Australia: NSW Government Bulletin - 11 September 2013

Last Updated: 6 November 2013
Most Read Contributor in Australia, September 2016

This fortnight's edition sees further findings of corruption from the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) against NSW former Minister for Mineral Resources Ian Macdonald. The Commission found that Mr Macdonald acted contrary to his duty as a Minister in allowing an exploration licence to be granted without the knowledge, or involvement, of the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and despite DPI's previous clear opposition. A busy fortnight for ICAC has also seen the publication of a report on corrupt behaviour relating to IT contracts for government agencies. The paper aims to help minimise the corruption risks involved in managing IT contractors, which was sparked by last year's corruption inquiry into a former UTS employee for giving IT contracts to a company he part owned.

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To start a conversation about Government Bulletin or issues of interest to NSW government lawyers, join the LinkedIn group NSW Government Lawyers by clicking on this link. Membership is open to lawyers employed in the public sector.

In the media

Legal lessons from the Queensland Health Payroll System Commission Report
Holding Redlich partner, Michael Grosser writes for Government News on the Queensland Government's procurement practices. It particularly relates to the increasing acceptance of the role of probity since 2007 when the Queensland Government commenced the procurement activity for the Queensland Health Payroll System. This practice ensures that parties act ethically and conflicts of interest are mitigated. More

Corruption watchdog releases tips on IT contractors
The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) has published a paper for government agencies to help minimise the corruption risks involved in managing IT contractors. More

NSW Police Association says court ruling in Errol Baff case confirms officers' right to silence
The NSW Police Association has welcomed a court ruling that allowed a policeman to avoid answering questions about the shooting of a woman on the state's mid-north coast (01 September 2013). More

ICAC finds corrupt conduct in relation to Doyles Creek coal exploration licence
The ICAC has made corrupt conduct findings against former NSW minister for mineral resources Ian Macdonald in relation to the granting of consent to apply for a coal exploration licence (EL), and the granting of an EL, to Doyles Creek Mining Pty Ltd (30 August 2013). More

Community work cuts re offences: NSW report
Making criminals do community work is more effective at stopping reoffending than good behaviour bonds, NSW's top crime statistician has found, according to the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) released figures (27 August 2013). More

UM wins NSW government media buying account from Mediacom
NSW government logoMedia agency UM has won the $60m media buying account for the NSW government which was previously held by Mediacom (28 August 2013). More

Another public servant to be sacked over social media
Another federal public servant is set to be sacked over his online activity as the bureaucracy's troubles with social media mount. Mr Morris's case is believed to be the first in which a public servant has been stood down and threatened with dismissal for being involved in such a site (22 August 2013). More

ICAC identifies ways to minimise corruption in IT contracts
The ICAC has identified five key levers that need to be managed in order for government agencies to minimise the corruption risks involved in managing information technology (IT) contractors (21 August 2013). More

In practice and courts

Operation Cavill public inquiry to resume 20 September 2013

The ICAC will resume its Operation Cavill public inquiry concerning allegations involving City of Ryde Mayor Councillor Ivan Petch, and others, on Friday 20 September 2013 at 10:00 am (30 August 2013. More

Call for papers: Assisting Unrepresented Litigants – a Challenge for Judicial Administration

The Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration (AIJA) conference will be held 15-17 April 2014, G Coogee Beach. Those submitting abstracts or panel proposals will be advised whether their paper/panel has been accepted as soon as possible. Those presenting papers will be required to register for the conference. More

National Consultations 2013

End of October 2013 - Closing date for comments on the Productivity Commission's Inquiry into Access to Justice Services

Published – articles, papers, reports

Coal and gas mining in Australia: opportunities for national law reform

Author: The Australia Institute (TAI)

The purpose of this report is to identify existing Commonwealth law and policy relevant to the regulation of coal mining and unconventional gas exploration and production in Australia (21 August 2013). More

Community Service Orders and Bonds: A comparison of reoffending

Lucy Snowball & Lorana Bartels, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research

The results showed that offenders given a CSO are less likely to re-offend than adult offenders given a bond. In the median case, the 24 month reconviction rates were 17.3 per cent (CSOs) and 19.8 per cent (bonds) (August 2013). More

Operation Acacia Investigation Report

Author: ICAC

An investigation into the conduct of Ian MacDonald, John Maitland and others (August 2013)

Operation Acacia Investigation Report

Managing IT contractors, improving IT outcomes

Author: ICAC

ICAC canvasses the unique pitfalls that public sector managers who do not possess IT knowledge and expertise may face when dealing with contractors engaged to undertake specialist IT work for government agencies (August 2013)

Managing IT contractors, improving IT outcomes (August 2013)


