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Decision maker must exercise independent discretion

Within Legal Services, authority to refuse is vested in different grades, depending on the subject matter of the application and the level of spending involved. Usually the application will be first considered by an officer of the grade immediately below who will either grant the application or recommend to the decision maker that the application be granted/refused.

It is important that where this procedure applies, the decision maker must make his/her decision independently and it must be clear from the written decision that they have done so. It is not enough to simply “rubber stamp” the recommendation made either by the solicitor or the initial officer in Legal Services. The decision maker must show that they have read the application, considered all the information in support of the application, and formed a view. A record of the decision should be made on the case on EOS.