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The agency's performance - Chapter 2 - Annual report 2018-19

Performance at a glance

AGD developed legislation targeting perpetrators of domestic violence including the creation of a new specific offence of choking in a domestic setting.

Legislation strengthening transparency and accountability in government passed Parliament, providing enhanced protections for whistleblowers.

The ODPP commenced the pilot of the Canine Court Companion Project.

Contribution to whole of government objectives

Lower costs
  • Streamline services and ask for and listen to feedback.
  • Use our resources efficiently.
Better services
  • Develop laws and policy that increase public safety. 
  • Strengthen systems that protect the vulnerable, elderly and victims.
  • Identify and progress domestic violence initiatives. 
  • Engage and educate citizens on strategies that prevent crime and reduce harm. 
  • Support the delivery of emergency services.
  • Design and deliver timely, accessible and fair dispute resolution services. 
  • Inform individuals and business about their legal obligations and rights. 
  • Promote and protect the rights of people who are Aboriginal, vulnerable or disadvantaged. 
  • Help victims exercise their rights and access assistance. 
  • Support information sharing, transparency and ease of access to public data. 
  • Deliver justice system reforms that benefit the community. 
  • Ensure the justice system protects the community and victims, whilst being inclusive of defendants’ needs. 
  • Provide timely, useful legal and policy advice across government. 
  • Provide services that deal with disputes early and efficiently. 
  • Make it easier for clients, partners and the community to interact with us.
  • Implement innovative approaches to make it easier to work with us. 
  • Invest in technology that supports service delivery and increases productivity. 
  • Invest in facilities that meet business and customer needs. 
  • Progress initiatives that improve digitalisation. 
  • Protect against cyber security and other threats.

 Agency specific objectives and performance

Child protection 
Indicator - Legislation listing the time limit on compensation claims for victims of institutional child abused passed by Parliament - Limitation of Actions (Child Abuse) Amendment Act 2018.

PerformanceBy removing the 3 year time limit, South Australia’s laws will be in line with other jurisdictions and fulfil a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional responses to Child Abuse Sexual Abuse.

Indicator Legislation allowing Magistrates to provide for drug treatment orders for children under the age of 18 introduced to Parliament - Controlled Substances (Youth Treatment Orders) Amendment Bill 2018

PerformanceLaws introduced to Parliament provide the option of mandatory treatment for children and young people experiencing drug dependency. An Interagency Working Group has been established to provide advice on the most appropriate model of care to address youth substance dependence and to guide the development of legislation.

Legislation establishing new offences to deal with administering child exploitation material websites and providing a means for police to compel a suspect or third party to provide information allowing access to encrypted or computer material that is suspected to relate to criminal activities passed Parliament - Statutes Amendment (Child Exploitation and Encrypted Material) Act 2018.

Performance The Act amends the Child Sex Offenders Registration Act 2006, the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935, the Evidence Act 1929 and the Summary Offences Act 1953. The new police powers to obtain access to data held electronically are restricted to child exploitation offences rather than extending to other serious offences as originally proposed by the government.

Legislation addressing predatory communication and grooming of children by adults passed Parliament - Criminal Law Consolidation (Dishonest Communication with Children) Act 2018.

Performance - The Act, known as ‘Carly’s Law’, introduces two new offences targeting adults who lie about their age to get a child, aged under the age of 17 years, to meet with them.

Indicator - Provision of legal services and advice in relation to the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017.

Performance - 
The CSO has provided advice and support to the Department for Child Protection, and to other agencies on issues relating to the implementation of the CYPS Act. From July 2018 to May 2019 the CSO filed 860 care and protection applications. Some of these related to more than one child and some related to a child or children about whom care and protection orders had previously been made. The CSO has also advised and represented the department on a number of applications to the SACAT by persons aggrieved by decisions affecting approved carers.

Domestic violence
IndicatorLegislation targeting the perpetrators of domestic violence passed Parliament - Statutes Amendment (Domestic Violence) Act 2018.

Performance - The Act amends the Bail Act 1985, the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935, the Evidence Act 1929 and the Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009 to put in place a range of measures including:

  • a new stand-alone offence of choking, suffocation or strangulation in a domestic setting with a maximum penalty of 7 years imprisonment
  • provisions to allow evidence of domestic violence complainants to be admitted in the Court in the form of an audio or audio-visual recording
  • doubling the penalty for breaching an intervention order where the breach constitutes a second or subsequent breach or where it involves physical violence or a threat of physical violence.

