Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

2015-16 Annual Report

2015-16 Annual Report

Download a full PDF version of the 2015-16 CDPP Annual Report.

Contents

Letter of Transmittal

28 September 2016
Attorney-General
Senator the Hon George Brandis QC
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Dear Attorney-General

I am pleased to present the annual report for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) for the year ended 30 June 2016.

Section 46 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 requires the Director of Public Prosecutions to prepare a report to the Attorney‑General regarding the CDPP’s operations during the year.

This report has been prepared in accordance with section 63(1) of the Public Service Act 1999, which requires me to provide this report to you for presentation to the Parliament. It reflects the Requirements for annual reports for non-corporate Commonwealth entities (August 2016) as approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit.

In addition, I certify that the CDPP has prepared a fraud risk assessment and fraud control plan that complies with the requirements of the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework 2014, and specifically section 10(b) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014. We have robust fraud prevention, detection, investigation, reporting and data collection procedures and processes in place that align with the principles outlined in the Australian National Audit Office Better Practice Guide on Fraud Control in Australian Government Entities, 2011. We have taken all reasonable measures to minimise the potential incidence of fraud in the CDPP and to enable effective investigation and recovery of proceeds of any fraud against the CDPP.

Yours sincerely

Sarah McNaughton SC
Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Australia’s Federal Prosecution Service

Contributing to a fair and just Australia

Programme

An independent service to prosecute alleged offences against the criminal law of the Commonwealth, in appropriate matters, in a manner which is fair and just and to ensure that offenders, where appropriate, are deprived of the proceeds and benefits of criminal activity.

Prosecuting crimes against Commonwealth law for more than 30 years

Outcome

Maintenance of law and order for the Australian community through an independent and ethical prosecution service in accordance with the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth.

Targets

Partner agency satisfaction with CDPP service delivery: 90%.

  • Achieved 83% in the inaugural survey

Compliance in addressing the terms of the test for prosecution in the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth: 100%

  • Target met

Prosecutions resulting in a conviction:90%

  • Target exceeded 97%

Summary of performance 2015–16 at a glance

We work closely with partner agencies to bring cases to a close through effective prosecution

  • we worked with 45 investigative agencies
  • received 3252 briefs of evidence
  • received briefs from 43 investigative agencies across the nation
  • 16% referrals from State/Territory agencies
  • 84% referrals from Commonwealth agencies
  • 5,011 matters before the court
  • average of 417 matters per month
  • average of 96 matters per week
  • 2,403 prosecutions resulted in a conviction
  • 1,154 defendants sentenced to imprisonment
  • 3,029 cases were closed

Publication details

Annual report contact details
For enquiries regarding the content in this report, please contact:
CDPP Communications Team
T: 02 6206 5666
E: communications@cdpp.gov.au
W: www.cdpp.gov.au/publications
© Commonwealth of Australia 2016

This copyright work is made available for your use under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence, with the exception of the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) logo, photographs and where otherwise stated. Details of this licence are available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au.

The performance information in this report reflects achievements during 2015–16, and the status of legal matters described is accurate as at 23 September 2016.

Attributing CDPP material

Use of CDPP material under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia licence requires you to attribute the work (but not in any way that suggests that the CDPP endorses you or your use of the work).

If you have not modified or changed CDPP material in any way, the CDPP prefers the following attribution:

  • Sourced from the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions Annual Report 2015–16. This material is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.’

If you adapt this work in any way or include it in a collection, and publish, distribute or otherwise disseminate that adaptation or collection to the public, the following attribution should be used:

  • ‘Based on the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions Annual Report 2015–16, which is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.’

Use of the Coat of Arms

The terms under which the Coat of Arms can be used are detailed on the ‘It’s an Honour’ website at www.itsanhonour.gov.au/coat-arms/index.cfm

ISSN: 1034-3318

Acknowledgements

Typesetting: New Age Graphics

Editing: Cinden Lester Communications www.clcomms.com.au

Printing: CanPrint Communications www.canprint.com.au

An electronic version of this report is available on our website: www.cdpp.gov.au

Director's review

Sarah McNaughton

Introduction

I am delighted to present the Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) 2015–16 Annual Report—my first as Director.

Transformation, innovation and renewal were key themes for the CDPP this year The Office experienced considerable change including the appointment of the Commonwealth Solicitor for Public Prosecutions, the appointment of former Director, Robert Bromwich SC, to the distinguished position of Justice of the Federal Court of Australia, and the commencement of my five year term as Director.

