Performance at a glance

Developed an across government legislative package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to, amongst other benefits, ensure the safe and efficient function of government and promote general community safety.

In response to COVID-19, waived annual liquor licence fees payable for licence categories most impacted by the pandemic.

Developed legislation to remove automatic suppression of accused sex offenders, increasing transparency and supporting the public’s right to know, bringing South Australia in line with most other jurisdictions.

Contribution to whole of government objectives

  • Streamline services and ask for and listen to feedback.
  • Use our resources efficiently.

  • Develop laws and policy that increase public safety.
  • Strengthen systems that protect the vulnerable, elderly and victims.
  • Identify and progress initiatives that

Agency specific objectives and performance

Indicator - Legislation to respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic passed Parliament:

*    COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020.

PerformanceThe COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020 passed Parliament on 8 April 2020 and commenced on 9 April 2020.

This legislation was developed to amend a number of acts to:

  • ensure the safe and efficient functioning of Government
  • mitigate the economic impacts on the state and promote general community safety by adopting measures that support social distancing and other community restrictions in line with health advice.

Indicator - Further legislative changes to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic passed Parliament throughout April and May:

  • COVID-19 Emergency Response (Bail) Amendment Act 2020; and
  • COVID-19 Emergency Response (Further Measures) Amendment Act 2020.

Performance - The COVID-19 Emergency Response (Bail) Amendment Act 2020 passed Parliament on 30 April 2020 and commenced on 7 May 2020.

The Amendment Act inserts new provisions in to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2020 to reverse the presumption of bail for offenders who commit an offence against particular classes of victims, including emergency workers, hospital workers and others employed in retrieval medicine, as well for offences of serious criminal trespass in residential and non residential premises and criminal trespass in residential premises during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 Emergency Response (Further Measures) Amendment Act 2020 also passed Parliament on 14 May 2020 and commenced on 15 May 2020.

Indicator - Legislation to further enhance protections for our front line workers passed Parliament:

  • Criminal Law Consolidation (Assaults on Prescribed Emergency Workers) Amendment Act 2019.

Performance The Criminal Law Consolidation (Assaults on Prescribed Emergency Workers) Amendment Act 2019 passed Parliament on 23 July 2019 and commenced on 3 October 2019.

The Act increases the number of workers who are classified as ‘prescribed emergency workers’ as well as increasing the available penalties for those who assault emergency workers.

Indicator - Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) worked with the National Disability Insurance Agency and the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission to assist clients under guardianship to successfully participate in the NDIS

Performance - As at 30 June 2020, 687 (43%) of OPA clients had an NDIS plan (note not all OPA clients are eligible for the NDIS).

The OPA met monthly with the NDIA during 2019-20 and six weekly with the NDIS Commission.

Indicator - All restrictive practices used for persons under guardianship accessing the NDIS are properly authorised

Performance - The OPA has provided training to staff about authorisation of restrictive practices in South Australia.

The OPA has dedicated resources to review the need for special powers orders for its existing clients and has reviewed office policies and practices to ensure that all appropriate consents and authorisations are in place when restrictive practices are applied.

Indicator - COVID-19 - Liquor licensing relief

Performance -  In response to the impacts of COVID-19, annual liquor licensing fees payable in June 2020 were waived for the liquor licence categories most impacted by the pandemic.

Holders of a General and Hotel Licence who have a bottle-shop received reduced fees, or a full waiver if they do not have a bottle shop.

Indicator - Commencement of provisions regarding commercial leases to support the small business community with the Small Business Commissioner able to provide dispute resolution services and mediation:

  • COVID-19 Emergency Response Act 2019.

Performance - Additional resources have been provided to assist the Small Business Commissioner to undertake alternative dispute resolution as lessees and lessors seek assistance to negotiate rental arrangements due to financial distress being experienced by many businesses due to COVID-19.

The Small Business Commissioner has expanded his mediation panel in response to an increase in demand between lessees and lessors.  Mediations are conducted online where appropriate.

Between March and June 2020 the OSBC dealt with 241 COVID-19 related enquiries and 75 COVID-19 related cases.

