The Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) plays a special role in the Commonwealth’s legal services landscape.
Whilst AGS was not required to tender for the Legal Services Panel, agencies are able to obtain legal services from AGS alongside panel firms. Agencies may choose to engage AGS for any work at any time. To make things easier, the ability to engage AGS has been incorporated into the Legal Services Panel Portal, making it your one-stop-shop for legal services providers.
Distinct from panel firms, AGS operates as the central Commonwealth in-house legal services provider, with particular expertise in areas of law closely related to Commonwealth powers and activities. This emphasised role as a centre of excellence for the Commonwealth reflects AGS’s special role in supporting the First Law Officer and Second Law officer and the Commonwealth more generally. The 2017 Secretary’s Review recognised that AGS is the central in-house provider of legal services to the Commonwealth whose core purpose is to enable the government to achieve its objectives. This role allows AGS to contribute to the effective management of Commonwealth legal risk.
In particular, AGS lawyers will join other Commonwealth agency in-house lawyers as members of AGLS. Within this context, AGS will play a central role in enhancing the coordination and consistency of legal approaches across the Commonwealth.