Indicator -  Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme introduced (DVDS).

Performance - The DVDS provides a pathway for women to request information on their partner's criminal history and provides support to deal with information disclosed and plan for their safety if required. The 12-month state-wide trial commenced on 2 October 2018 and a further $383,000 was committed in the 2019-20 State Budget to enable the DVDS trial to continue.

Indicator -  Pilot of the Prosecutions in Remote Aboriginal Communities project and a business case for holding trials for DV matters that arise on the APY Lands in Alice Springs.

The pilot program aimed to increase collaboration and efficiency between SAPOL and the ODPP when investigating and prosecuting domestic violence matters that arise on the APY Lands. The pilot was completed with 4 matters finalised. In all matters the victim was willing to give evidence and the defendant pleaded guilty. An additional 3 matters have been commenced. ODPP Practice Guidelines have been developed to embed the initiative into agency practice, pending resourcing. A business case is currently being developed to assess the ongoing costs and impact of this service.

Indicator - White ribbon accreditation

Performance 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 - ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign launched.

'Ask for Angela’ is an initiative to better support people who feel unsafe while enjoying a night out. If a patron feels unsafe, they can discretely ask the staff for ‘Angela’. This simple code word alerts venue staff that the person requires assistance. The campaign was launched on 1 November 2018 in collaboration with the Australian Hotels Association, Office for Women and SAPOL.

Protecting consumers 

Indicator - Legislation mandating a 3 year expiry date for gift cards passed Parliament: - Fair Trading (Gift Card) Amendment Act 2018.

PerformanceLaws mandating a three year expiry date for gift cards came into effect on 10 December 2018. A six month transition period enabled shops to sell old stock, but any gift card sold after 10 December 2018 will be valid for three years.

Indicator - Special Inquiry into the purchase of diesel generators finalised.

Performance - I
n line with the government's commitment to examine the former government’s purchase of nine diesel generators, it appointed Mark Livesey QC to the role of Special Investigator. Mr Livesey provided his final report to the Attorney-General, which was tabled in Parliament on 16 October 2018.

IndicatorCreation of a single commercial gambling regulator for South Australia.

Performance -  On 1 December 2018 CBS assumed responsibility for all gambling regulatory and policy functions in South Australia - most significantly, those previously overseen by the Independent Gambling Authority.

Indicator - Barring orders reform.

Changes have been made to the way gambling barring orders are processed. South Australians who are experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, gambling related harm are now able to access same-day barring orders for individual or multiple gaming venues and receive a referral to a relevant gambling support service.


Indicator - Legislation to improve ticket scalping laws passed Parliament - Fair Trading (Ticket Scalping) Amendment Act 2018

Performance -  New ticket scalping laws to better protect consumers came into operation on 10 December 2018.

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

PerformanceThe SACAD is available to the emergency centres of SAPOL, SAAS and SAFECOM (for the MFS, CFS and SES). In 2018-19 SACAD dispatched more than one million police, ambulance and emergency services responses to incidents. The SAGRN services the state’s police, ambulance, emergency and essential services. In 2018-19 the SAGRN carried over 23 million voice calls and sent over 2.7 million pager messages for the state's police, ambulance, emergency and essential services.

Indicator SAGRN Upgrade emergency communications.

The SAGRN upgrade ensures the system will continue to meet the needs of users, providing improved coverage, capacity and resilience for emergency communications. In 2018-19 the SAGRN:
  • completed the upgrade of related infrastructure at the state's three Emergency Operations Centres
  • activated geographic redundancy across the SAGRN service area
  • transitioned more than 17,000 users onto a new Paging network.

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

The SRHS continued to meet the needs of the state's ambulance and police services to respond to incidents that present immediate threat to the lives and safety of people. In 2018-19 the SRHS flew over 1,200 police, medical retrieval and search and rescue missions.


Indicator SRHS contract

Performance - Completed a comprehensive analysis of future needs and related stakeholder requirements for SRHS services beyond 2020 to inform future contractual arrangements.

Indicator - FSSA to purchase a computed tomography (CT) scanner.