Since joining the Office on 16 May 2016 I have experienced first-hand the commitment, integrity and professionalism of our staff. Their hard work and dedication has resulted in excellent performance results, including exceeding the target for prosecutions resulting in a conviction—97 per cent against a target of 90 per cent.

Our performance results are testament to the collective effort of staff, our commitment to strengthening our working relationships with partner agencies, embedding our national practice model and adequately resourcing and funding our work.

The modernisation of the systems and processes that support our prosecution service initiated by my predecessor, Robert Bromwich SC is a process I intend to continue through an ongoing and sustained commitment to innovation and continuous improvement.

I look forward to realising lasting change by aligning our effort to establish a truly national prosecution model, alongside positive cultural change and a commitment to ongoing improvement. With this proactive national vision, I believe we will be well positioned to adapt, innovate and evolve in response to our ever-changing operating environment.

Commonwealth Solicitor for Public Prosecutions

Supporting me in my efforts and sharing my vision is Commonwealth Solicitor for Public Prosecutions, Mark Pedley. Mark re-joined the Office on 12 October 2015, having previously worked at the CDPP at its inception in 1984 as a prosecutor.

As a key member of the leadership team, Mark has taken carriage of strategic initiatives focused on organisational transformation, developing a costing model and improving our prosecution process and partner agency relations. He also acted in the position of Director between March and May 2016 to advance these important initiatives.

Funding our future

Funding our work adequately to respond to the changing volume and complexity of criminal activity is essential. Referrals vary from year-to-year, with 3,252 referrals received from 43 partner agencies in 2015–16.

The variability in workload can affect our capacity to assess matters within acceptable timeframes, given our modest budget. To help address this we are working with the Department of Finance and the Attorney-General’s Department to establish a costing model. This model will help us more accurately predict the impact of new policy proposals, participation in cross-agency taskforces, and the prosecution of emerging crime types on our workload.

The trigger for the development of the model was the receipt of an additional $10 million net in funding for counter-terrorism prosecutions as part of the Australian Government’s National Security Programme—a key programme that had important resource implications for the Office.

We also received extra funding for Centrelink prosecutions and participation in the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce—a multi-agency taskforce focused on high priority serious financial crimes.

With the additional workload, we have taken steps to size our workforce appropriately to ensure the skills and knowledge of our Federal Prosecutors match the complexity of the crimes we are prosecuting. This realignment of resources to match our prosecutions is underpinned by our workforce planning framework, and has resulted in a significant increase in new Federal Prosecutors joining the CDPP to tackle the high volume of fraud-related work.

A new generation of lawyers

It has been a privilege to welcome 42 Federal Prosecutors to our ranks during 2015–16, a trend set to continue in 2016–17. These lawyers have, in my opinion, secured one of the best legal jobs in the country. While the work of a Federal Prosecutor is both challenging and rewarding, importantly it is an opportunity to make a real difference—to achieve fair and just outcomes and build public confidence in the Australian justice system.

To support our new Federal Prosecutors to become familiar with Commonwealth criminal law, the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth and our prosecution processes and procedures, we launched a new tailored induction programme in May 2016. This programme was designed to connect Federal Prosecutors to the people, training, resources and support networks they need to excel in their position. I am particularly proud of this initiative to better enable staff to contribute from the outset—to thrive personally and deliver professionally—essential for a rewarding and fulfilling legal career.

Leadership capability

As new Federal Prosecutors join our organisation we have been acutely aware of the importance of building leadership capability as a means of establishing a strong culture of inclusion, innovation, collaboration, support and mentorship.

A tailored leadership programme enabled managers from across the organisation to build their leadership capability through guest speaker forums, group projects and individual coaching.

This practical, action-orientated leadership programme has challenged managers to assess their individual capabilities with a view to embedding learnings and advancing their leadership capability. Details of the programme and the benefits we are now realising for the agency are on page 110.

People and performance

Our commitment to learning and professional development is well recognised, with our professionalism, knowledge, and advice highly regarded by partner agencies.

In May 2016, we launched our inaugural Stakeholder Business Satisfaction Survey. Introduced as a new performance measure as part of our 2015–16 Corporate Plan, the biennial survey will measure partner agency satisfaction across a range of prosecution service dimensions including timeliness, relevance, responsiveness, communication and knowledge.

