14. Review of Decisions

This chapter relates to all levels of matters.

14.1. Summary Table

Below is a table summarising the options available for reconsideration or review of Abacus decisions.  This chapter should be read in its entirety for full explanations.

Abacus - Review of Decisions - Summary Table

14.2. Abacus Grievance Procedures

The Commissioner has approved the following internal grievance resolution procedures for Abacus matters under section 7(2)(g) of the Police Service Act 2003. The grievance procedures at Part 1.4 of the Tasmania Police Manual (TPM) do not apply to Abacus matters (whereas they do apply to other administrative decisions).  Further external review by the Police Review Board of some actions is available to subject officers under section 60 of the Police Service Act 2003.

14.2.1. Reconsideration Request for Level 1 matters

In relation to a level 1 matter, if a subject officer is aggrieved on the basis that they believe they have not received procedural fairness, they are entitled to lodge a Reconsideration Request.  Subject officers are also entitled to lodge a reconsideration request in relation to a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) they are to undertake as part of the managerial resolution of the matter.  These matters do not involve a determination other than ‘no breach’ and there is no finding or section 43(3) Action, therefore a reconsideration request cannot be lodged on the ‘no breach’ outcome.

Reconsideration requests are submitted by the subject officer directly to the authoriser’s commander (or, if the authoriser is a commander, to the Deputy Commissioner) in the format of a subject report.  The subject officer also must provide a copy to the authoriser.  A reconsideration request can be allocated to another member by the commander (or Deputy Commissioner where applicable) for consideration.

The request must be submitted within 30 calendar days of level 1 matter being finalised or of the subject officer receiving notification of the CPD. A request submitted after 30 calendar days will not be considered. Reconsideration requests and associated documents and decisions must be recorded on BlueTeam / IAPro by the member responsible for considering the request.

Example

  • Sergeant X is allocated an IRM 1 involving Constable Y via BlueTeam.
  • Constable Y’s conduct is a concern due to failure to submit court files in a timely manner, continual unacceptable delays in responding to ESCAD incidents and ongoing failure to submit Search Returns as expected and previously directed
  • Sergeant X decides that, as a CPD, Constable Y is to brief Sergeant X daily on his activities and outstanding workload for one month. Inspector Z authorises this CPD.
  • Constable Y is aggrieved by this decision and submits a reconsideration request to his commander about the CPD and provides a copy to Inspector Z.
  • The commander uploads a copy of Constable Y’s reconsideration request on BlueTeam.
  • The commander considers the request and advises Constable Y and Inspector Z.
  • The commander records all decisions regarding the reconsideration request on BlueTeam.

14.2.2. Reconsideration Request for Level 2 and 3 matters

Level 2 and 3 matters may result in a determination that a subject officer has breached the Code of Conduct.  A determination may also be made that the subject officer will receive one or more formal section 43(3) action(s) and CPDs.

No internal right of review or grievance is available to the subject officer in relation to the determination or the section 43(3) action(s), if any.  This is because there is nothing in the Police Service Act 2003 to support an inference that the Commissioner of Police or his or her delegate can reconsider a determination as to whether a police officer has breached a provision of the code of conduct.  The fact a determination is made by a delegate, and not by the Commissioner does not provide an opportunity for the Commissioner to reach a different determination – as the delegate is seen to be exercising the decision of the Commissioner.  For this reason, the only right of review available for these are those that are available externally (refer External Review of Decisions).  Notwithstanding this, a reconsideration request is available for two decisions related to a level 2 or 3 matter. These are the;

  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD) the subject officer is to undertake.
  • authoriser’s decision in relation to medals.

Reconsideration requests are submitted by the subject officer directly to the authoriser’s commander (or, if the authoriser is a commander, to the Deputy Commissioner) in the format of a subject report.  The subject officer also must provide a copy to the authoriser.  A reconsideration request can be allocated to another member by the commander (or Deputy Commissioner where applicable) for consideration.

The request must be submitted within 30 calendar days of the level 2 or level 3 matter being finalised.  A request submitted after 30 calendar days will not be considered. Reconsideration requests and associated documents and decisions must be recorded on BlueTeam / IAPro by the member responsible for considering the request.

14.3. External Review of Decisions

14.3.1. Police Review Board

In accordance with section 60 of the Police Service Act 2003 (the Act) the Police Review Board considers applications from aggrieved subject officers of or below the rank of inspector.  The Board reviews adverse findings against the member involving any decision, determination, order or recommendation regarding:

  • demotion or reduction in remuneration
  • termination of employment
  • fines or forfeiture of all or any remuneration
  • suspension of remuneration and / or allowances under section 41A of the Act
  • payment of costs for lost or damaged property under section 87 of the Act

Under section 60 of the Act applications for review must be made in writing and include the grounds for appeal.  Applications must be lodged within 30 calendar days after the subject officer has received the Final Report notification of the matter about which they are seeking review.

The subject officer must provide the Commissioner with a copy of the application within three calendar days of lodging the application.  The subject officer may also withdraw the application if they reconsider.

14.3.2. Judicial Review

Review may be available pursuant to the Judicial Review Act 2000 provided certain criteria are met.  Applications must be made within 28 calendar days after the ‘relevant day’ which is defined by the Judicial Review Act 2000.

Subject officers may seek legal advice  (normally at a member’s own expense) or assistance from the Police Association of Tasmania (where applicable).

14.3.3. Ombudsman Tasmania

Ombudsman Tasmania cannot overturn a determination of Tasmania Police.  Ombudsman Tasmania reviews issues concerning process, e.g. whether any action:

  • was taken in accordance with law and policy;
  • was conducted in a fair and equitable manner; or
  • demonstrated that procedural fairness requirements were met.

Ombudsman Tasmania will not accept complaints where a member has an avenue of review through a court or the Police Review Board and generally requires that members attempt to resolve a complaint with the entity complained about in the first instance.