The 2019-20 Budget provided $2 million for the purchase of a dedicated on-site CT scanner, allowing all bodies to be scanned on admission to FSSA. With supporting legislative change, this will mean a reduction in the number of full post mortems required, reducing backlogs and waiting times. In 2019-20 FSSA will identify and define the business requirements, prepare procurement related documents, build a facility to house the scanner, seek legislative change to support CT imaging and then purchase. 

Better services 
Indicator CSO digitalisation project reducing paper usage and increasing electronic processes.

The staged project will implement digital workflow practices to improve efficiency and reduce paper consumption. In 2018-19 the project implemented new digital processes in the CSO Victims of Crime and Child Protection work groups. The project is continuing. 

Improving collaboration between the justice sector and the Narungga Nation Aboriginal Corporation.

PerformanceAGD has worked to improve collaboration through the Buthera Agreement and all justice projects reported to be on track for completion in June 2020.

Co-locating SACAT to provide all services in one location.

In January 2019 SACAT co-located its operations into a single site, simplifying communication about where and how to attend SACAT, especially for those with additional needs. Services have been improved because registry staff are co-located and can support each other in serving the public. 

Improving SACAT’s services

PerformanceSACAT transitioned additional jurisdictions, including part of Child Protection and introduced a Magistrate Court, alongside SACAT to specifically hear tenancy disputes where one party is a resident in another state.

Indicator - Increased the number of Public Authorities referring civil debts and use of self-service online portal

The FERU has assumed the debt of two major Public Authorities (based on volume of debts) and continued to streamline the process for small Authorities. There has also been a 25% increase in the use of the online portal which provide Authorities have the ability to query, lodge and withdraw debts online.

Delivery of an improved CBS online presence.

In 2018-19, CBS continued to improve its online presence to enable greater access for consumers, including:
  • migrating web content to the sa.gov website - conforming to their high-level accessibility standard
  • launching a revised website
  • relaunching an improved Residential Bonds Online System.

In addition, CBS actively engaged with consumers and business throughout the year on changes to legislation, newly available or improved online services and consumer education campaigns.

Indicator - 
A new online portal for Justice of the Peace services.

Performance - 
A new online portal was launched on 4 March 2019 enabling around 7,000 Justices of the Peace to individually manage their registration and update their personal information. To date, more than 2,600 JPs have signed into the portal and over 2,000 individual data updates have been completed.

IndicatorSupport the transition of guardianship clients of the Public Advocate to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Performance - As at 31 July 2019, 578 of 625 guardianship clients assessed for NDIS eligibility were deemed eligible (91%).  Work is ongoing to support the development and implementation of clients’ support plans.

Indicator - Celebrating the Centenary of the Archives.

State Records SA celebrated the centenary of the archives through State History Festival sponsorship and an Open Day at Gepps Cross repository in May 2019.  An exhibition celebrating the centenary will run until the end of 2019.

Our justice system 
Indicator -  Legislation ensuring respectful conduct in Court was passed. Summary Offences (Disrespectful Conduct in Court) Amendment Act 2018.

Performance -  New laws will help enforce respectful behaviour in court, while enabling more efficient proceedings.

Indicator - Legislation increasing the maximum fine for cannabis possession passed Parliament. Statutes Amendment (Drug Offences) Act 2018.

Performance Laws increasing the maximum fine for cannabis possession from $500 to $2,000 came into effect on 1 April 2019.

Legislation limiting the number of drug diversions passed Parliament. Statues Amendment (Drug Offences) Act 2018.

Performance The new laws will ensure diversions are limited to two in a four year period to balance the need to attend treatment with ensuring that offenders face consequences for criminal behaviour.

Indicator - Canine Court Companion (CCC) Project 

Performance - A nine month pilot commenced in May 2019 between the ODPP and Guide Dogs SA/NT where a fully trained assistance dog, Zero, was provided to the ODPP to assist vulnerable victims of crime. Zero has had a positive impact for many matters of which some have included child victims of sexual offences.

Indicator - Re-instating a full time Riverland Community Legal Service.

As part of the 2018-19 State Budget, funding was provided to support the election commitment to establish a full-time community legal services in the Riverland, Mallee and Mid Murray area. The service was officially opened 14 December 2018, with full-time services beginning on 7 January 2019.