We achieved an overall satisfaction score of 83 per cent in this first survey, just under the stretch target of 90 per cent set by our Executive Leadership Group. The survey has not only established a baseline to track satisfaction levels into the future, but has also established a robust and repeatable methodology to assess partner agency satisfaction.

It was especially pleasing to see that professionalism, commitment, knowledge and trust of staff received satisfaction ratings above 90 per cent, proving that investing in our people directly impacts our performance.

We also rated well for legal advice and legal representation before the courts—core aspects of our work. A detailed analysis of results is provided on page 108.

These results are not only a reflection of the professionalism of our lawyers but also the essential support services delivered by the corporate areas of the Office.

Driving better outcomes through partner agency engagement

Engagement with partner agencies is one of the keys to the successful operation of the Office, and occurs at every level of the organisation. Since joining the Office I have met with counterparts in our top referring agencies, started to seek feedback from the Courts on where we can improve, and participated in productive meetings about law reform, improving the conduct of complex criminal matters, and enhancing partner engagement. I have also been reinforcing the importance of high quality regular communication between our lawyers and our partner agencies.

Together with our partner agencies, we are working towards increased digitisation of our work. I am pleased to note the increased agency engagement and growing momentum in relation to this important programme.

I would like to thank our partner agencies for their warm welcome and their ongoing efforts to improve their processes to deliver thorough and effective briefs of evidence for the CDPP to assess and prosecute.

Prosecution outcomes and appeals

As Director I take an active interest in the many cases prosecuted by the Office and intend to continue to actively practice with a focus on appellate work.

It has been a significant year for complex litigation and our results reflect the capability of our staff to achieve results.

With 3,029 cases brought to a close, there are many matters that stand out including:

  • R v Steven Hui XIAO (New South Wales, 11 March 2016)—involved the largest ever sentence handed down for insider trading in Australia.
  • R v McCoole (South Australia, 7 August 2015); The Queen v Graham (Victoria, 17 March 2016)—involved convictions for two administrators of child pornography websites, with significant sentences imposed in each matter, including imprisonment of 35 years and 15.5 years, respectively.
  • R v Hamdi ALQUDSI (New South Wales, 1 September 2016)—involved a conviction on charges relating to assisting Australians to fight with terrorist groups overseas. Prior to his conviction, Alqudsi was unsuccessful before the High Court in challenging the validity of the charge as well as the inability to be tried before a judge without a jury.

The diversity and complexity of our legal work is a feature of the national practice group Practice Group reports from page 40.

Victims of crime

Increasingly the Office is dealing with matters involving victims of crime—this is particularly the case for crimes involving human exploitation. The Office remains sensitive to the needs of victims or witnesses and we have established a triage process to ensure prompt referrals to our Witness Assistance Service where appropriate.

The Witness Assistance Service is staffed by experienced social workers who inform, guide and support victims or witnesses through the process. During 2015–16, lawyers and legal administrative support staff received training covering our obligations to victims and witnesses. As Director, I will continue to take a keen interest in the journey of victims and witnesses through the prosecution process. Through the work of our in-house Witness Assistance Service I am confident our most vulnerable victims and witnesses will be guided and supported thoughtfully.

Educating the community

Case reports, media releases and ongoing dialogue with national media outlets remain the primary channels to promote prosecution outcomes. This is an effective way to educate the community about our role in the criminal justice system and highlight the consequences of committing crimes against the Commonwealth.

We review the matters we bring to a close to ensure a representative sample of cases are reported to deter potential offenders and build public confidence in the CDPP as an essential member of the Australian justice system.

To support this effort we launched our new website in October 2015, and we are developing a new secure Partner Agency Portal and CDPP intranet to enable and support the work of partner agencies and Federal Prosecutors respectively.

Looking ahead

It is an exciting time for the Office. We are on the cusp of implementing and advancing many initiatives designed to drive productivity, build knowledge and capacity, and strengthen our dynamic and positive workplace culture.

In the year ahead, we will:

  • implement a proven and trusted costing model to inform Government about the impact of new policy proposals
  • modernise systems and processes, including delivering new devices and processes to enable legal staff to work remotely
  • deliver a National Advocacy Training Programme to upskill staff and build in-house expertise
  • actively participate in cross-agency taskforces, including the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce
  • launch a new secure Partner Agency Portal to communicate with partner agencies and provide timely resources to support their time-critical work
  • complete Enterprise Bargaining to confirm the conditions of employment for our staff.

