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NSW Government Bulletin

12 November 2019

#Government

Christine Jones

Published by Christine Jones, Jeffery Shi

NSW Government Bulletin

Release of Internal Controls and Governance 2019 report by the NSW Auditor General

The NSW Auditor General released the final audit of Internal Control and Governance 2019 (Report) on 5 November 2019. 

In preparing the Report the NSW Auditor General has analysed the internal control and governance of 40 of the largest agencies in the NSW public sector for the year ended 30 June 2019 which account for 84 per cent of total expenditure for all NSW public sector agencies.

Critical findings identified by the Report include that a number of agencies:

  • have outdated or no internal policies to guide decisions
  • have poor record keeping practices
  • have incomplete gifts and benefits register, such as missing details for the approving officer, value of the gifts and benefits offered and reasons supporting the decision
  • do not disclose the gifts and benefits register
  • do not have principled internal audit procedures that comply with the NSW Treasury policy
  • have insufficient control and monitoring over privileged user access to key system functions
  • are slow to implement previous recommendations due to a need to prioritise the recent machinery of government changes.

The Report made four new recommendations in respect of gifts and benefits and internal audit as follows:

  • managing gifts and benefits: That agencies should maintain a complete gifts and benefits register, provide on-going training and awareness, establish an annual attestation process for senior management and publish the gifts and benefits registers on the website
  • reporting and monitoring of gifts and benefits: That agencies should report to the executive or other governance committee on trends in the offer and acceptance of gifts and benefits
  • chief audit executive: That agencies’ chief audit executives should comply with the NSW Treasury policy and preserve their independence by not reporting functionally or administratively to the finance function or other significant recipients of internal audit services
  • quality assurance and reporting: That agencies ensure there is a documented and operational quality assurance and improvement program for the internal audit function.

Authors: Christine Jones & Jeffery Shi

In the media

$88 million boost for access to justice
Court cases requiring legal aid will be finalised more efficiently and effectively with the NSW Government investing an additional $88 million in Legal Aid NSW, driving a fairer and more efficient justice system (08 November 2019).  More...

NSW Solicitors welcome funding for legal aid
The Law Society of NSW, which represents the state’s 34,000 solicitors, welcomed news of an $88 million funding boost over four years for legal aid in NSW (08 November 2019).  More...

Report lifts lid on gifts to public sector agencies
An audit has found a lack of transparency around NSW public sector gifts and benefits. The report looked at internal controls and governance at 40 of the state’s largest public sector agencies, including several affected by Machinery of Government changes that came into effect in July (06 November 2019).  More...

'He's lost everything': Bill Spedding sues NSW Police
The washing machine repairman who was publicly named as a person of interest in the high-profile case of missing boy William Tyrrell has claimed malicious prosecution by NSW Police (04 November 2019).  More...

Anti-corruption heads join forces
Anti-corruption leaders from around the country have signed a communique calling on public sector leaders to build organisational cultures that are resistant to corruption and to increase protection for whistleblowers. The heads of Australia's anti-corruption commissions say public sector leaders must take action against corruption (31 October 2019).  More...

Strengthening youth justice security
The NSW Government will strengthen security and establish dedicated units to house high-risk offenders in line with recommendations of an independent review into an incident at the Frank Baxter centre earlier this year (29 October 2019).  More...

IPC annual report 2018/19 released
Information and Privacy Commission (IPC) CEO, NSW Information Commissioner and Open Data Advocate Elizabeth Tydd released the IPC’s Annual Report 2018/19, which also contains a report on the work of the Privacy Commissioner, Samantha Gavel for the same period (28 October 2019).  More...

Surveillance device use under more scrutiny
Major crime and corruption lawyer Don McKenzie has been appointed as the first Surveillance Devices Commissioner in NSW, Attorney General Mark Speakman announced. The establishment of a Surveillance Devices Commissioner is part of the NSW Government’s response to the Ombudsman’s Operation Prospect probe into conduct of state law enforcement officers during investigations between 1999 and 2002 (27 October 2019).  More...

In practice and courts

High Court of Australia
High Court of Australia Bulletin [2019] HCAB 8 (25 October 2019)

NSW Justice: Review of the Graffiti Control Act 2008
The Department of Communities and Justice is seeking feedback on the Graffiti Control Act 2008 to determine whether the policy objectives of the Act remain valid and if its terms remain appropriate for securing those objectives.  Submissions close on 15 December 2019.  More...

Decisions of interest: Practice support
The NSW Court of Appeal has published its latest Decisions of Interest Bulletin on the Court of Appeal website (November 2019).  More... 

