CAIN Update – 30 July 2015

Items of interest for the Complaints, Accountability, Integrity Network

Administrative Law

NTCAT decisions now available on Austlii website
NT Civil and Administrative Tribunal decisions are now available on the Australasian Legal Information Institute website. Decisions currently available relate to victims of crime assistance, the Development Consent Authority and the Director-General of Licensing.

The Environment Centre Northern Territory (NT) Incorporated v The Minister for Land Resource Management
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Judicial review – legislation – Water Act 1992 (NT) – decision of Minister under s 30 – nature of review function – Minister not confined to error-based review – Minister erred by failing to conduct merits review – matter remitted to Minister.
NT Supreme Court [2015] NTSC 30, 29 May 2015

Nitschke v Medical Board of Australia
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – vocational regulation – medical practitioners – suspension of appellant's registration as a medical practitioner by immediate action taken by Health Professional Review Tribunal – Health Practitioner Regulation National Law s 156 – need to identify conduct relied upon – expansion of conduct subject of the appeal from the Medical Board of Australia to Health Professional Review Tribunal – appellant not given reasonable opportunity to respond – procedural fairness – irrelevant consideration – error of law – appeal allowed.
NT Supreme Court [2015] NTSC 39, 6 July 2015

Local Government

Isbester v Knox City Council
A Council officer who prosecuted charges relating to a dog attack was subsequently part of a three person committee that considered whether the dog should be put down. The officer was not the final decision maker but played a material part in the process. The Court determined that a fair-minded observer might reasonably apprehend that the officer might not have brought an impartial mind to the decision. Natural justice required that she not participate in the decision and because that occurred, the decision was quashed.
High Court of Australia [2015] HCA 20, 10 June 2015

A review of integrity frameworks in six Victorian councils
"IBAC's Local Government Integrity Framework Project explored the corruption prevention measures in place at six councils. An 'integrity framework' is defined as the instruments, processes, structure and conditions required to foster integrity and prevent corruption in public organisations. IBAC conducted targeted consultations with a selection of councils by undertaking surveys of senior managers and staff, and interviews with selected staff members. IBAC used the information from consultations along with the observed practices to build a picture of the councils' integrity frameworks. This paper highlights both good practices and possible areas for improvement to help councils strengthen their individual integrity frameworks."
Independent broad-based anti-corruption commission, Victoria, March 2015

Local Government: Review of council works depots
"IBAC undertook a review of council depots aiming to identify common vulnerabilities in the operation of works depots. The review also aimed to identify opportunities to strengthen processes and other controls to build knowledge, skills and corruption prevention practice across the local government sector. The review focused on four key issues considered as areas of particular vulnerability, namely: • procurement • management of bulk consumables • management of small plant and equipment • leadership and culture."
Independent broad-based anti-corruption commission, Victoria, May 2015

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