07/12/2007

MS PENNICUIK -- To ask the Minister for Planning (for the Minister for Corrections): In relation to the Corrections Inspectorate (CI) change to Office of the Correctional Services Review (OCSR):

(1) What were the reasons for the review of the CI and its change to the OCSR.

(2) Was a review of the CI undertaken and by whom? How, in what form and to whom has this review reported.

(3) What were the findings and recommendations of the review.

(4) Which of the findings and recommendations have been accepted and what are the timelines for implementation of recommendations.

(5) Which of the findings and recommendations have not been accepted and why.

(6) Who makes up the Corrections Monitoring and Review Committee (CRMC) and what are the terms of reference and functions of the CRMC.

(7) How many members of the current staff of the OSCR were previously employed by --

(a) Corrections Victoria; and/or

(b) CORE; and/or

(c) GSL, ACM/GEO, AIMS/CCA and/or the Office of the Minister for Corrections.

(8) How many and which of the CI/OCSR's reports have been requested
by --

(a) Auditor General Victoria;

(b) Ombudsman Victoria;

(c) Equal Opportunity Commission Victoria;

(d) Health Services Commissioner;

(e) Office of the Public Advocate;

(f) Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission;

(g) Commonwealth and Victorian Attorney-General's Departments;

(h) Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions;

(i) Australian Federal Police; and

(j) any other statutory authorities and Government Departments outside the Victorian Department of Justice.

(9) How many and which of the CI/OSCR's reports have been provided to the above mentioned agencies.

(10) What if any conditions have attached to the provision of the reports and their use and distribution by these agencies.

ANSWER (given 27 May 2008):
I am advised that:

(1) On 13 August 2007 the Department of Justice established the OCSR through the amalgamation of the former Corrections Inspectorate and Corrections Victoria's Performance Review and Development unit. The new organisational arrangements are designed to strengthen the independent inspection, monitoring and review of correctional services. The new unit features a number of enhancements including stronger executive management oversight (with the unit reporting directly to the Secretary) and a new governance model including the establishment of a Corrections Monitoring and Review Committee to oversee the OCSR.

(2) The Ombudsman observed the operation of the former Corrections Inspectorate between February and May 2007.

As a result, the Ombudsman held discussions with the Secretary of the Department of Justice in August 2007. At that meeting, the Secretary briefed the Ombudsman on the proposed establishment of the OCSR and the new governance arrangements to address perceived shortcomings in the Corrections Inspectorate's operations. Following these discussions, the Ombudsman determined that he would monitor progress with the reforms over the next twelve months.

(3) The Ombudsman did not provide the Department with a final report in relation to the Corrections Inspectorate. There are no relevant findings or recommendations.

(4) The Ombudsman did not provide the Department with a final report in relation to the Corrections Inspectorate. There are no relevant findings or recommendations.

(5) The Ombudsman did not provide the Department with a final report in relation to the Corrections Inspectorate. There are no relevant findings or recommendations.

(6) The Corrections Monitoring and Review Committee (CMRC) comprises:

The Secretary of the Department of Justice (Chair);

Executive Director Community Operations and Strategy Division;

Executive Director Police, Emergency Services and Corrections Division;

Commissioner, Corrections Victoria;

Director, Office of Correctional Services Review; and

An Independent Member (Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman).
The appointment of a second Independent Member is being finalised.

The Terms of Reference of the CMRC involve:

endorsing the OCSR's annual business plan and work program;

receiving, noting and, where appropriate, advising the Secretary on review, inspection, and prison performance reports completed by the OCSR and endorsed by the Secretary;

noting OCSR's report summaries approved by the Secretary for public disclosure;

noting the OCSR's annual report to the Minister, following endorsement by the Secretary; and

advising the Secretary on any corrections system oversight related function or issue as required.
(7)

(a) Nine

(b) Two

(c) One - also included in response to a.

(8)
(a) None

(b) Twenty-One, on a wide range of issues

(c) None

(d) None

(e) None

(f) One - The Healthy Prison Review of the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre

(g) 137 on a wide range of issues

(h) None

(i) None

(j) None

(9) Twenty-one: Refer to 8(b) above.

(10) Given the nature of the information and the security implications, often assurances are sought that the reports are treated in confidence.