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Enforcement

The Commission for Children and Young People will take a graduated approach to enforcing compliance and use actions proportionate to the level of non-compliance. The Commission’s compliance approach includes the following activities:

  • inform and educate
  • support to comply
  • monitor compliance
  • enforce the law
  • strengthen child safety awareness.

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Diagram depicting how the Commission will focus its compliance and enforcement efforts.

In the first instance the Commission’s compliance and enforcement approach focuses on supporting organisations to meet the standards.

Court action as an enforcement tool is a last resort measure. These are some of the enforcement tools available to the Commission under the legislation.

Requesting information

In some circumstances, further information may be required before the Commission can be satisfied that a relevant entity is compliant with the standards.

To assist with this, the Commission, as well as relevant authorities, can request reasonable information from relevant entities to determine whether they are compliant with the standards. The Commission may also request information from relevant authorities if it believes it is necessary to determine whether a relevant entity is compliant.

Conducting inspections

The Commission may also, in agreement with the relevant entity, inspect a worksite and meet with employees, children, volunteers and parents/carers to assist with its assessment.

Notice to produce

More formally, the Commission may obtain reasonable documentation from a relevant entity by issuing a written notice to produce. This can only be issued if the Commission believes on reasonable grounds that the relevant entity is not complying, or is not reasonably likely to comply with the standards.

Notice to comply

If the Commission continues to reasonably believe that a relevant entity is not complying with the standards, it can issue a written notice to comply. Initially, the Commission will be working with both entities and authorities to provide assistance, education and support for compliance to be achieved.

Failure to comply with written notices

There are a number of further steps the Commission can take if a relevant entity does not comply with either a notice to produce or a notice to comply. The Commission can share information about failures to comply with each relevant authority of the relevant entity. It can also request that a relevant authority take action to require compliance by the relevant entity if it believes that this is required to promote the safety of children and prevent child abuse.

Applications to court for failures to comply with written notices

The Commission may apply for a court declaration of non-compliance and a fine. It may also publish and report on non-compliant entities in an effort to better protect children and prevent them from abuse.

Reporting by the Commission about compliance and enforcement activities

The Commission will include in its annual report, website and other communications, information about the compliance activities it has undertaken, including the number of notices issued, and declarations or civil penalties ordered, where applicable. Where applicable, the Commission will include the names of specific entities that have been found to be non-compliant.

More information