Page 6102 - Week 14 - Thursday, 8 December 2011

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Children and young people—Official Visitor
(Question No 1953)

Ms Bresnan asked the Minister for Community Services, upon notice, on 8 December 2011:

(1) In relation to the Official Visitor for Children and Young People and noting Determination 15 of 2011 - Children and Young People Official Visitor by the Remuneration Tribunal and that as a part-time holder of the statutory office the Children and Young People Official Visitor is entitled to $29,981 per annum, how many hours per week is the Children and Young People Official Visitor required to work.

(2) What additional resources, such as a laptop or mobile phone, are provided to the Official Visitor by the Government, above and beyond the remuneration, to assist her in fulfilling her responsibilities and what is the financial cost to the ACT Government for those additional resources.

(3) Are there any other quantifiable financial costs the ACT Government covers to assist the Official Visitor to fulfil her duties; if so, what are they and what is their financial cost.

(4) What administrative assistance, such as information technology, secretariat, or training, does the ACT Government provide to the Official Visitor.

Ms Burch: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

1) The Children and Young People Act 2008 requires the Official Visitor to attend detention places (Bimberi), therapeutic protection places and places of care (Marlow). The Act does not state how many hours per week the Official Visitor must work. The Official Visitor Complaint Guidelines 2009 (No1) state that visits to Bimberi will occur at least once per fortnight, visits to therapeutic protections places at least once each week and visits to places of care at least once each month. The Official Visitor exercises her discretion with regards to the time spent at each location.

2) No additional resources have been requested by the Official Visitor to assist in fulfilling her responsibilities. Determination 15 of 2011 states at 1.2 that the remuneration for the Official Visitor covers all costs associated with the Official Visitors time including time travelling.

3) No.

4) The Official Visitor, as an independent statutory officer, seeks to maintain her independence in determining what assistance is provided by Government. The ACT Government provides assistance to the Official Visitor by way of information when requested, meetings with Government representatives and minor assistance in completing her Annual Report, an addendum to the Directorate’s Annual Report.

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