Indicator - Prevent prisoners voting in State Elections

New laws were introduced into Parliament on 30 May 2018 proposing that prisoners serving a sentence of 3 years or more will be disqualified from voting in a state election while they are serving their sentence. The Legislative Council made amendments to the Bill on 27 November so that only prisoners serving a life sentence would be disqualified from voting.  After three deadlock meetings, no agreement was reached.

Indicator - Waiving the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement (ALRM) Court and Transcript Fee

AGD worked collaboratively with the ALRM to resolve its concerns about the cost of court filing fees and transcript costs for its clients. The Attorney-General has waived both transcript and lodgement fees for the ALRM from 1 September 2018.

Indicator - Timely access to psychiatric assessments through the Psychiatric Court Assessment Services (PCAS) project.

The PCAS reform project is designed to help reduce the backlog of cases before the courts where matters involve high-risk offenders, or those either unwilling or unable to control their sexual instincts.

Reform measures include:

  • establishing a Forensic Court Assessment and Diversion service in the Magistrates court
  • funding for new staff, including an additional forensic psychiatrist and psychologist to support the Forensic Mental Health Service
  • introducing a new, competitive remuneration rate for forensic psychiatrists completing reports.

Indicator - Legislation to enhance the capacity of police to use lethal force to protect the community in a declared terrorist incident passed Parliament. Terrorism (Police Powers) (Use of Force) Amendment Act 2018

Performance - New laws make it possible for the Commissioner of Police to make a declaration of a terrorism incident, and support police to respond to the situation and keep the community safe.

Indicator Providing legal advice.

The CSO provided a wide range of legal advice in 2018-19 including advice in relation to:

  • the Royal Adelaide Hospital
  • the findings and recommendations of the Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission
  • Lot 14, providing advice and drafting contracts in relation to the development of a new 12-storey “International Centre for Food, Hospitality and Tourism”, and for the head office of the Australian Space Agency
  • various transport and public space projects including
    • Darlington Interchange Upgrade
    • Torrens to Torrens Upgrade
    • Pym Street to Regency Road Upgrade
    • Northern Connector Project
    • the Goodwood, Springbank and Daws Road Intersection
    • the Joy Baluch AM Bridge Duplication Project
    • the Port Wakefield Overpass and Township Duplication Project
    • the Payneham Road Junction with OG Road at Felixstow Project
    • the Festival Plaza redevelopment
 Providing timely, high quality, legal services to ministers and government agencies
Indicator Representing the Attorney-General in proceedings brought under the Criminal Law (High Risk Offenders) Act 2015.

In 2018-19 the CSO advised the Attorney-General:
  • on over 100 offenders for who extended supervision orders were being considered and filed 39 applications for extended supervision orders  
  • about notifications of breaches of extended and/or interim supervision orders in respect of approximately 24 offenders
  • about 5 offenders in respect of whom indefinite detention orders were under consideration and filed 3 applications for indefinite detention.

​​​​​​Indicator Resolution of Native Title Claims

Performance -The CSO provided legal services and representation in relation to numerous native title claims in 2018-19.  Four Native Title Claims were finalised in that period - Adnyamathanha, Ngadjuri #1 and Wilyakali #2 and the Nukunu Area 1.Negotiations are continuing towards the settlement of 7 other claims across the state. The CSO is also preparing for trial in two separate claims to be held in late 2019.

Indicator - ​​​​​​​Legislation strengthening protections for South Australians who blow the whistle on corruption or maladministration in the public sector passed Parliament - Public Interest Disclosure Act 2018.

Performance - The Act strengthens transparency and accountability in government by establishing a scheme that encourages and facilitates the appropriate disclosure of public interest information to certain people or authorities. The laws enable people to pass on confidential information to Members of Parliament, and journalists, where it is in the public interest, relates to environmental or public health or involves public administration. To support the commencement of the Act, AGD prepared a whole-of-government online training package, fact sheets and draft procedures that could be adopted by any government agency. 

Open and transparent government 
IndicatorLegislation strengthening a journalist’s ability to protect their sources passed Parliament - Evidence (Journalists) Amendment Act 2018.

Performance - The ‘Shield Laws’ commenced in August 2018 and introduced a default rule that journalists cannot be compelled to answer a question or produce any document that may disclose the identity of a confidential informant.

Indicator - Enacting legislation to enable ICAC to hold public hearings.