I look forward to continuing to advance the work of the Office and working alongside my colleagues to contribute to a fair, safe and just society through the CDPP’s effective, independent prosecution services.

Sarah McNaughton SC
Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

“Transformation, innovation and renewal were key themes this year for the Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.” Sarah McNaughton SC

Chapter 1: Overview

About us

The Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) is an independent prosecution service established by parliament to prosecute alleged offences against Commonwealth law.

The CDPP was established under the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1983 (DPP Act) and began operations on 5 March 1984.

We are a Commonwealth statutory agency with 417 staff working in offices in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Darwin, Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns.

While the CDPP is within the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s portfolio, we operate independently of the Attorney-General and the political process.

On 28 January 2016 the Attorney-General sought approval from the Minister for Finance to change the CDPP’s outcome statement. The change reflects the key strategic themes in the CDPP Corporate Plan 2015–16 to 2018–19. The previous wording could be taken to mean that the CDPP is solely accountable for maintaining law and order for the Australian community.

Our outcome

Contribute to a fair, safe and just society by delivering an effective, independent prosecution service in accordance with the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth.

By achieving this outcome, we build effective relationships with partner agencies, bring cases to a close through effective prosecutions, and build public confidence in the Australian justice system—where the laws of the Commonwealth are respected, offenders are brought to justice and potential offenders are deterred.

Our aim

To be fair, consistent and professional in everything we do—recognising, valuing and developing the knowledge, skills and commitment of our people as they deliver Australia’s Federal Prosecution Service.

This aim ensures we invest in and build the capability of our people, and support their effort through the modernisation of our systems, process and practices. It demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement and innovation to evolve our prosecution service, in step with the expectations of partner agencies and the broader community.

Our strategic themes

Our strategic themes focus and direct our effort.

1: Our service

Providing an efficient, effective, ethical and appropriate Commonwealth prosecution service delivery.

2: Our people

Investing in our people.

3: Our partners

Engaging proactively and effectively with partner agencies and stakeholders.

Australia’s Federal Prosecution Service

Our role

We serve the public interest by maintaining effective working relationships with Commonwealth law enforcement agencies. We prosecute a diverse range of matters reflecting the evolving and expanding nature of offences against Commonwealth law. Our prosecutions are often complex and feature international transactions and overseas evidence, reflecting the often global nature of Commonwealth offending.

As we have no investigative function, we can only prosecute where there has been an investigation by another agency. We rely on investigative agencies to provide briefs of evidence and work closely with them to prepare and present cases in court, including requisitioning additional evidence.

Matters we prosecute include terrorism, serious drug offences, money laundering, human trafficking and slavery, people smuggling, child exploitation, cybercrime, revenue and benefit fraud, corporate and commercial offending, regulatory non-compliance, public and workplace safety, environmental crimes, corruption, unlawful disclosure of information, copyright offences, perjury, and failing to vote.

In addition, we provide legal advice to Commonwealth investigators and apply for superannuation forfeiture orders under Commonwealth law.

We make decisions independently of those responsible for the investigation of federal offences.

Jurisdiction

We undertake legal work in every Australian state and territory, across every level of court. We are also responsible for prosecuting offences against the laws of Jervis Bay and Australia’s external territories, other than Norfolk Island. In addition, we take action to confiscate the proceeds of crime following conviction.

Partner agencies

We work with 45 partner agencies. Of those, 43 referred briefs of evidence in 2015–16.

We continued to work within the national practice model that we established in 2014 to enhance the delivery of our services. This national approach has enabled us to harness the expertise of our staff to prosecute particular categories of crime consistently, efficiently and effectively across all jurisdictions. Importantly, this approach has enabled the Office to become agile, able to adapt and change as required.

Partner agencies include Commonwealth investigative agencies, Australian Federal Police, and state and territory police. This year our top referring agencies, representing almost 85 per cent of all cases referred, were:

  • Department of Human Services
  • Australian Federal Police
  • state and territory police
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Australian Border Force
  • Australian Financial Security Authority.

National legal practice

In response to the matters referred by partner agencies, our work is divided into national practice groups, based on categories of crimes:

  • Commercial, Financial and Corruption
  • Revenue and Benefits Fraud
  • International Assistance and Specialist Agencies
  • Organised Crime and Counter-Terrorism
  • Illegal Imports and Exports
  • Human Exploitation and Border Protection.

