal legal services

DVA provides internal legal services such as:

  • legal advisings related to legislation administered by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
  • management of the Minister’s legislation program
  • drafting of legislative instruments and related documentation
  • procurement and contract legal issues
  • conduct of all non-military compensation litigation at superior courts for matters involving claims under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986.

The Veterans’ Review Board also has internal staff providing services of a legal nature.

In 2013-14, the total direct salary and overhead costs for DVA legal services, including the Veterans’ Review Board, was $3.18 million compared with $3.4 million in 2012-13.

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