Performance - A Bill to allow the Independent Commission Against Corruption to choose to hold public hearings on matters involving maladministration and misconduct was re-introduced to Parliament to reflect the findings of the Crime and Public Integrity Committee inquiry. 

Indicator - Amending the Lobbyists Act.

Performance - A Bill introduced into Parliament in May 2019 that will strengthen the laws governing
lobbying activity.
 We support our staff and strive to constantly improve our business
IndicatorLeadership Foundations program

Performance19 participants from across the department are participating in Leadership Foundations, a program designed for employees at the ASO2 - ASO4 level who are high performers and aspire to become frontline supervisors or team leaders.

Indicator - Executive Building Blocks

Performance - Eighteen participants from across the department have completed the Executive Building Blocks Leadership Program which was designed to reward and recognise high performing employees who aspire to become an Executive in the next 1-3 years.

Indicator - Leadership Horizons Executive Development Program

Performance - Seventeen current Executives from across the department are participating in this program to help develop successors for key Executive Director roles.

​​​​​​​Indicator - Promote Aboriginal culture and reconciliation

Performance - AGD hosted four National Reconciliation Week events and one NAIDOC Week event. Eight cultural competency training sessions were held. 

Indicator - Succession Planning for Executives

Performance - In addition to Executive Building Blocks and Leadership Horizons, Executives also have access to an internal Leadership Coach. To date 27 Executives have had regular one-on-one development discussions.

Indicator - Achieve gender equity in the workplace

Performance - AGD undertook the Workplace Equality and Respect self-assessment process and finalised the draft action plan that aligns with the Our Watch Workplace Equality and Respect

Corporate performance 

At a glance

  • 2018-19 budget targets were met.
  • Return to works costs decreased by 44% in 2018-19.
  • A new Complaints, Compliments and Feedback Management SharePoint site was developed.
Equal Opportunity programs
Program - Aboriginal Employment and Retention Strategy (AERS)

Performance - AGD engaged an Aboriginal Engagement Officer to support the implementation of the newly approved AERS 2017-2020. The Aboriginal Engagement Officer has also organised a series of Cultural Awareness Sessions and a number of events around National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC to further raise awareness of our Aboriginal strategy. The Aboriginal Engagement Officer has also mentored a selection of Aboriginal Employees. AGD has increased the representation of Aboriginal employees from 2.7% to 2.8%.

Program - Aboriginal Employment Register

Performance - AGD has been actively engaged in the equal opportunity program – Aboriginal Employment Register.  Potential Aboriginal candidates were referred for 39 roles and 16 candidates were placed.
 Agency performance management and development systems
 System - Performance Management is captured using the ELMO Performance Management System. AGD aims for a compliance rate of 100% of all active staff having two Performance Reviews during the year.

Performance82% of active staff as at 30 June 2019 are recorded as having had at least one performance management review in 2018-19.
 Work health, safety and return to work programs
ProgramWellbeing and Safety Strategic Plan 2018-20

PerformanceAGD 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

AGD concluded its participation in the external audit of the Corporate WHS system and the Business Units implementation of the AGD WHS system. 

The following business units were selected to participate in the audit:

  • CSO
  • SAET
  • The Office of Parliamentary Counsel

AGD achieved the following results from the audit:

  • Corporate WHS system
    • Wellbeing and Engagement (Above expectations)
    • Safety Leadership (Met expectations)
    • Risk Management (Met expectations)
    • Performance Measurement (Met expectations)
  • Implementation of WHS system
    • Wellbeing and Engagement (Met expectations)
    • Safety Leadership (Met expectations)
    • Risk Management (Met expectations)
    • Performance Measurement (Minor improvement required)
 Early intervention, return to work and injury management
 AGD’s approach to early intervention, return to work and injury management continues to result in positive outcomes for all parties as can be demonstrated by the department’s performance against the Work Health, Safety and Injury Management Performance Measures (formerly Building Safety Excellence) and reduction in the overall number and cost of claims.

AGD Wellbeing program

 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 continues to be rolled out across the organisation. Since its progressive implementation, there has been a significant reduction in the cost of psychological injury across the department.
 Workplace injury claims

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)




 *  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

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

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: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/organization/attorney-general-s-dept

Executive employment in the agency

Executive classification

Number of executives

Chief Executive






Statutory Appointments

6Data 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.

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