ORIC yearbook 2014–15: Accountability

See ORIC yearbook 2014–15 table of contents

The Registrar makes information available about his work, activities and performance to clients and stakeholders through:

  • this yearbook and other publications such as the ORIC Oracle newsletter
  • the Registrar’s website, which includes a listing of prosecution outcomes
  • regular media releases on key activities
  • submissions to, and appearances before, parliamentary inquiries and committees.

Thirty-seven media releases were issued in 2014–15, which was the same number for 2013–14. The Registrar responded to direct inquiries from journalists on a range of matters affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations.

Freedom of information

The Registrar’s website implements the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner’s model webpage, including a freedom of information (FOI) disclosure log and the Information Publication Scheme.

Forty-nine FOI requests were made to the Registrar during 2014–15, up from 13 in the previous year.
Forty-two requests were finalised at 30 June 2015.

Complaints about ORIC staff

ORIC responds to complaints about its staff and contractors in accordance with policy statement PS-03: Complaints and feedback about the Registrar’s staff, contractors and services. During 2014–15, seven complaints about staff and contractors were received. All complaints have been resolved.

Commonwealth Ombudsman

In 2014–15 ORIC received four section 8 letters from the Commonwealth Ombudsman under the Ombudsman Act 1976 in which the Ombudsman requested information to help investigate complaints made to it. The Registrar responded to all issues raised in the Ombudsman’s letters. The Ombudsman advised that no further investigations were warranted in all complaints.

Legal services expenditure

The tables below are a statement of legal services expenditure by ORIC for 2014–15. It complies with paragraph 11.1(ba) of the Commonwealth’s Legal Services Directions 2005.

Table 17: Expenditure on legal services and legal service providers 2014–15
Internal legal services expenditure $ GST exclusive

Total internal legal services expenditure

External legal services expenditure $ GST exclusive
Professional fees: 
Australian Government Solicitor 222,610.76
Minter Ellison 195,025.12
HLW Ebsworth 3,526.02
DLA Piper Australia 30,694.97
Total professional fees paid 451,856.87
Counsel briefs 40,060.45
Other disbursements on external legal services 47,123.93
Total external legal services expenditure 539,041.25

Note: The value of internal legal services expenditure was derived through estimates of the percentage of time spent by legally qualified staff on legal work. Expenditure was calculated using base salaries and overheads.

Table 18: Briefs to counsel 2014–15
Number of counsel briefed
Number of male counsel briefed 3

Number of female counsel briefed

Value of counsel briefs
Value of briefs to male counsel (GST exclusive) $7,119.32
Value of briefs to female counsel (GST exclusive) $32,941.13