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:
- SACAT writes to the Office of the Public Advocate, setting out what needs to be investigated.
- The matter is allocated to an advocate/guardian to conduct an investigation.
- 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.
- The advocate/guardian writes a report and sends this to SACAT. The report forms one part of the evidence before the Tribunal.
- Sometimes people want to read the report or want a copy. SACAT consider these requests and decide who can have or read the report.
- The Tribunal will set a hearing date. This is an opportunity for interested parties to have input and make comments on the investigation report.