At the request of the Attorney General, the Public Sector Commission undertook in 2013 the statutory review of the Commissioner for Children and Young People Act 2006.
Section 64 of the Act requires that a review be undertaken as soon as practicable 5 years after the commencement of the legislation.
The review considered:
- the operation and effectiveness of the Act
- whether any amendments are required for the Commissioner to undertake the function described in Recommendation 2 of the St Andrew’s Hostel Inquiry. Recommendation 2 called for “the development of a central child-focused complaints function to encourage and protect disclosure” in cases of sexual abuse of children.
A seven-member reference group, chaired by the Public Sector Commissioner Mal Wauchope, was established to guide the review which began in January 2013 and received 40 submissions.
The review has made 16 recommendations, mostly clarifying administrative aspects of the Act.
The recommendations also include that rather than the Commissioner having a role in investigating individual child abuse complaints, which would duplicate the role of existing investigative bodies, the Commissioner’s role should consist of:
- developing education and outreach programs for children and young people about how to disclose child abuse
- receiving complaints from children and young people, or adults acting in good faith on their behalf, about alleged child abuse, and referring such complaints to the relevant investigative authority/authorities
- providing information and referrals to children and young people and their families in relation to the support services available for victims of child abuse
- monitoring the way government agencies deal with complaints of child abuse.
To read more about the review and the recommendations, visit the Public Sector Commission's Review of the Commissioner for Children and Young People Act 2006.
For more information on the review, view the Attorney General’s speech in State Parliament via Hansard.