Commission initiated complaints

Section 48 of the HRC Act provides the Commission with the power to on its own initiative consider:

  • an act or service that appears to the commission to be an act or service about which a person could make, but has not made, a complaint under this Act; or
  • a children and young people service complaint
  • a disability service complaint
  • a complaint about services for older people
  • a health services complaint
  • any other matter related to the commission’s functions.

The Commissioner may initiate a complaint where

  • the complainant has withdrawn the complaint for any reason but the commission is satisfied that it is in the public interest to consider the complaint
  • The complaint appears to reveal a systemic problem about an activity or a service
  • the complaint, if substantiated, raises a significant issue for the ACT, or an issue of public safety.
  • It may be possible for action in relation to the complaint to be taken under another Act if the complaint is substantiated by, for example, reporting a health professional to a health profession board or making an application for an occupation discipline order in relation to the health professional to the ACAT
  • If the complaint raises systemic issues, or may significantly affect an individual;
  • If the complaint raises serious public safety or other public interest issues;
  • The detriment potentially suffered by a complainant or respondent if the Commission elected to take such action;
  • The group affected is particularly vulnerable eg children, detainees or persons with severe disability.

The Commissioner can make recommendations arising from a CIC or a matter may be able to be resolved through negotiation.