8.2.3 Procedures for AAT First Reviews
The rules relating to review by the AAT are mainly in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 (AAT Act), however, the PPLAct modifies the AAT Act in some ways for the purposes of AAT first reviews. This section is about the procedures to be followed in relation to AAT first reviews of reviewable claimant decisions and reviewable employer decisions.
Procedure on receipt of application for AAT first reviews
If an application for a first review by the AAT is sent to an office of DSS or Centrelink, the department must send it to the AAT as soon as practicable, but, in any case, no later than 7 days after the application is received.
The Tribunal must give both the applicant and Centrelink written notice that an application has been received and setting out the terms of the Tribunal's decision.
The decision maker (Centrelink) must then provide the AAT with a statement about the decision under review and all relevant documents within 28 days. The statement must set out the findings of fact, refer to the evidence or other material on which those findings were based and give the reasons for the decision.
The AAT may request that Centrelink send the statement and documents sooner than 28 days. If the AAT does so, Centrelink must take all reasonable steps to comply with this request. This may occur, for example, in cases in which financial hardship could occur pending the determination of the appeal.
If relevant documents come into the possession of Centrelink after the initial statement and documents have been sent but before the determination of the review, Centrelink must send a copy of the later documents to the AAT as soon as practicable after receiving them.
Act reference: PPLAct section 227 Procedure on receipt of application for AAT first review
Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 section 37(1) Decision-maker must lodge material documents
Parties to be given statements about the decision under review
Within 28 days of receiving notice that an application has been received by the AAT, Centrelink must give each party to the review a copy of the statement and documents that were provided to the AAT, unless otherwise directed by the Tribunal.
If Centrelink sends any additional relevant document to the AAT, Centrelink must also, as soon as practicable, send a copy of the document to each party to the review.
Notice of application to person affected by AAT reviewable claimant decision
The AAT must take all reasonable steps to give written notice of the application to any other person whose interests are, in the Tribunal's opinion, affected by the review. The notice, which may be given at any time before the review is determined, must be in writing and set out the person's right to apply to be joined as a party to the proceedings.
Each party is to be given a copy of this notice.
Exception: The AAT should not give notice of the application to a person whose interests are affected by the decision in their capacity as an employer. A person whose interests are affected by the decision in their capacity as an employer cannot apply to be a party to a review of an AAT reviewable claimant decision (1.1.A.02).
Hearing of AAT first review in private
The hearing of an AAT first review must be in private. The AAT may give directions in writing or otherwise, as to who may be present at any hearing of an AAT first review. In exercising this discretion, the AAT must have regard to the wishes of the parties and the need to protect their privacy.
Costs of AAT first review
Each party must bear their own expenses incurred in relation to the AAT first review. However, the AAT may determine that the Commonwealth is to pay the reasonable costs that are incurred by the party for travel and accommodation expenses in relation to the review.
The AAT also may determine that the Commonwealth pay the costs of a medical service that the AAT arranges for a party to a AAT first review.
Act reference: PPLAct section 233 Costs of AAT first review