Significant Issues Impacting on the Agency

The Department faced a range of issues over the past financial year which affected its operations in various ways.

The Department will continue to support the State Government’s streamlining justice initiative and its law reform agenda, including, as a priority, introducing family violence restraining orders, improvements to sentencing legislation and the introduction of post-sentence supervision orders.

The Department continues to support the outcomes of the Premier’s Taskforce on Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and over-representation in the justice system through the introduction of a range of initiatives including the development of a central database on deaths in custody, enhancing the use of work and development orders and expansion of the Aboriginal Justice Open Days Program.

The Office of the Public Advocate continues to experience increasing demand for statutory services to vulnerable adults with decision-making disabilities as a result of the ageing population and an increasing number of people with dementia and mental illness who require a guardian.

The rapid growth of the number of clients with little or no capacity to pay for services referred to the Public Trustee by the State Administrative Tribunal has further increased the proportion of Public Trustee clients whose fees are rebated under an operating subsidy.

The State Solicitor’s Office will continue to respond to the legal issues that arise from the Commonwealth’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages will implement legislative changes to the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1998 to improve change of name processes and to strengthen identification and enrolment processes as part of the national identity management and security strategy.

The enhanced measures for the enforcement of fines and infringements, including the use of mobile licence plate recognition in Perth and the South West region, have continued to have a positive impact on payments and are a valuable tool in managing the outstanding debt currently registered with the Fines Enforcement Registry.

A number of major assets projects were completed in the 2015/16 financial year. These included the construction of the $5.1 million Fitzroy Crossing Courthouse, funded through Royalties for Regions, which commenced operations on 9 September 2015, and the development and implementation of the Fines and Enforcement component of the Integrated Courts Management System which was completed in November 2015.

The Department continues to invest in audio-visual facilities in court locations across the metropolitan and regional areas, which are aimed at improving service delivery to regional sites, as well as reducing the risks associated with transporting people in custody over long distances.

The Department will continue to work on maintaining and securing the shared information and communications technology (ICT) environment which supports both the Department of Corrective Services and the Department.

Over the next two years, the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages will undertake system upgrades to complete the modernisation of the Western Australian Registration System (WARS). The initial phase comprising of planning and analysis has been completed.

Remaining funding from the Kununurra Courthouse redevelopment will be used to dismantle, relocate and reassemble the temporary Kununurra Courthouse structures to Broome and Karratha.

Last updated: 27-Sep-2016
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