Responsibilities of organisation head
Under the Children's Guardian Act 2019, the head of an organisation that is covered by the Reportable Conduct is described as the 'Head of a relevant entity'. This person is responsible for the entity’s compliance with its legislative obligations under the Scheme. Depending on its organisational structure, the entity head may be:
- the Chief Executive Officer, principal officer or equivalent
- the Secretary of a NSW Government department or delegate of the Secretary
- a person nominated by the entity and approved by the Children’s Guardian
- a person prescribed by the Children's Guardian Regulations.
An agency, group or body that operates within a larger organisational structure may be considered a relevant entity, in and of itself. In these cases, the relevant entity might seek legal advice to assist it to identify the most appropriate head of the entity.
The head of the entity is responsible for ensuring their entity has systems, policies and processes in place for:
- preventing and identifying reportable conduct by an employee of the entity
- requiring an employee to report any reportable allegation or conviction they become aware of, to the head of the entity (or, if it relates to the head of the entity, to the Children's Guardian)
- enabling non-employees of the entity to report any reportable allegations or convictions against employees of the entity, to the head of the entity
- responding to a reportable allegation or conviction involving an employee
- receiving, handling and disclosing information relating to reportable conduct allegations and convictions
- preventing reportable conduct by employees.
The role of the Office of the Children’s Guardian
Under the Children’s Guardian Act 2019, in relation to the Reportable Conduct Scheme, the Office of the Children’s Guardian can:
- receive notifications of reportable allegations and reports into - and findings of - findings of reportable conduct investigations by a relevant entity
- provide oversight and guidance to an entity to prevent, notify, and investigate reportable allegations
- monitor relevant entities' investigations and ensure appropriate action is taken
- be the primary investigator of a reportable allegation, or of the relevant entity's handling of the reportable allegation
- share certain information internally and with Police, Department of Communities and Justice, regulators and others to inform their law enforcement and child protection functions
- report to Parliament on the scheme’s performance and trends.
Identifying reportable allegations