Independent review into surveillance devices update

Work to establish an independent examination of the use of surveillance devices in prisons by former Solicitor-General Michael O’Farrell SC has identified a need to amend legislation to facilitate a full and transparent review.

Commissioner Donna Adams said today that since the announcement of the review, it has been identified that a provision of the relevant legislation currently prevents the sharing of necessary information that would allow a full and transparent review to occur.

“I acknowledge the importance of our community having trust and confidence in our organisation, and in the interests of transparency we need to ensure the review can be undertaken,” Commissioner Adams said.

“As a result, I have asked for consideration of an urgent amendment to the Police Powers (Surveillance Devices) Act 2006 to allow for the review.

“Currently the majority of the information that will need to be considered by Mr O’Farrell is considered ‘protected information’ and the Act prohibits this information from being communicated for the purposes of a review.”

“We have acted to address the issue as a matter of urgency so as to ensure the review is progressed in full at the earliest opportunity.”

State Parliament will be required to approve amended legislation in order to progress the review. Once the amendment is passed, the protected information can be released, and the review can be progressed in full.

“I want to be transparent, open and accountable to ensure that the public has trust in our processes,” Commissioner Adams said.

“Tasmania Police welcomes the independent examination of this matter and welcomes any opportunity to ensure the transparency and accountability of our organisation.”