Matters are assigned to specialist staff within our practice groups, which are located in offices across Australia. In smaller offices, it is common for prosecutors to work across a range of practice groups, demonstrating the flexibility of the national model.

The crime types prosecuted by each practice group are described from page 40.

Each group is led by a Deputy Director who has responsibility for:

  • the prosecutions conducted by the practice group across Australia
  • national liaison and delivery of prosecution services in relation to the practice group
  • policy development for issues that concern the practice group
  • the CDPP’s contribution to law reform in relation to the crime types prosecuted by each practice group.

During 2015–16, we established a National Business Improvement Practice Group to advance our approach to legal learning and professional development, national standards and improvements in our processes, policy and legislative reform, and stakeholder engagement. The Deputy Director of this new practice group also leads the International Assistance and Specialist Agencies Practice Group. For more information about the National Business Improvement Practice Group, refer to page 106.

Our legal practice groups are supported by dedicated corporate services focused on people, finance, specialist legal administrative support, library and research services, records management, internal audit, governance, communications, and information technology.

For more information about the Practice Group Deputy Directors, and the role of the Chief Corporate Officer, refer to page 96.

The work of each practice group during 2015–16 is reported from page 40, and information on corporate services is provided from page 110.

Prosecution services

The prosecution process is well-defined. Each practice group provides a range of prosecution services to assist partner agencies and improve prosecution outcomes. These services are aligned with every step of the prosecution process—from pre-brief advice and brief assessments to prosecutions before the courts, appeals and case-reviews. We also encourage tailored training and secondments to exchange and build capability and drive improvements in the prosecution process.

More information about our prosecution services is on page 36.

The way we work

Directions or guidelines to the Director

The Commonwealth Attorney-General has power under section 8 of the DPP Act to issue directions or guidelines to the Director. Directions or guidelines must be in writing and tabled in Parliament, and there must be prior consultation between the Attorney-General and the Director. Only seven directions have been issued in more than 30 years, with none issued during the reporting period.

The CDPP is bound by directions or guidelines issued by the Attorney-General, but we operate independently and, on a day-to-day basis, our work is guided by the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth.

The Prosecution Policy

The Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth applies to all Commonwealth prosecutions. It outlines the principles, factors and considerations our prosecutors must take into account in prosecuting offences against the laws of the Commonwealth.

This policy underpins our decisions throughout the prosecution process and promotes consistency in decision-making. It is available on our website at
www.cdpp.gov.au.

Two-stage test

The Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth provides a two-stage test that must be satisfied before a prosecution commences:

  1. There must be sufficient evidence to prosecute the case.
  2. It must be evident from the facts of the case, and all the surrounding circumstances, that the prosecution would be in the public interest.

In determining whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute a case, we must be satisfied that there is prima facie evidence of the elements of the offence, and a reasonable prospect of obtaining a conviction.

In making this decision, our prosecutors must evaluate how strong the case is likely to be when presented in court. They must take into account matters such as the availability, competence and credibility of witnesses, their likely effect on the arbiter of fact, and the admissibility of any alleged confession or other evidence. They also consider any lines of defence open to the alleged offender and any other factors that could affect the likelihood of a conviction.

In addition, our prosecutors need to consider if any evidence might be excluded by a court. If that evidence is crucial to the case, this may substantially affect the decision whether or not to prosecute. Our prosecutors need to look beneath the surface of the evidence in a matter, particularly in borderline cases.

Once satisfied there is sufficient evidence to justify starting or continuing with a prosecution, our prosecutors then consider whether pursuing a prosecution is in the public interest. This involves assessing all provable facts and surrounding circumstances.

Public interest factors vary from case-to-case and may include:

  • whether the offence is serious or trivial
  • mitigating or aggravating circumstances
  • the youth, age, intelligence, physical health, mental health or special vulnerability of the alleged offender, witness or victim
  • the alleged offender’s antecedents and background
  • the passage of time since the alleged offence
  • the availability and efficacy of any alternatives to prosecution
  • the prevalence of the alleged offence and the need for general and personal deterrence
  • the attitude of the victim
  • the need to give effect to regulatory or punitive imperatives
  • the likely outcome in the event of a finding of guilt.

All relevant factors are contained in the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth.

Generally, the more serious the alleged offence, the more likely the public interest will require us to pursue a prosecution. The decision to prosecute must be made impartially and must not be influenced by any inappropriate reference to race, religion, sex, national origin or political association. The decision to prosecute must not be influenced by any political advantage or disadvantage to the government.