IPC Annual Report 2018/19
Information and Privacy Commission (IPC): Released 28 October 2019
The Annual Report documents the IPC’s work and organisational achievements during the reporting period and outlines the IPC’s focus for the year ahead across both information access and privacy in NSW.  More...

Published – articles, papers, reports

Joining the dots: 2018 census of the Australian health justice landscape
Suzie Forell, Marie Nagy; Health Justice Australia: 30 October 2019
Health justice partnerships are collaborations that embed legal help into healthcare settings, joining the dots between the legal and social problems that make or keep people unwell.  More...

What children and young people in juvenile justice centres have to say
Advocate for Children and Young People (NSW): 29 October 2019
This report details the findings from ACYP consultations with children and young people in Juvenile Justice Centres between 2015 and 2019. ACYP consulted with young people in detention to inform the development of New South Wales' first Strategic Plan for Children and Young People.  More...

Cases

DXJ v Health Administration Corporation [2019] NSWCATAD 230
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – privacy – health information – purpose of collection – use or disclosure – whether purpose of use was the same as the purpose for which the information was collected

Dempsey v Director of Public Prosecutions [2019] NSWCA 267
COSTS – order for payment of professional costs under Criminal Procedure Act 1986 (NSW), s 213 to be “just and reasonable” – Order for costs under Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001 (NSW), s 28 to be “just” – PROCEDURAL FAIRNESS – primary judge failed to inform applicant that summary nature of the proceedings and fact that a party is not entitled to recover all of its costs would be taken into account – whether this constitutes denial of procedural fairness – JUDICIAL REVIEW – whether exercise of discretion by primary judge to reduce costs by 30 per cent constituted jurisdictional error – whether any difference between “fair and reasonable” and “just and reasonable” – whether primary judge addressed wrong question such that jurisdiction conferred by the provision was not properly exercised

Nielsen v Wingecarribee Shire Council [2019] NSWLEC 1529
COSTS – judicial review proceedings – principles governing exercise of discretion to order costs – costs order made

Seremetis v Department of Communities and Justice [2019] NSWCATAP 262
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – government information – CCTV footage of interior of corrections centre – public interest test – balancing exercise – nature of discretionary task – whether tribunal erred in law

Riley v State of New South Wales (Department of Education) [2019] NSWCATAD 223
ANTI-DISCRIMINATION – racial discrimination – discrimination against contract workers – whether contract worker denied access to benefits or subjected to detriment – whether termination of contract with contract worker’s employer constitutes not allowing the contract worker to work – whether differential treatment established – racial vilification – whether laughter and comments at school staff meeting a “public act” – whether laughter and comments capable of inciting serious contempt or severe ridicule – victimisation – whether informal complaints of racial discrimination made – whether second applicant did anything under or by reference to Anti-Discrimination Act – whether respondents subjected second applicant to a detriment

Jackson v University of New South Wales [2019] NSWCATAD 224
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – access to government information – presumed conclusive public interest against disclosure - client legal privilege – excluded information – ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – access to government information – whether the cl 1(e), 1(f), 1(g), 3(a), 3(b) and 3(f) public interest considerations against disclosure, on balance, outweigh the public interest considerations in favour of disclosure

Fraser v SafeWork NSW [2019] NSWCATAD 227
Administrative Law – access to government information – secrecy provisions - whether disclosure could reasonably be expected to constitute a contravention any other Act – whether public interest considerations against disclosure outweigh public interest considerations in favour of disclosure

DVH v South Eastern Sydney Local Health District [2019] NSWCATAD 221
PRIVACY – jurisdiction - summary dismissal – failure to sufficiently identify conduct in breach of privacy

Amos v Central Coast Council [2019] NSWCATAD 226
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – freedom of information — access to information – GIPA – confidential information – third party objections - personal information – reasonableness of searches – scope of access application

Legislation

Regulations and other miscellaneous instruments
Uniform Civil Procedure (Amendment No 92) Rule 2019 (2019-534) – published LW 8 November 2019
The object of this Rule is to amend the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 to provide for rules concerning interpreters based on the Model Rules set out in the Recommended National Standards for Working with Interpreters in Courts and Tribunals prepared by the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity
Service NSW (One-stop Access to Government Services) Amendment (Delegation) Regulation 2019 (2019-527) – published LW 1 November 2019
Surveillance Devices Amendment (Body-Worn Recording Devices) Regulation 2019 (2019-520) – published LW 28 October 2019

Environmental Planning Instruments
State Environmental Planning Policy Amendment (Data Storage) 2019 (2019-537) – published LW 8 November 2019

Disclaimer
The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this newsletter is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

Christine Jones

Published by Christine Jones, Jeffery Shi

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