The South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (SACAT) can direct the Office of the Public Advocate to investigate the circumstances of a person who does not have decision-making capacity, and who is at risk in some way.

This process is outlined under section 28 of the Guardianship & Administration Act 1993,

Process of investigation

If the Tribunal receives an application about someone who does not have decision-making capacity, they can decide whether it would be helpful to look into the person's situation.

The following steps are usually followed:

  1. SACAT writes to the Office of the Public Advocate, setting out what needs to be investigated.
  2. The matter is allocated to an advocate/guardian to conduct an investigation.
  3. The advocate/guardian contacts the interested parties, who can provide relevant information. They may also ask for more written reports to assist the Tribunal. This part may take some weeks to complete.
  4. The advocate/guardian writes a report and sends this to SACAT. The report forms one part of the evidence before the Tribunal.
  5. Sometimes people want to read the report or want a copy. SACAT consider these requests and decide who can have or read the report.
  6. The Tribunal will set a hearing date. This is an opportunity for interested parties to have input and make comments on the investigation report.