In February 2016 we introduced Annexure D of the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth. This Annexure clarifies the provision of an undertaking related to an accomplice whose evidence is required against an alleged co-offender, and who has been prosecuted, and where it is not proposed they be prosecuted further. This situation was not previously addressed in the policy.

Compliance with the prosecution test

In November 2015 we introduced a new performance metric designed to assess our compliance in addressing the two-stage test for prosecutions in the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth.

We measure compliance at selected stages of the prosecution process, based on a sampling of cases and certification by the relevant CDPP case officer or supervisor that we have complied with the test for prosecution—in other words, that there is a prima facie case, reasonable prospects of a conviction, and that prosecution is required in the public interest.

Since introducing this new performance metric, we have achieved 100 per cent compliance. We are developing further mechanisms to assess compliance with the measure. These mechanisms, and the selected stages of the prosecution when we assess compliance, will remain under review.

For more information about our performance metrics and results, refer to page 25.

Social justice and equity

We advance the interests of social justice and equity by working with partner agencies to enforce criminal law for the benefit of the community. We recognise the importance of adopting the highest professional and ethical standards in prosecutions and in seeking orders under proceeds of crime legislation.

We work to ensure that alleged offenders and other people affected by the criminal justice process are treated fairly. To support our contribution to the criminal justice system, we take action to promote and maintain an organisational culture that values fairness, equity and respect. We expect conduct from our employees that reflects high ethical standards. We have issued Guidelines on Official Conduct for CDPP employees, setting out the ethical standards expected of them. All CDPP employees have signed a copy of this document.

Victims and witnesses

It is important in all prosecution action that victims are treated with courtesy, dignity and respect.

We have implemented a Victims of Crime Policy to guide and support victims and witnesses through the prosecution process.

We recognise that, in matters where there is a victim, that person has an important role in the prosecution process. We do not act on behalf of a victim as private sector solicitors act for their clients. Rather, in carrying out our functions, we act on behalf of the whole community. The role of the victim in the prosecution depends on the circumstances of the case.

In addition to establishing effective processes and procedures linked to the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth, we have a dedicated and valued Witness Assistance Service to support the most vulnerable victims and witnesses involved in the matters we prosecute.

We require that all identifiable child victims and victims of slavery, sexual servitude and forced marriage offences be referred to the Witness Assistance Service. This ensures the most vulnerable victims of Commonwealth crime are treated in an appropriate and consistent manner.

For more information about this service, refer to page 52.

Links with state and territory Directors of Public Prosecutions

We have arrangements with each Director of Public Prosecutions in Australia concerning procedures for conducting trials that involve both Commonwealth and state or territory offences.

The CDPP can prosecute indictable offences against state and territory laws where our Director holds an authority to do so under the laws of the relevant jurisdiction. In addition, our Director can conduct committal proceedings and summary prosecutions for offences against state and territory law where a Commonwealth officer is the informant.

Liaison between Commonwealth and state prosecuting authorities occurs at both the national and regional level. The Conference of Australian Directors of Public Prosecutions is a forum for Directors to discuss best practice in prosecuting, professional standards, training and liaison.

Another valuable forum is the National Executive Officers’ Meeting of the heads of legal practice and corporate services of Commonwealth, state and territory prosecution services. Through this forum we share information and discuss the management of prosecuting agencies.

Chapter 2: Performance

Annual Performance Statements

Every Commonwealth entity subject to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) is required to produce annual performance statements. Annual performance statements are intended to be the key location for all public data on the actual performance of an entity in a reporting period. The content in the statements, particularly the matters that entities must include in their statements, are set out in Section 16F of the PGPA Rule.

The CDPP Annual Performance Statements for 2015–16 follows.

1. Statement of Preparation

I, Sarah McNaughton SC, as the accountable authority of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, present the 2015–16 annual performance statements of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, as required under paragraph 39(1)(a) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). In my opinion, the annual performance statements are based on properly maintained records, accurately reflect the performance of the entity, and comply with subsection 39(2) of the PGPA Act.

Sarah McNaughton SC Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

2. Results

Table 1: Annual Performance Statements

Activity title or description

Performance measurement methodology

Targets, goals and measures

Results achieved

Compliance in addressing the terms of the test for prosecution in the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth—namely existence of a prima facie case, reasonable prospects of conviction and that prosecution is required in the public interest—when deciding to commence or continue a prosecution.

