Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety Report 5/2019: Report on Annual and Financial Reports 2017-18

Report: Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety Report 5/2019: Inquiry into Annual and Financial Reports 2017-2018 - ACT Legislative Assembly

Table 51 - Government Response: Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety Report 5/2019

Recommendation No. and summary

Action

Status

Recommendation 2

The Committee recommends that any new administrative procedures applying to payments under the Victims of Crime Financial Assistance Scheme be concise and, sufficient staffing resources are provided to efficiently administer the scheme.

Agreed

A review of the Victims of Crime (Financial Assistance) Act 2016 (VOCFA Act), Victims Services Scheme (under the Victims of Crime Regulation 2000) and victim levies (including the victims services levy, Part 5 of the Victims of Crime Act 1994 and the victims financial assistance levy, Part 7 of the VOCFA Act) was underway during 2020-21. A key aspect of this review is the consideration of how the VOCFA Act can be effectively administered and resourced.

Complete

Recommendation 3

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government finalise the proposed ACT Charter of Victims’ Rights as soon as possible, and that the details of the Charter scheme and its proposed implementation be provided in the next JACS Directorate annual report

Agreed in principle

The Victims Rights Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 was introduced to the legislative Assembly on 2 July 2020 and passed on 23 July 2020. The Bill introduces a Charter of Rights for Victims of Crime, which sets standards for how victims of crime should be engaged with as they navigate the justice process, and a restorative complaints resolution process which provides for acknowledgement to a victim of a right being breached, and opportunities for systemic change.

Complete

Recommendation 7

The Committee recommends that, the ACT Government investigate how ‘Prosecutor Associates’ and paralegals can be appointed and be enabled to carry out an appropriate level of prosecution work in ACT courts.

Agreed in principle

Prosecutor Associates are carrying out prosecutorial roles including instructing and appearing before the courts in accordance with the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1990, section 16.

Complete

Recommendation 8

The Committee recommends that, as part of delivery of legal aid support in the ACT, the government consider increased funding of early intervention programs in all areas of family law jurisdiction, as appropriate.

Agreed

On 28 May 2020, the Attorney-General signed the Project Agreement for COVID-19 Legal Assistance Funding which will distribute $0.944 million in Commonwealth funding to the ACT’s legal assistance sector in response to COVID-19.  The ACT Government will develop a legal assistance strategy for the sector in accordance with the National Legal Assistance Partnership 2020-2025 in 2021 and 2022, which will enable a fuller consideration of the funding needs of early intervention programs across the family law jurisdiction to be made.

Complete

Recommendation 20

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government and Corrective services administration review the timeframes for the current program of repairs and maintenance at the Alexander Maconochie Centre.

Agreed in principle

ACTCS have drafted a Strategic Asset Management Plan that includes a 10-year plan for facility and asset maintenance. Repairs and maintenance are being undertaken as scheduled and on an as needs basis, subject to available funding.

In progress

Recommendation 24

That a fire station and emergency services station be planned and constructed for the Molonglo area as soon as possible.

Agreed

The due diligence work for Acton Station has been completed and work is about to commence on the preliminary sketch planning. Molonglo Station is currently awaiting a block allocation in order to commence due diligence.

In progress

Recommendation 28

The Committee recommends that steps be taken to review the current requirement for the Official Visitor for Disability Services to obtain consent to view records in residences visited by the Official Visitor.

Agreed in principle

Amendments were made by the Official Visitor Amendment Act 2019 to provide official visitors with authority to inspection of records without consent in limited circumstances and subject to safeguards. New Guidelines have been notified which provide guidance to official visitors regarding the use of these powers.

Complete