Indicator - Legislation to regulate the practice of foreign law by foreign lawyers in South Australia passed Parliament:

  • Legal Practitioners (Foreign Lawyers and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2019.

Performance - The Legal Practitioners (Foreign Lawyers and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2019 passed Parliament on 10 December 2019.

The legislation brings South Australia into line with other jurisdictions, ensuring foreign lawyers practising law in South Australia are registered, thereby increasing public confidence in their services.

Sections 7 and 15 came into operation on 21 May 2020, with the remainder commencing on 1 July 2020.

Indicator - The standalone Act regulating surrogacy in South Australia passed Parliament:

  • Surrogacy Act 2019; and
  • Surrogacy Regulations 2020.

Performance - The Surrogacy Act 2019 and Surrogacy Regulations 2020 passed Parliament on 31 October 2019. It commenced on 1 September 2020.

The Act repeals Part 2B of the Family Relationships Act 1975 and provides for the transfer of parentage from a woman who gives birth to a child (the birth mother) to one or more ‘intended parents’, provided the parties have met the regulatory requirements.

The pregnancy must be preceded by a ‘lawful surrogacy agreement’ made in writing, the requirements of which are set out in section 10 of the Act and include counselling, legal advice, and exchange of criminal history checks.AGD participated in the annual White Ribbon breakfast, discussed White Ribbon accreditation activities at the Executive Management Group and promoted the White Ribbon campaign at the business unit level. 

Indicator - Legislation to create a new aggravated offence for trespass on primary production premises in the Summary Offences Act 1953.

Performance - The Summary Offences (Trespass on Primary Production Premises) Amendment Act 2020 passed Parliament on 28 April 2020 and commenced on 9 July 2020.

The Amendment Act creates a new aggravated offence with significant penalties of $10,000 or 12 months imprisonment for trespass on primary production premises. It also increases the existing penalties for trespass-related offending on primary production premises.

Indicator - Amending the Land Acquisition Act 1969:

  • Land Acquisition (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2019.

Performance - The Land Acquisition (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2019 passed Parliament on 12 December 2019 and commenced on 2 July 2020.

This was a joint project with the then Department for Planning, Transport Infrastructure. The legislation introduced a new Part into the Land Acquisition Act 1969 to allow for the acquisition of underground land as well as other amendments.

Indicator - Implementation of changes to the Liquor Licencing Act 1997.

  • Land Acquisition (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2019.

Performance - The final stage of the reform to liquor licensing in South Australia came into operation in November 2019.

The reform saw the implementation of recommendations made by the Hon. Tim Anderson QC and aimed to modernise the South Australian licensing system in order to support a vibrant hospitality industry, while maintaining a safe drinking culture.

The reforms included:

  • updated licence categories
  • a revised fee structure
  • the development of a new customer facing portal – Liquor and Gaming Online
  • a new system to support the improved management of applications within CBS.

Indicator - Amendment of gambling legislation:

  • Statutes Amendment (Gambling Regulation) Act 2019.

Performance - In December 2019, State Parliament passed legislation to significantly reform the regulation of gambling in South Australia.

Work has progressed on implementing the Gambling Reform Package, with regulations required under each of the gambling acts now drafted.

Work is continuing on the review of the Codes of Practice and Social Effect Inquiry Process.

CBS are continuing to work with the gambling sector to ensure they are appropriately prepared for the remaining legislative and regulatory requirements that will commence later in the year.

Indicator - South Australia signed the National Legal Assistance Partnership 2020-2025

Performance - South Australia negotiated and signed the National Legal Assistance Partnership 2020-2025, which will provide almost $150 million over five years to legal assistance services across the state.

This includes funding to the Legal Services Commission, the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement and Community Legal Centres to support the provision of legal assistance services to vulnerable people facing disadvantage who are unable to afford private legal services.

Indicator - Legislation passed Parliament removing some restrictions on reporting on criminal proceedings relating to sexual offences:

  • Evidence (Reporting on Sexual Offences) Amendment Act 2020.

