Two years on from the release of the final report of the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants, I am very pleased to provide my second progress report to Parliament.
Under the (Implementation Monitor Act), I am required to provide my report to Parliament by 30 November each year. As a result of the recent election, I am providing my report for the 2021-22 period later this year.
Since the Commission delivered its final report on 30 November 2020, the Victorian Government has been working hard to achieve its commitment to deliver each of the recommendations directed to it, and to support the delivery of all the Commission’s 111 recommendations.
As of September 2022, government has delivered in full 23 of the 55 recommendations directed to it, including all of its recommendations with three-, six-, and 12-month timeframes. In addition, 29 recommendations are well underway, including 25 recommendations relating to the development of human source management legislation. The was introduced into Parliament in August 2022 but did not achieve passage through both Houses of Parliament prior to Parliament adjourning ahead of the election. Government has also conducted a systemic review of police oversight. It is important that we take the time to get police oversight reforms right to ensure the system is robust and effective and better supports complainants and victims of police misconduct.
Work is also well progressed to deliver recommendations to introduce mandatory reporting requirements for lawyers to report suspected misconduct, as well as progressing amendments to the (Inquiries Act) to ensure documents subject to public interest immunity claims can be produced to royal commissions.
Overall, 63 of the 111 recommendations have been delivered by responsible agencies, and significant progress has been made on remaining recommendations.
This second progress report covers the period from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022. Recommendations with indicative implementation timeframes of 12 or 18 months fall within this reporting period. For recommendations with longer delivery timeframes, I have reported on implementation progress up to September 2022.
Significant achievements of the past year include establishing the Office of the Special Investigator and an independent Implementation Monitor, as well as delivering reforms to enhance and strengthen disclosure practices.
As I outlined in my previous report, government’s approach to implementing the Commission’s recommendations has been informed by engagement with the community on issues of public importance. This has included significant public and community consultation in relation to the systemic review of police oversight and legislative recommendations.
The cross-agency Implementation Taskforce has also continued to play a central role in coordinating the delivery of recommendations, and has increasingly turned its attention to ensuring that reforms delivered in response to the Commission’s recommendations are effectively operationalised and have an enduring impact.
Significant delivery of recommendations has been achieved in the reporting period and an impressive program of work is well underway to finalise delivery of the Commission’s remaining recommendations. I thank all those involved in this important work.
Jaclyn Symes MP
Reviewed 20 December 2022