Every year, 120,000 litigants get a reduction in court or tribunal fees. Most applicants qualify for the reduction, but 380,000 applications a year are rejected, usually because the applicants misunderstood the form or sent the wrong evidence. Then they must apply again.

A project to improve efficiency has tackled this in many ways. It began by asking court staff and users to identify the pain points in the process. It continued with repeated improvements and user testing.

The process has changed. For example, users no longer need to send in evidence the system can pick up from Department for Work and Pensions records. And court staff, not users, now calculate the court fee. Much of the work has moved online.

What’s left of the process has been clarified. The guidance for completing the paper form has been cut from 37 pages to 12. And “fee remission” is now “help with fees”.

Help with Court and Tribunal Fees – a project manager’s view, 17 November 2016

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