Performance - The Evidence (Reporting on Sexual Offences) Amendment Act 2020 passed Parliament on 3 March 2020 and commenced on 7 May 2020.

The Amendment Act brings South Australia’s suppression laws into line with the restrictions in most other jurisdictions in Australia.

Unless a court grants a suppression order under s69A of the Evidence Act 1929 a person charged with sex offences can be identified after their first court appearance on those charges.

The amendments retain the prohibition on any publication that might identify the victim of such an offence.

Indicator - Legislation removing the requirement for victims of crime to serve a copy of their application for compensation on the offender passed Parliament:

  • Victims of Crime (Offender Service and Joinder) Amendment Act 2019.

Performance -  The Victims of Crime (Offender Service and Joinder) Amendment Act 2019 passed Parliament on 2 July 2019 and commenced on 2 September 2019.

This amendment removes the requirement for victims of crime to serve a copy of their application for compensation on the offender.

Indicator - Legislation to transfer a number of jurisdictions on SACAT passed Parliament:

  • Statutes Amendment (SACAT) Act 2019.

Performance - The Statutes Amendment (SACAT) Act 2019 passed Parliament on 4 July 2019.

Commencement was staggered, with jurisdictions transferring to SACAT throughout 2019-20.

The Act transferred various functions to SACAT, including the work of:

  • the former Health Practitioners Tribunal
  • equal opportunity matters from the South Australian Employment Tribunal
  • miscellaneous disciplinary and review jurisdiction of the District Court.

Indicator - The ODPP Canine Court Companion Project moves from a pilot program to a long-term strategy.

Performance - Stage 2 of the Canine Court Companion (CCC) program involves the introduction of the CCC into the District and Supreme Court environments (not courtrooms) with particular focus on attendance at the waiting areas of Vulnerable Witness Suites.

Phase 1 of this project - where the CCC ‘Zero’ - attends new places of work and becomes familiar with the physical environment will commence once the CCC completes the familiarisation training and COVID-19 restrictions ease further.

An MOU with Guide Dogs SA/NT has also been signed until February 2024.

Indicator - White Ribbon Workplace Reaccreditation

Performance - AGD commenced the White Ribbon workplace accreditation process as part of its Workplace Equality and Respect Project. Other work undertaken as part of the project included:

  • reviewing HR policies to ensure those experiencing violence are supported
  • ensuring leadership programs and opportunities are accessible and accessed by women.

Indicator - Promoting Aboriginal culture and reconciliation and launch Reconciliation Action Plan

Performance - AGD launched its Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan in March 2020 and promoted Aboriginal culture through:

  • delivering five cultural awareness sessions
  • guided tours of the Tarnanthi art exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia
  • three online cultural awareness quizzes for staff.

AGD also celebrated Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC week by hosting cultural awareness events. Training and activities were held throughout the year for AGD employees to further promote reconciliation and cultural awareness.

Indicator - Celebrating the Centenary of the Archives

Performance - State Records hosted a celebration event at the Radford Auditorium (Art Gallery of South Australia), the original home of the archives, and sponsored Designing the Archive, an international archives conference presented by the Australian Society of Archivists and other institutions.

Indicator - Successful move to the new GPO Exchange building.

Performance - In 2019, AGD relocated around 700 staff from 45 Pirie Street into the new GPO Exchange building at 10 Franklin Street.

The new building helped support an estimated 645 jobs during its construction and fit-out.

The GPO Exchange building provided an integrated fit-out, custom designed to meet the needs of AGD.

The GPO Exchange building has achieved a 6-star Green Star rating – this represents 'world leadership' in environmentally sustainable building practices. The building is also on track to achieve a 5-star NABERS Energy rating.

Indicator - Improvements to the FERU

Performance - The FERU continued to improve its processes and online presence to allow for greater self-service capability.

A review was undertaken in 2019-20 of the FERU’s processes. After implementing a process redesign, improved call flow management and the introduction of real-time resource management in customer facing areas, the FERU has achieved a 15% capacity increase with existing call centre staffing levels and a 10% reduction in average call times.

