Freedom of information

Freedom of Information Part II Information Statement

 

Section 37A of the Racing Act 1958 (Racing Act) establishes the statutory position of the Racing Integrity Commissioner. In broad terms, the role of the Commissioner is to provide independent oversight of integrity matters across the Thoroughbred, Harness and Greyhound racing codes. In accordance with section 37D of the Racing Act, to enable the Commissioner to discharge his or her legislative functions and exercise his or her powers under the Racing Act, the Commissioner is supported by a staff of Department of Justice and Regulation employees.

 

Statement 1 - Organisation and functions

 

Organisation

 

The office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner commenced operation on 1 March 2010.

 

The staff of the Commissioner are employed under Part 3 of the Public Administration Act 2004 to enable the Commissioner to perform his or her functions and exercise his or her powers. While the Commissioner’s staff are employed by the Department of Justice and Regulation, staff are appointed by the Commissioner and, for the purposes of their work for the Commissioner, work independently of the Department.

 

The staff of the Commissioner comprise of the:

  • Manager, Investigations
  • Manager, Integrity Operations
  • Manager, Information and Intelligence
  • Manager, Policy and Projects
  • Executive Assistant to the Commissioner

 

All staff report directly to the Commissioner.

 

Functions

 

The Racing Act confers several functions on the Commissioner, which include to:

  • Conduct audits, including annual audits of each controlling body’s internal integrity processes and systems and additional audits when requested by a controlling body. This includes conducting audits of the internal animal welfare processes and systems of each controlling body to the extent that they relate to integrity in racing.
  • Undertake own motion inquiries, including of systemic issues in racing.
  • Investigate complaints about a controlling body’s integrity processes and systems and matters referred by the Minister for Racing or a controlling body.
  • Refer complaints as appropriate to specified organisations. This includes referring complaints to the relevant government agency when the complaint relates to the animal welfare processes and systems of a controlling body.
  • Report the findings of investigations into non-referred complaints to the complainant and the Minister or the relevant controlling body.
  • Make recommendations to the Minister or the relevant controlling body following the investigation of any complaint, inquiry or matter.
  • Direct a Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board to hear and determine an appeal against a penalty imposed in certain circumstances.

Full details of the functions of the Commissioner can be found in Part IA of the Racing Act, which is available at this website.

 

Members of the public or any person who has a complaint, information or enquiry can contact the Commissioner through any one or all of the following avenues:

 

Racing Integrity Commissioner:

PO Box 24034

Bourke Street

MELBOURNE VIC 3001

Telephone: 03 8684 7776

Facsimile: 03 8684 7778

Email: enquiries@racingintegrity.vic.gov.au (External link)

Website: www.racingintegrity.vic.gov.au (External link)

 

Members of the public or any person who has a complaint, information or enquiry who wish to remain anonymous to the Commissioner's office can report an integrity related issue within the Victorian Racing Industry via the Racing Integrity Hotline. This hotline is run by STOPline; an independent, confidential and impartial disclosure management service which allows individuals to report corrupt or improper conduct anonymously without the fear of reprisal. The details for the hotline are:

 

Racing Integrity Hotline:

Ph: 1300 227 225 (between 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday)

Facsimile: 03 9882 4480

Email: racingintegrity@stopline.com.au (External link)

Racing Integrity c/o STOPline

Locked Bag 8

Hawthorn VIC 3122

 

If requested, the identity of the caller will not be provided to the Commissioner or his or her office.

 

The Commissioner is required to provide an Annual Report to the Minister for Racing in relation to his or her powers and functions and any integrity-related issue he or she determines in the public interest by 30 September each year.

 

Statement 2 - Categories of documents

 

The Racing Integrity Commissioner and his or her office create a number of documents and records in the course of its work. Electronic records and case management systems are used to classify, store, access and manage those documents.

 

Documents held by the office of the Commissioner may include:

  • policies and procedures
  • audits
  • correspondence
  • case files
  • reports and surveys
  • registers
  • financial records
  • presentations
  • meeting records

 

The resources listed within the Freedom of Information Part II Statement provide a snapshot of the information that is available and is not an exhaustive representation.

