I'm drowning in forms

We hear in the press a lot about how the police have too many forms to fill in, but one of the reasons that solicitors fees can cost a lot is because we have way more to keep track of.

I have just updated our forms database for weeks 13 to 18 (which is a five-week period if you can't be bothered to count) and various government departments have either introduced or amended 734 forms.  Most of the time these are simply pointless updates that do nothing of any substance, for example, the CDS14 is the form to apply for legal aid and is now in it's ninth edition after being introduced about three-years ago.  Now bearing in mind that the merits criteria for granting legal aid has not changed in 45-years since it was recommended by Lord Widgery in his 1966 review you might wonder why the LSC needs to release so many updates to its forms.   You might also wonder whether government organisations could better use public funds than paying teams of people to re-draft forms so frequently.

Incidentally, the questions on the CDS14 form that deal with whether a case is serious enough to merit legal aid have not changed at all in my career, all that has changed is the amount of superfluous information required, such as whether the client is a man or woman; black, white or some other colour, etc.

It's also worth remembering that the Coalition Government promised to reduce the amount of red tape for businesses and even went so far as to say that they wanted Britain to become one of the easiest and fastest places to set up a new business in the world.  I've yet to see any reduction in red tape.


  1. Ah, but - the bureaucrats have to be seen to be "adding value", or whatever the current, in vogue, buzz phrase is. Without that "added value" their jobs may be at risk in these times of constraint.

    As for the constabulary - well, I guess the situation could be summed up as Rambo don't do paperwork.


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