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Annual report 2018-19

The Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) tables an annual report each year in the Parliament of South Australia. Each annual report outlines financial performance, key initiatives for the department and support of whole-of-goverment initiatives. 

 

AGD 2018-19 Annual report (PDF) - print friendly version

To:

The Honourable Vickie Chapman MP

Deputy Premier

Attorney-General

This annual report will be presented to Parliament to meet the statutory reporting requirements of Public Sector Act 2009, Associations Incorporation Act 1985, Authorised Betting Operations Act 2000, Building Work Contractors Act 1995, Carers’ Recognition Act 2005, Casino Act 1997, Companies (Administration) Act 1982, Conveyancers Act 1994, Co-operatives National Law (South Australia) Act 2013, Fair Trading Act 1987, Fines Enforcement and Debt Recovery Act 2017, Fines Enforcement and Debt Recovery Regulations 2018, Gaming Machines Act 1992, Land Agents Act 1994, Land Valuers Act 1995, Liquor Licensing Act 1997, Plumbers, Gas fitters and Electricians Act 1995, Residential Parks Act 2007, Residential Tenancies Act 1995, Second-hand Vehicle Dealers Act 1995, Security and Investigation Industry Act 1995 and the requirements of Premier and Cabinet Circular PC013 Annual Reporting.

This report is verified to be accurate for the purposes of annual reporting to the Parliament of South Australia.

Submitted on behalf of the Attorney-General’s Department by:

Caroline Mealor

Chief Executive


From the Chief Executive
This year we launched a new Strategic Plan for 2018-2021. The vision of the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) is that South Australia is safe, fair and the best place to do business. We provide a diverse range of services to the South Australian community and government. We develop laws and policy that support safety, diversity, fairness and justice in the community as well as delivering efficient and appropriate services to our customers, in a way that is responsive, inclusive and collaborative. 

The achievements of the AGD over the last year have been significant but we have also faced a challenging time of change.

On a national level, the AGD has led South Australia’s involvement in the National Redress Scheme and coordinated the state’s response to both the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.

Community safety has remained a strong focus of our work. The upgrade of the South Australian Government Radio Network was completed. A 12 month trial of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme commenced. The “Ask for Angela” campaign was launched; better supporting people feeling unsafe while enjoying a night out.  The AGD continued supporting the Attorney-General in the development, drafting and passage through Parliament of legislation, including legislation addressing drug addiction and abuse, child exploitation material, predatory communication and grooming of children by adults, perpetrators of domestic violence, and terrorism, as well as legislation for the protection of whistleblowers.

We have continued to support vulnerable members of the community, striving to deliver high quality services to them and the entire community. The South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal consolidated its accommodation into a single premises in Pirie Street. The Public Advocate has continued to support the transition of guardianship clients to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), while the Disability Advocate has provided overarching advocacy services to ensure South Australians entering the NDIS have a voice.

The Public Trustee has implemented reforms to the way it delivers Wills and private investment services. Work is also underway to implement the government’s commitment to merge the Public Trustee and the Public Advocate in order to increase our capacity to provide a coordinated service to our State’s most vulnerable people.

Victims seeking support now receive more timely responses due to streamlined processes and systems introduced by the Commissioner for Victims’ Rights. The Equal Opportunity Commission continues to independently monitor and report on SAPOL’s progress in implementing the 38 recommendations arising from the review undertaken in 2016 aimed at improving the safety and wellbeing of SAPOL staff.

Both the Crown Solicitor’s Office and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) have continued to provide high quality legal services to Ministers, the government and the community. In May 2019 the ODPP commenced the Canine Court Companion Project in conjunction with Guide Dogs SA/NT. Zero, a fully trained assistance dog, has joined the ODPP and provides assistance to vulnerable victims of crime.

