Annual report on the operation of the Scheme
As soon as practicable after the end of each financial year, the Operator must prepare and give an annual report to the Minister about the operation of the Scheme during that financial year. The Minister must table this report for presentation in the Commonwealth Parliament.
The NRS Rules prescribe the requirements for the annual report, including what information must be included. Matters prescribed for inclusion in the annual report include:
- the number of people who applied for redress in the year
- the number of people who were determined by the Operator to be eligible for redress in the year
- the number of people who accepted or declined offers of redress in the year
- the number of institutions that were found responsible for abuse in the year
- details relating to redress payments that were paid in the year, including the range of the amounts of the payments and the total of the payments for the year
- details relating to the provision of the counselling and psychological component of redress in the year
- details relating to the provision of direct personal responses in the year.
If something needs to be done for the purposes of the NRSAct or the NRS Rules, and this requires the use of an approved form or forms, the form or forms can be approved for use by the Operator in writing.
Civil penalty provisions
The NRSAct prescribes civil penalty provisions for offences committed by an individual or organisation under the Act, for example, the unauthorised access to protected information (section 100). Civil penalty provisions under this Act are enforceable under Part 4 of the Regulatory Powers (Standard Provisions) Act 2014. This allows for civil penalty provisions to be enforced by obtaining an order for a person to pay a penalty for committing the relevant offence. The civil penalty provision can be applied in each of Australia's external Territories.
An order is obtained through either the Federal Court of Australia, or the Federal Circuit of Australia, by authorised applicants. For the purposes of the Scheme and the requirements of the Regulatory Powers Act, authorised applicants include the following:
- the Operator
- an SES employee, or acting SES employee, in the Department of Social Services
- an SES employee, or acting SES employee, in the Human Services Department.
A civil penalty provision cannot be sought from the Commonwealth or a state or territory.
Reviews of the Scheme
The Minister for Social Services must commence a review of the Scheme as soon as possible after:
- the second anniversary of the Scheme start day, and
- the eighth anniversary of the scheme start day.
The scope of the reviews must include all of the following matters:
- the extent to which the states, participating Territories and non-government institutions have opted into the scheme, including key facilitators and barriers to opting in
- the extent to which survivors who are eligible for redress under the scheme have applied for redress
- the extent to which redress has been provided to survivors who are entitled to redress under the scheme
- the application, assessment and decision-making process, including user experiences of the process
- redress payments
- access to counselling and psychological services under the scheme
- the extent to which survivors access direct personal responses under the scheme, including factors influencing the uptake and experiences with the direct personal response process
- the availability of, and access to, support services under the scheme
- the implications of the scheme's design for survivors (including Indigenous and child migrant survivors as well as survivors who are still children or who have a criminal conviction)
- the operation of the scheme's funding arrangements (including a review of the scheme administration component of funding contribution for participating institutions' share of the costs of the administration of the scheme)
- the operation of the funder of last resort provisions
- the extent to which the scheme has been implemented as proposed in the National Redress Scheme Agreement
- the views of key stakeholders on the scheme (including representatives from survivor groups, non-government institutions, advocacy groups, support services provider groups, the Independent Advisory Council, the Commonwealth, the states and the territories)
- the administration of this Act and the scheme
- any other matter relevant to the operation of this Act or the Scheme
- the results of any other review or evaluation conducted in relation to the operation of the Scheme.
Scheme sunset day
The Scheme sunset day is the scheduled end date of the National Redress Scheme. This date is the day of the tenth anniversary of the Scheme start day.
All applications to the Scheme must be made at least 1 year before the sunset day, which unless prescribed otherwise is 30 June 2027. The Operator can accept later applications if there are exceptional circumstances.
Children who turn 18 after the sunset day cannot make an application to the Scheme.
Act reference: NRSAct section 20 When an application cannot be made, section 187 Annual report on operation of the scheme, section 188 Approved forms, section 190 Civil penalty provisions, section 192 Review of the scheme, section 193 Sunset of the scheme
NRS Rules section 75 Requirements for annual report on operation of the Scheme
Policy reference: Redress Guide 1.1.A.60 Approved form