 

Statement 3 - Freedom of Information arrangements

 

Under the Freedom of Information Act 1982, members of the public have the right to request access to documents about their personal affairs and the activities of the office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner.

 

Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 sets out the requirements for making an FOI request, including that the request must:

  • be in writing,
  • identify as clearly as possible which documents are being requested, and
  • be accompanied by the appropriate application fee (the fee may be waived in certain circumstances).

 

The office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner accepts payment of the application fee by cheque, made payable to the Department of Justice and Regulation.

 

Requests for documents in the possession of the office, enclosing a cheque for the application fee, should be addressed to:

 

Freedom of Information:

Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner

PO Box 24034

Bourke Street

MELBOURNE VIC 3001

 

It is the policy of this office that, in relation to FOI requests that relate to the applicant’s personal affairs, the applicant is to provide suitable identification prior to the application being processed.

 

Once a valid FOI request is received, it will be assessed under the FOI Act and a decision will be made on whether to release the document or whether an exemption under the FOI Act applies. The office may contact third parties to get their views on the release of their information as part of the process of determining whether or not to release documents in accordance with Freedom of Information Act 1982.

 

Access charges may also apply once documents have been processed and a decision on access is made, for example, photocopying and search and retrieval charges.

Further information may be found at the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (External link)

 

The resources listed within the Freedom of Information Part II Statements provide a snapshot of the information that is available and is not an exhaustive representation.

 

Statement 4 - Publications

 

The office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner produces a range of publications, which are available for free on the News & Publications (External link)section of this website.

 

The publications listed within the Freedom of Information Part II Statements provide a snapshot of the information that is available and is not an exhaustive representation.

 

Statement 5 - Rules, policies and procedures

 

The position of the Racing Integrity Commissioner is governed by the Racing Act.

 

In addition to the Racing Act, the Commissioner must adhere to the following legislation, regulations & rules:

 

  • Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006
  • Constitution Act 1975
  • sections 14, 15, 16 and 21A of the Evidence (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1958 (repealed), as referred to in section 37BA(1) of the Racing Act
  • Freedom of Information Act 1982
  • Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission Act 2011
  • Ombudsman Act 1973
  • Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Parts 1, 2, 3, schedules 1 and 7)
  • Protected Disclosure Act 2012
  • Public Records Act 1973
  • Public Administration Act 2004 (other than Part 3 of that Act)

 

The office cannot receive disclosures under the Protected Disclosures Act 2012. Disclosures of ‘improper conduct’ or ‘detrimental action’ (as defined by the Protected Disclosures Act 2012) by the Commissioner or his or her staff should be made to the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (the IBAC) at:

 

The IBAC:

Level 1, 459 Collins Street (North Tower)

Melbourne VIC 3000

 

More information about making a protected disclosure is available on the IBAC website (External link) (External link).

 

Alternatively, disclosures of ‘improper conduct’ or ‘detrimental action’ (as defined by the Protected Disclosures Act 2012) by the Commissioner’s staff should be made to:

Damien O’Shea

Protected Disclosure Coordinator

Department of Justice and Regulation

Level 24, 121 Exhibition Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

 

The resources listed within the Freedom of Information Part II Statements provide a snapshot of the information that is available and is not an exhaustive representation.

 

Statement 6 - Report literature

 

The Racing Integrity Commissioner publishes reports available to the public on this website, free of charge in the News & Publications section of this website.

 

Under section 11 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982, the Commissioner must make a range of documents available for inspection or purchase. This includes final reports available to the public and records of decisions relating to policy and the administration of policy.

 

 

Other literature

 

A search of the website including Annual Reports may provide details of these types of documents.

 

A summary of the results of the surveys undertaken annually by the Commissioner are provided each year in our Annual Report (External link).

 

Documents not available on our website can be requested from:

 

Freedom of Information:

Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner

PO Box 24034

Bourke Street

MELBOURNE VIC 3001

 

The resources listed within the Freedom of Information Part II Statements provide a snapshot of the information that is available and is not an exhaustive representation.

 

 

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