Since the Commission handed down 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.
All recommendations directed to government with indicative implementation timeframes of three-, six- and 12-months have been delivered.
Almost all recommendations with a two-year indicative implementation timeframe have been delivered (26 of 29) and significant progress made towards delivering all remaining recommendations.
Delivery of recommendations has involved the development of significant and landmark reforms. The Human Source Management Act received Royal Assent on 16 May 2023 and will commence operation on 30 September 2024. The legislation will provide a framework for the registration, use, management and external oversight of Victoria Police’s human sources. This legislation is one of the most significant reforms arising from the Commission’s inquiries, and will help to prevent the events that led to the Commission from occurring again.
The Implementation Monitor has assessed all but three recommendations directed to Government with a two-year timeframe as having been acquitted in full. Of the three outstanding recommendations, the Implementation Monitor has noted inter-jurisdictional constraints and complexities have caused delays in progressing two of these recommendations and the remaining recommendation is contingent on the making of regulations ahead of commencement of the Human Source Management Act.
Overall, of the 111 recommendations made by the Commission, 90 have been delivered. In this reporting period, the Victorian Government has continued to work closely with agencies responsible for delivery of recommendations through the Implementation Taskforce to coordinate and monitor the effective delivery of all recommendations. Given the substantial progress to deliver most of the recommendations, the Implementation Taskforce will no longer meet on a periodic basis, however engagement between agencies and the Implementation Monitor will continue, to ensure transparent and coordinated delivery of remaining recommendations.
Recommendations directed to the Victorian Government with a two-year timeframe
Most recommendations directed to the Victorian Government with a two-year indicative timeframe have been delivered, with only three outstanding.
As foreshadowed in last year’s report, the Human Source Management Act received Royal Assent on 16 May 2023 and will commence operation on 30 September 2024 (recommendations 8-18, 44-56 and 58).
This legislation is the first of its kind in Australia, providing a clear framework for police to obtain and use information from human sources, with appropriate protections to manage risks, including by:
- setting out the process for the registration, use and management of Victoria Police’s human sources, and
- establishing an external oversight model to ensure that human sources are used in an ethical and justifiable manner.
The Commission emphasised that the use of human sources plays an important role for policing and community safety and should continue, but that considerable risks exist due to the covert nature of human sources.
The legislation ensures significant protections are put in place where the risks are greatest – where a person has access to privileged information, is under the age of 18, or has a serious physical or mental health condition.
The government has conducted a systemic review of police oversight in Victoria, which delivers on recommendation 61. The review, which involved community and targeted stakeholder consultation, considered the institutional and legislative structures that make up the Victorian police oversight system, including:
- integrity agencies’ external oversight of police’s use of significant powers
- complaints and disclosures about police misconduct and corruption, and
- how these complaints may be responded to (either through informal resolution, formal complaints resolution processes or investigation and/or disciplinary processes).
Government is continuing to consider options for reform following the completion of the review, including recommendation 27 of the Yoorrook Justice Commission’s Yoorrook For Justice report, published on 4 September 2023, which involves Victoria’s police oversight system.
Ongoing progress continues to support delivery of the outstanding recommendations with a two-year indicative timeframe.
Recommendation 60 requires the Victorian Government to ensure that the PIM, IBAC and Victoria Police are adequately resourced to undertake new legislative functions under the Human Source Management Act. Government is continuing to work with agencies to understand resourcing implications of delivering the recommendations.
As outlined in 2.2 above, government has also undertaken a significant body of work to develop reform proposals to implement recommendations 85 and 86 including engaging with the LSC and other participants in the multijurisdictional Legal Profession Uniform Law scheme.
Longer-term recommendations directed to the Victorian Government
Of the 55 recommendations led by the Victorian Government, only two outstanding recommendations have longer-term indicative timeframes beyond the current reporting period, due to ongoing or no indicative timeframes.
Recommendations 43 requires the Victorian Government to ensure that Victoria Police is appropriately funded to implement the Commission’s recommendations.
Government is continuing to work with agencies to understand resourcing implications of delivering the recommendations.
Recommendations 111 requires the Attorney-General to reports annually to the Victorian Parliament on the progress of the implementation of the Commission’s recommendations, until implementation is complete.