The FERU website was also updated to reflect a more user friendly language and provide increased online functionality for clients including:

  • online enforcement dispute applications
  • the ability for clients to contact the unit through their online account
  • ability for clients to manage civil debt online.

All FERU client facing communication continues to encourage clients to use these online services and there has been a 50% increase in individuals using this functionality to establish payment arrangements.

The following portals were also established to streamline information flow between FERU and referral agencies:

  • Civil Debt Agency online portal
  • Approved Treatment Provider portal
  • Issuing Authorities online portal.

Indicator - Improvements to CBS

Performance - In 2019-20 CBS undertook various business process improvement initiatives, enabling greater access for consumers and business, including:

  • launching a new public-facing online portal used by liquor licence holders to apply, track, manage and pay for liquor licences.
  • enabling citizens to register births online.
  • introducing an additional customer service channel by piloting a virtual customer service assistant able to answer frequently asked questions about residential tenancies and consumer rights relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • implementing a customer service improvement strategy across the Customer Service Centre and CBS’ customer facing systems. This included reviewing accessibility for vulnerable South Australians, and has resulted in increased resolution rates, reduction in call wait times and improved quality of services.

Indicator - Transitioning AGD to a digital Safety Management System

Performance - AGD participated in the system procurement, transition and implementation for a new digital safety management system - MySAFETY.

The Workforce Wellbeing Team undertook User Acceptance Testing and announced the transition to MySAFETY in an all-staff communication in February 2020.

Indicator - Providing critical consumer support services remotely, rolling out working from home solutions and increasing protection of AGD information enabling staff to work securely from home.

Performance - AGD fast tracked the rollout of collaboration tools to support internal and customer facing engagement when COVID-19 restrictions came into effect.

This included:

  • a cloud-based solution to enable remote call centre capability
  • rapidly improving secure remote access capabilities to enable more staff to work from home
  • significant increase of ICT infrastructure capacity to support large increase in working from home demand
  • introducing multi-factor authentication for staff to access AGD information securely outside of the office
  • providing guidance to staff on securely working with AGD resources off-site
  • putting in place mechanisms to ensure staff devices continue to remain secure and protected while off-site.

Indicator - Implementing security systems that provide tailored cyber security for each of the justice agencies.

Performance - All new consolidated Acts, regulations and Treasurer’s Instructions have been published as authorised versions on the South Australian Legislation website since 1 July 2019.

99 per cent of current consolidated Acts and regulations have been republished as authorised versions.

Historical consolidations for Acts and regulations are being progressively republished as resources allow.

Indicator - Co-locating the Offices of the Public Trustee and the Public Advocate.

Performance - The Office of the Public Advocate (OPA) was co-located with the Public Trustee (PT) in June 2020.

The co-location provides shared clients with a single location to support their needs. It also facilitates greater collaboration and coordination between the staff of both offices to improve services and safeguards for clients.

Indicator - Reduction in paper usage, increased use of electronic processes.

Performance - The CSO is undertaking a staged project across each of its sections to implement digital workflow practices, improve efficiency and reduce consumption of paper.

Over half of the office has now implemented digital practices, with the remaining section to be completed in the coming financial year.

Since 2016, the CSO has increased the percentage of files created as digital from 8% to 94% as of August 2020.

Indicator - FSSA purchased a computed tomography (CT) scanner.

Performance - The 2019-20 budget provided $2 million for the purchase of a dedicated on-site CT scanner, allowing bodies to be scanned on admission to FSSA.

The project was delivered on time and within budget.

The integration of the CT scanner into the post mortem processes will reduce the number of full post mortems required. This is expected to reduce the wait time for reports and, more timely provide assistance for grieving families.

Indicator - Legislation strengthening protections for South Australian whistleblowers passed Parliament:

  • Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018.

Performance -  The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018 passed Parliament on 6 November 2018 and commenced on 1 July 2019.

The Act includes better protections for South Australians who blow the whistle on corruption or maladministration in the public sector.

Indicator - Legislation to implement changes to Freedom of Information introduced to Parliament;

  • Freedom of Information (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2020

Performance The Freedom of Information (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2020 was introduced in Parliament on 8 April 2020.