We have improved services to our customers and strengthened protections for consumers. A full time Riverland Community Legal Service was reinstated. Consumer and Business Services delivered an improved online presence and an online portal for Justice of the Peace services, and reforms to gambling saw improved processing of barring orders and the creation of a single gambling regulator for South Australia. The Fines Enforcement and Recovery Unit successfully established a contemporary central debt management system for recovery of fines debt and government non-fines debt (civil debt). The 2019-20 budget has provided funding to Forensic Science South Australia (FSSA) for the purchase of a dedicated on-site CT scanner, paving the way for a reduction in the number of full post-mortems required, reducing backlogs and waiting times.

I would also like to acknowledge the work of State Records who celebrate their centenary in 2019. I also acknowledge the work of the Ombudsman and Deputy Ombudsman who have significantly reformed the structure, operational processes and workflows within the office to drive improved outcomes and efficiencies.

Internally, like all of government, we have been faced with the need to deliver savings whilst maintaining high quality services. This has resulted in the restructuring of many areas of the business and the need for fiscal responsibility when expending resources. I thank those areas that have undergone these changes as well as the Human Resources and Finance areas for the expertise they have provided. At the same time, we have focused on developing our staff through a number of bespoke leadership programs and the provision of leadership coaching for Executives.

This year has also seen those of us located in 45 Pirie Street continue to prepare to move to the new GPO Exchange Building in Franklin Street by the end of 2019. This has involved a significant change program, requiring us to reimagine the way and the environment in which we work. Staff have been engaged in decisions around the design and functionality of the building. The transition will be challenging as we move to an open plan and largely “paperless” environment but we will have the benefits of more modern technology and working in a building with a 6 star ‘green’ rating.

I would like to thank all staff for their ongoing commitment and hard work. The support I have received from the Executive Management Group has been exemplary. I am lucky to work with an incredibly talented group of people who support one another and strive to deliver every day.

It continues to be an honour to serve the Deputy Premier and Attorney-General, the Honourable Vickie Chapman MP. I am proud of the productive working relationship which has developed between the Attorney-General, her staff and the AGD.

Caroline Mealor

Chief Executive

Our strategic focus
Our organisational structure
Changes to the agency
During 2018-19 the following changes were made to the agency’s structure.
  • the South Australian Employment Tribunal (SAET) moved to the Department of Treasury and Finance from 1 October 2018
  • the Independent Gambling Authority was consolidated into Consumer and Business Services from 1 December 2018.
Annual reporting
The following areas of AGD also submit their own annual report:
  • The Commissioner for Victims’ Rights  The Commissioner for Equal Opportunity
  • The Director of Public Prosecutions
  • The Public Advocate
  • The Ombudsman
  • The South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
  • State Records
  • The Public Trustee

Other agencies who report to the Deputy Premier and Attorney-General, the Hon Vickie Chapman MP, who submit their own annual report:

  •  The Electoral Commissioner
  • The Independent Commissioner Against Corruption
  • The Judicial Conduct Commissioner
Our Minister
The Hon Vickie Chapman MP, Deputy Premier and Attorney-General is the state’s principal legal advisor to the government and responsible for the administration of justice.

The Attorney-General is a member of Cabinet and responsible for:

  • specific legislation and the state's legal system
  • developing and implementing policy
  • legal action relevant to the state government.
Key personnel

Dr. Chris Bleby SC

Dr. Bleby is the Solicitor-General of South Australia. The Solicitor-General is a statutory officer appointed by the Governor  under the Solicitor-General Act 1972. The Solicitor-General is the second law officer of the state and, on the instructions of the Attorney-General, advises the state and appears as counsel on behalf of the state, including on behalf of the Crown Solicitor and Director of Public Prosecutions, as required.

Mike Wait SC

Mike is the Crown Solicitor of South Australia and also holds the role of Crown Advocate. As Crown Solicitor, he is responsible for leading the Crown Solicitor’s Office (CSO), which comprises the Public Law, Civil Litigation, Crown Counsel, Outposted Lawyers and Commercial, Environment and Native Title sections. The CSO provides advice to, and represents, the South Australian Government on behalf of the Attorney-General. This includes providing legal services to Cabinet, ministers and South Australian government agencies on a wide variety of legal issues.