Baff v New South Wales Commissioner of Police [2013] NSWSC 1205

EVIDENCE- privilege against self incrimination- distinct from privilege against exposure to civil penalties- not abrogated by Police Act 1990 or Police Regulations 2008
STATUTORY INTERPRETATION- exclusion of basic rights requires irresistible clearness. More

Crowe and Department of the Treasury [2013] AICmr 69

Freedom of information — incoming government brief prepared for party that was unable to form government — deliberative matter — deliberative processes — Freedom of Information Act 1982(CTH) s 47C

Freedom of information — incoming government brief prepared for party that was unable to form government — certain operations of an agency — whether disclosure could reasonably be expected to have a substantial adverse effect on the operations of an agency — Freedom of Information Act 1982(CTH) s 47E. More

Sweeney and Australian Prudential Regulation Authority [2013] AICmr 67

Freedom of information — Documents to which secrecy provisions of enactments apply — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 s 38 — (CTH) Australian Prudential Regulation Authority Act 1998 s 56 — (CTH) Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 s 3. More

Hunt and Australian Federal Police [2013] AICmr 66

Freedom of Information — Disclosure of confidential source of information — Prejudice to lawful methods or procedures — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 37(1)(b), 37(2)(b)

Freedom of Information — Deliberative processes — Certain operations of agencies — Personal privacy exemption — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5), 47C, 47E, 47F. More

Besser and Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs [2013] AICmr 65

Freedom of information — Request for access to documents — Whether giving access would disclose information that would reasonably be regarded as irrelevant to the request — Whether documents subject to legal professional privilege — Whether disclosure would prejudice attainment of objects of audits — Whether disclosure would have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency — Whether disclosure of personal information unreasonable — Whether disclosure would unreasonably affect organisation's business affairs — Whether contrary to public interest to release conditionally exempt documents — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 11A(5), 22, 42, 47E, 47F. More

'AK' and Department of Finance and Deregulation [2013] AICmr 64

Freedom of information — Public interest conditional exemption – Personal privacy — Whether documents contain personal information – Whether disclosure would be unreasonable — Whether disclosure would be contrary to public interest — (CTH) Freedom of Information Act 1982 ss 4(1), 11A(5), 11B, 47F. More

Gray t/as Clarence Valley Plumbing Services v Ware Building Pty Ltd [2013] NSWCA 271

APPEAL AND NEW TRIAL - procedural fairness - where request for adjournment and transfer of trial to another location refused - where defendant (now appellant) did not attend - whether violation of the hearing rule established

EVIDENCE - where evidence adduced ex-parte - where evidence is comprised of hearsay - whether evidence should be given less weight. More

Molyneux and Vermeesch v Chief Commissioner of State Revenue (RD) (No 2) [2013] NSWADTAP 41

Duties - reassessment - power to reassess - legal interpretations and assessment practices of Chief Commissioner - delay by Chief Commissioner - market rate component of interest - whether decision was a final decision - leave to extend appeal to merits

Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (Cth)

Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 (Cth)

Administrative Decisions Tribunal Act 1997 (NSW)




Bills introduced

The object of this Bill is to amend the Crimes Act 1900 to extend the date until which membership of a terrorist organisation is an offence under the Act from 13 September 2013 to 13 September 2016.

Crimes Amendment (Terrorism) Bill 2013

The object of this Bill is to amend the Crimes Act 1900 to recognise the separate existence of the foetus of a pregnant woman that is of at least 20 weeks' gestation (as a living person) so that proceedings for certain offences relating to grievous bodily harm may be brought against an offender who causes the unlawful destruction of or harm to any foetus..

Crimes Amendment (Zoe's Law) Bill 2013 (No 2)

Proclamations commencing Acts

The object of this Proclamation is to commence a provision relating to guidelines with respect to the negotiation of the terms of agreements relating to the making of consent orders under the Criminal Assets Recovery Act 1990.

Crime Commission Act 2012 No 66 (2013-443) — published LW 23 August 2013

An Act to amend the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 in relation to mandatory pre-trial

defence disclosure in indictable proceedings; and for other purposes.

Criminal Procedure Amendment (Mandatory Pre-trial Defence Disclosure) Act 2013 No 10

(2013-444) — published LW 23 August 2013

An Act to amend the Evidence Act 1995 with respect to inferences that may be drawn from the silence during official questioning of persons accused of serious indictable offences

Evidence Amendment (Evidence of Silence) Act 2013 No 9 (2013-446) — published LW 23 August 2013

Other events

The Statutory and Other Offices Remuneration (Judicial and Other Office Holders) Amendment Regulation 2013 (427) as published on the NSW legislation website on 9 August 2013 was disallowed by the Legislative Council on 22 August 2013.

NSW legislation online

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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