This Bill will update the FOI Act in line with legislative developments interstate and changes in technology. The Bill also takes into account concerns for enhanced transparency and accountability and the need to balance this with sustainability and efficiency in administering the legislation.

The legislation will implement changes arising from the Ombudsman’s recommendations, and the AGD review of the Freedom of Information Act 1991.

Indicator - New policy supporting improved accountability by government.

Performance State Records published an Information Management Strategy and an Information Management Standard to guide State government agencies in improving the management of government information.

Indicator - Supporting Government agency responses to three national Royal Commissions.

Performance The CSO has provided advice on legal issues arising in connection with the State’s response to the three national Royal Commissions:

  • Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
  • Disability Royal Commission
  • Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements

The CSO has also provided assistance to and representation of state government witnesses to each commission.

​​​​​​Indicator Providing advice during COVID-19

Performance - The CSO provided legal advice and assistance to the government on the exercise of powers throughout the management of the COVID-19 major emergency and related legal issues, including the effect on various government contracts.

The CSO provided support including to Parliamentary Counsel and the Department of Treasury and Finance in relation to COVID-19 legislation and regulations.

The CSO also assisted the Office of the Commissioner of Public Sector Employment, the Department of Health and Wellbeing and the Department of Education with advice on multiple employment and workforce issues, and advised in relation to rent relief and other tenancy issues.

Indicator - Supporting government to deliver its infrastructure agenda, including Lot 14 and major road and rail projects.

Performance - 

The CSO has been directly involved in supporting the Government’s complex and high value projects which are of significant importance to the state including:

  • the SAHMRI 2 Project
  • Schools PPP
  • Darlington road upgrade
  • Lot 14 projects
  • Olympic Dam
  • Eyre Peninsula Desalination Project
  • major road and rail projects
  • the bus tender and tram outsourcing project
  • the road maintenance outsourcing project.

Indicator - 24/7 availability of the South Australia Computer Aided Dispatch (SACAD) and South Australian Government Radio Network (SAGRN)

Performance - SACAD delivered 24x7 availability to the emergency operations centres (000) of SAPOL, SAAS and SAFECOM (for the MFS, CFS and SES). In 2019-20 SACAD dispatched more than one million police, ambulance and emergency services responses to the community.

The SAGRN delivered 24x7 availability to the State’s police, ambulance, emergency and essential services. In 2019-20 the SAGRN carried approximately 24.3 million voice calls and sent over 2.9 million pager messages.

Indicator - Upgrading systems, network infrastructure and call receipt and dispatch system.

Performance - The SACAD Network Upgrade project was completed in November 2019 which replaced all end of life network devices with contemporary models that provide many functional and security benefits and ensures the ongoing 24x7 availability of SACAD.

The SAGRN Upgrade has also progressed, and will ensure the system will continue to meet the needs of users and provide improved coverage, capacity and resilience for emergency communications.

In 2019-20 the SAGRN:

  • verified approximately 250,000sqm coverage for voice communications across the state
  • activated an additional paging site on the Yorke Peninsula and completed planning for another new paging site in the South East.

Indicator - Providing 24 x 7 availability of the State Rescue Helicopter Service (SRHS)

Performance - The SRHS delivered 24x7 availability to the state's ambulance and police services enabling them to respond to incidents that presented an immediate threat to the lives and safety of people.

In 2019-20 the SRHS flew over 1,100 police, medical retrieval and search and rescue missions.

Corporate performance

At a glance

  • 2019-20 budget targets were met.
  • AGD relocated around 700 staff from 45 Pirie Street into the new GPO Exchange building. The new building provides an integrated fit-out designed to meet the needs of AGD.
  • AGD achieved a 23% reduction in the cost of workers compensation claims in 2019-20

Program Aboriginal Employment and Retention Strategy (AERS)

Performance - AGD employs an Aboriginal Engagement Officer to support the Aboriginal Employment and Retention Strategy. The Aboriginal Engagement Officer organised a series of Cultural Awareness Sessions and a number of events for National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC week to promote and raise awareness of Aboriginal Culture. The Aboriginal Engagement Officer has also mentored and supported AGD’s Aboriginal employees. As at 30 June 2020, AGD has a 2.7% representation of Aboriginal employees.