Adam Kilvert

Adam is the Executive Director for the Policy and Communities division consisting of both internally focussed and externally facing business units. This includes the Justice Policy and Analytics team and the Strategic Communications team which provide advice and support to the Attorney-General and the broader department. The division also consists of the Fines Enforcement and Recovery Unit, (FERU) and the offices of the Ombudsman, Public Advocate, Public Trustee, Equal Opportunity Commissioner and the Commissioner for Victims' Rights which aim to protect the rights of the public.

Andrew Swanson

Andrew is the Executive Director of the Finance, People and Performance division. He is the Chief Financial Officer and responsible for leading a range of functions including Financial Services, Human Resources, Facilities, Performance and Business Services and State Records SA. The division also includes the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT).

Chris Pearman

Chris is the Director of Forensic Science SA (FSSA), which provides independent scientific and pathology services to the justice system of South Australia in the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry, Pathology and Toxicology. FSSA collaborates closely with the tertiary sector, in particular the three local universities, to ensure it maintains a high quality and contemporary scientific service through research, training and teaching.

Dini Soulio

Dini is the Commissioner of Consumer Affairs and Liquor & Gambling with Consumer & Business Services (CBS). CBS has a very broad portfolio including consumer protection, product safety, occupational licensing, liquor licensing, gambling regulation, charities regulation, residential tenancies and births, deaths and marriages

Joanna Martin

Joanna is the Executive Director of the Legal and Legislative division. The division includes Legislative Services, who provide legal and policy advice on legislative reform, Parliamentary Counsel, who provide legislative drafting services to Members of South Australia's Parliament, and Forensic Science SA who provides forensic science services and undertakes award-winning research in forensic science. The division also consists of the CSO and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).

John Ovenstone

John is the Chief Recovery Officer and Director, Fines Enforcement and Recovery. The role is supported by the FERU which is responsible for the enforcement and recovery of court fines, overdue expiation fees, debts owed to the Victims of Crime Fund and civil debt owed to state government agencies. In addition to the recovery of debts, FERU provides a range of non-financial options for individuals to resolve outstanding fines such as community service.

Mark Hanson

Mark is the Executive Director of the Projects and Technology division. He is responsible for leading Technology, Project Delivery, Public Safety and Information Management services. In addition to supporting the operations of the Attorney-General’s Department, the division provides Public Safety and Justice Information services to more than twenty other Government agencies.

Nicolle Rantanen

Nicolle is the Acting Public Trustee responsible for the efficient management of the Public Trustee Office and the effective implementation of the Public Trustee Act 1995. The role encompasses acting as Administrator, Executor or Trustee of deceased estates, as Administrator of estates of protected persons under the Guardianship and Administration Act, as Manager of estates of protected persons under the Aged and Infirm Persons’ Property Act and as Attorney or Agent. The Public Trustee is also the Trustee for minors as a result of distributions in intestate estates administered by private administrators and by appointment as trustees for other trusts and Wills.

Sandi McDonald SC

Sandi was appointed as the Acting Director of Public Prosecutions on 26 April 2019. The Director is a statutory officer, independent of the Attorney-General’s Department, who initiates and conducts criminal prosecutions in the Magistrates, District and Supreme courts of South Australia. The Director also initiates and conducts appeals in the Full Court of South Australia and the High Court of South Australia. The Director also oversees the operations of the ODPP comprising Trial Counsel, Solicitors (including Confiscations), and Business Services (including the Witness Assistance Service) to ensure the ODPP provides the people of South Australia with an independent and effective criminal prosecution service that is timely, efficient and just.