Program - Aboriginal Employment Register

Performance - AGD has been actively engaged in the equal opportunity program – Aboriginal Employment Register. Potential Aboriginal candidates were referred for 16 roles and 5 candidates were placed.

Performance management and development system - Performance management is captured using the ELMO Performance Management System. AGD aims for a compliance rate of 100% of all active staff having at least one performance review during the year.

Performance - 80% of active staff as at 30 June 2020 are recorded as having had at least one performance management review in 2019-20.

Program name - Wellbeing and Safety Strategic Plan 2018-20

Performance - AGD continues to work to its Wellbeing and Safety Strategic Plan 2018-20 goals:

  • leaders demonstrate commitment to safety by their actions
  • organisational practices support wellbeing and engagement
  • risk management is systematic and proportionate
  • regular verification and evaluation of safety performance is undertaken

A number of key wellbeing and safety activities have been undertaken by AGD during 2019-20, as highlighted below.

As part of the Your Voice Action Plan, Workforce Wellbeing delivered a promotional campaign focusing on AGD’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP). AGD recorded EAP use of 8%, compared to the public sector average of 7.7%.

Approximately 700 employees relocated to the new GPO Exchange building in late 2019. This relocation included an extensive wellbeing and safety component. Ergonomic workstation set-up support was provided to all employees through online training, posters/flyers and individual ergonomic assessments.

A quarterly Health and Safety Representative (HSR) forum was established to support the Health and Safety Committee (HSC), to ensure high quality consultation on significant wellbeing and safety matters.

AGD has been involved with the development and implementation of MySAFETY – a new safety management system and upgrade of the current injury management system for all of the public sector.

With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, AGD successfully transitioned around 75% of its workforce to work safely from home in some capacity, with no associated injuries. An AGD wellbeing survey, undertaken post this transition, recorded an 8% increase in wellbeing experienced by employees, compared to the wellbeing score recorded by employees prior to the pandemic.

AGD’s approach to early intervention, return to work and injury management continues to result in positive outcomes for all parties. This is demonstrated by the department’s performance against the South Australian Public Sector Work Health, Safety and Injury Management Performance Measures, together with a 23% decrease in costs associated with claims management.

AGD recorded an increase in claims in 2019-20 (16 claims) compared to the previous financial year (4 claims). Whilst this increase is higher compared to 2018-19, when considering AGD claim rates over the past 5 financial years, the number of claims for 2019-20 is more consistent with this average.

A program which includes the provision of a survey, focus groups and recommendations to improve wellbeing in the workplace – used to mitigate agency risk of psychological injury. A structured program which includes the provision of a survey, focus groups and recommendations to improve wellbeing in the workplace – used to mitigate agency risk of psychological injury. 

The AGD Wellbeing Program continued to be rolled-out across the department. Since its progressive implementation, there has been a significant reduction in the cost of psychological injury claims to the AGD.

Workplace injury claims

Current year


Past year


% Change

(+ / -)

Total new workplace injury claims








Seriously injured workers**




Significant injuries (where lost time exceeds a working week, expressed as frequency rate per 1,000 FTE)




* refer explation above regarding the increase in the number of claims

** number of claimants assessed during the reporting period as having a whole person impairment of 30% or more under the Return to Work Act 2014 (Part 2 Division 5)

Work health and safety regulations

Current year


Past year


% Change

(+ / -)

Number of notifiable incidents (Work Health and Safety Act 2012, Part 3)




Number of provisional improvement, improvement and prohibition notices (Work Health and Safety Act 2012 Sections 90, 191 and 195)




Return to work costs**

Current year


Past year


% Change

(+ / -)

Total gross workers compensation expenditure




Income support payments – gross








**before third party recovery

Data for previous years is available at:

Executive classification

Number of executives

Chief Executive






Statutory Appointments


* Includes Executive legal officers

Data for previous years is available from the Data SA website

The Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment has a workforce information page that provides further information on the breakdown of executive gender, salary and tenure by agency.