Legislation administered by the agency
Action for Breach of Promise of Marriage (Abolition) Act 1971

Acts Interpretation Act 1915

Adelaide Children's Hospital and Queen Victoria Hospital (Testamentary Dispositions) Act 1990

Administration and Probate Act 1919

Administrative Arrangements Act 1994

Administrative Decisions (Effect of International Instruments) Act 1995

Aged and Infirm Persons' Property Act 1940

Age of Majority (Reduction) Act 1971

Aircraft Offences Act 1971

ANZ Executors and Trustee Company (South Australia) Limited (Transfer of Business) Act 1996

Associations Incorporation Act 1985

Australia Acts (Request) Act 1985

Australian Crime Commission (South Australia) Act 2004

Authorised Betting Operations Act 2000 Bail Act 1985

Ballot Act 1862

Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1996

Broken Hill Proprietary Company's Indenture Act 1937

Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2009

Building Work Contractors Act 1995 Burial and Cremation Act 2013 Business Names (Commonwealth Powers) Act 2012

Casino Act 1997

Child Sex Offenders Registration Act 2006

Civil Liability Act 1936

Classification of Theatrical Performances Act 1978

Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Act 1995

Collections for Charitable Purposes Act 1939

Commercial Arbitration Act 2011

*Commonwealth Legislative Power Act 1931

Commonwealth Places (Administration of Laws) Act 1970

Commonwealth Powers (De Facto Relationships) Act 2009

Commonwealth Powers (Family Law) Act 1986

Companies (Administration) Act 1982

Constitutional Powers (Coastal Waters) Act 1979

Conveyancers Act 1994

Co-operatives National Law (South Australia) Act 2013

Coroners Act 2003

Corporal Punishment Abolition Act 1971

Corporations (Administrative Actions) Act 2001

Corporations (Ancillary Provisions) Act 2001

Corporations (Commonwealth Powers) Act 2001

Corporations (South Australia) Act 1990 

 Courts Administration Act 1993

Credit (Commonwealth Powers) Act 2010

Credit (Transitional Arrangements) Act 2010

Criminal Assets Confiscation Act 2005

 Criminal Investigation (Covert Operations) Act 2009

Criminal Investigation (Extraterritorial Offences) Act 1984

Criminal Law (Clamping, Impounding and Forfeiture of Vehicles) Act 2007

Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935

Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Act 2007

Criminal Law (High Risk Offenders) Act 2015

Criminal Law (Legal Representation) Act 2001

Criminal Procedure Act 1921

Cross-border Justice Act 2009

Crown Proceedings Act 1992

Da Costa Samaritan Fund (Incorporation of Trustees) Act 1953

Death (Definition) Act 1983

Debtors Act 1936 Defamation Act 2005

Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1991

District Court Act 1991

Domestic Partners Property Act 1996

Domicile Act 1980

Dust Diseases Act 2005

Election of Senators Act 1903

Electoral Act 1985

Electronic Communications Act 2000

Encroachments Act 1944

Enforcement of Judgments Act 1991

Environment, Resources and Development Court Act 1993

 Equal pportunity Act 1984

Essential Services Act 1981 Estates Tail Act 1881

(The) Evidence Act 1929

Evidence (Affidavits) Act 1928

Expiation of Offences Act 1996

Fair Trading Act 1987

Family Relationships Act 1975

Farm Debt Mediation Act 2018

Federal Courts (State Jurisdiction) Act 1999

Fences Act 1975

Financial Sector Reform (South Australia) Act 1999

Fines Enforcement and Debt Recovery Act 2017

Foreign Judgments Act 1971

Freedom of Information Act 1991

Free Presbyterian Church (Vesting of Property) Act 2001

Frustrated Contracts Act 1988

Gambling Administration Act 1995

Gaming Machines Act 1992

Graffiti Control Act 2001

Guardianship and Administration Act 1993

Guardianship of Infants Act 1940

Hairdressers Act 1988

Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012

Industrial Referral Agreements Act 1986

Inheritance (Family Provision) Act 1972

Intervention Orders (Prevention of Abuse) Act 2009

James Brown Memorial Trust Incorporation Act 1990

Judicial Administration (Auxiliary Appointments and Powers) Act 1988

Judicial Conduct Commissioner Act 2015

Juries Act 1927

Jurisdiction of Courts (Cross-vesting) Act 1987

Justices of the Peace Act 2005

Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017

Land Acquisition Act 1969

Land Agents Act 1994

Land and Business (Sale and Conveyancing) Act 1994

Landlord and Tenant Act 1936

Land Valuers Act 1994

Law Reform (Contributory Negligence and Apportionment of Liability) Act 2001

Legal Practitioners Act 1981

Legal Services Commission Act 1977

Legislation Revision and Publication Act 2002

Limitation of Actions Act 1936

Liquor Licensing Act 1997

Little Sisters of the Poor (Testamentary Dispositions) Act 1986

Lobbyists Act 2015

Lottery and Gaming Act 1936

Magistrates Act 1983

Magistrates Court Act 1991

Marketable Securities Act 1971

Members of Parliament (Register of Interests) Act 1983

Mercantile Law Act 1936

Minors Contracts (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1979

Misrepresentation Act 1972

National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Commonwealth Powers) Act 2018

Native Title (South Australia) Act 1994

Notaries Public Act 2016

Oaths Act 1936

Off-shore Waters (Application of Laws) Act 1976

Ombudsman Act 1972

Parliamentary Committees Act 1991

Partnership Act 1891

Personal Property Securities (Commonwealth Powers) Act 2009

Plumbers, Gas Fitters and Electricians Act 1995

Police Complaints and Discipline Act 2016

Powers of Attorney and Agency Act 1984

Prices Act 1948

Problem Gambling Family Protection Orders Act 2004

Professional Standards Act 2004

Prohibited Areas (Application of State Laws) Act 1952

Public Trustee Act 1995

Racial Vilification Act 1996

Real Property (Commonwealth Titles) Act 1924

Real Property (Foreign Governments) Act 1950

Recreation Grounds (Regulations) Act 1931

Relationships Register Act 2016

Residential Parks Act 2007

Residential Tenancies Act 1995

Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995

Royal Commissions Act 1917

Royal Style and Titles Act 1973

*RSL Memorial Hall Trust Act 1997

Sale of Goods Act 1895

Sale of Goods (Vienna Convention) Act 1986

Sea-Carriage Documents Act 1998

Second-hand Vehicle Dealers Act 1995

Security and Investigation Industry Act 1995

Sentencing Act 2017

Serious and Organised Crime (Control) Act 2008

Serious and Organised Crime (Unexplained Wealth) Act 2009

Settled Estates Act 1880

Settled Estates Act Amendment Act 1889

(The) Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1921

Sheriff's Act 1978

Shop Theft (Alternative Enforcement) Act 2000

Small Business Commissioner Act 2011

Solicitor-General Act 1972

South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013

Spent Convictions Act 2009

State Records Act 1997

St. John (Discharge of Trusts) Act 1997

Subordinate Legislation Act 1978

Summary Offences Act 1953

Supreme Court Act 1935

Surveillance Devices Act 2016

Survival of Causes of Action Act 1940

Tattooing Industry Control Act 2015

Terrorism (Commonwealth Powers) Act 2002

Terrorism (Police Powers) Act 2005

Terrorism (Preventative Detention) Act 2005

Thomas Hutchinson Trust and related Trusts (Winding Up) Act 1995

Trustee Act 1936

Trustee Companies Act 1988

Unclaimed Goods Act 1987

Victims of Crime Act 2001

*Waite Trust (Miscellaneous Variations) Act 1996

Warehouse Liens and Storage Act 1990

Whistleblowers Protection Act 1993

Wills Act 1936 Young Offenders Act 1993


* Denotes Act of limited applicationThe agency’s performance
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