Source: CDPP Corporate Plan 2015–16

Data mining through internal audit/compliance framework.

Sample checking of procedural documentation and authorisation, underpinned by monthly executive oversight and exception reporting.

100% compliance with the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth.

100%

For more information refer to page 19.

Partner agency satisfaction with CDPP service delivery.

Source: CDPP Corporate Plan 2015–16

Biennial surveys: quantitative and qualitative evidence of partner agency satisfaction with CDPP service delivery characteristics including timeliness, relevance to partner agency business, responsiveness and level of communication.

90% of partner agencies rate themselves as satisfied or very satisfied with CDPP service delivery.

83%

For more information refer to page 108.

Prosecutions resulting in a conviction.

Source: CDPP Corporate Plan 2015–16

Quantitative indicator obtained through data mining.

The conviction/finding of guilt rate is calculated by taking the number of defendants convicted as a percentage of defendants convicted or acquitted. The calculation does not include defendants where the CDPP discontinued the prosecution against them in its entirety or where a prosecution has commenced and the defendant failed to appear before a court. It does include findings of guilt that do not result in a conviction.

90% of prosecutions resulting in a conviction.

97%

For more information refer to page 26.

3. Analysis

Compliance in addressing the terms of the test for prosecution in the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth

This new performance measure has been in place since 1 November 2015. We measure compliance at selected stages of the prosecution process, based on sampling of cases and certification by the relevant CDPP case officer or supervisor that we have complied with the test for prosecution in the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth. The test is that there is a prima facie case, reasonable prospects of a conviction, and that prosecution is required in the public interest. Since introducing this new performance measure we have achieved 100 per cent compliance at the selected stages. We are developing further mechanisms to assess compliance with this measure. These mechanisms, and the selected stages of the prosecution when we assess compliance will remain under review.

Partner agency satisfaction with CDPP service delivery

Understanding partner agency perceptions of the CDPP across a range of service areas provides valuable insights that help shape and improve our processes, procedures and performance. To align with the introduction of the biennial satisfaction survey in 2015–16, we set a partner agency satisfaction target of 90 per cent and achieved a satisfaction rating of 83 per cent (based on a 60 per cent response rate). While this result fell slightly short of the target, it captured valuable feedback to help us to meet the target in the future.

Prosecutions resulting in a conviction

We have consistently exceeded our 90 per cent target for this measure. This year’s result of 97 per cent was achieved through the commitment and hard work of staff in response to the enforcement activities of partner agencies.

We will continue to collaborate with partner agencies to develop effective means of measuring our collective performance in contributing to a fair, safe and just society, where the laws of the Commonwealth are respected and maintained, and there is public confidence in the justice system.

Our performance in relation to the number of defendants dealt with in court, together with ongoing matters, is included in the following prosecution statistics.

Prosecution statistics

During the year, 3,029 cases were closed in addition to ongoing matters. The cases were referred by 43 Commonwealth investigative agencies, as well as state and territory agencies.

The following tables set out details of prosecutions we conducted in 2015–16.

Table 2: Outcomes of successful prosecutions in 2015–16

Description

Number

Defendants convicted of offences prosecuted summarily

1,795

Defendants convicted of offences prosecuted on indictment

608

Defendants committed for trial or sentence

652

Table 3: Summary prosecutions in 2015–16

Description

Number

Defendants convicted after a plea of guilty

1,743

Defendants convicted after a plea of not guilty

52

Total defendants convicted

1,795

Defendants acquitted after a plea of not guilty

29

Total

1,824

Table 4: Committals in 2015–16

Description

Number

Defendants committed after a plea of guilty

345

Defendants committed after a plea of not guilty

307

Total defendants committed

652

Defendants discharged after a plea of not guilty

2

Total

654

Table 5: Prosecutions on indictment in 2015–16

Description

Number

Defendants convicted after a plea of guilty

517

Defendants convicted after a plea of not guilty

91

Total defendants convicted

608

Defendants acquitted after a plea of not guilty

41

Total

649

Table 6: Prosecution appeals against sentence in 2015–16

Appeal type

Outcome

Summary

Indictable

Appeals against sentence

Upheld

1

11

 

Dismissed

3

3

Total

 

4

14

Table 7: Defence appeals in 2015–16

Appeal type

Outcome

Summary

Indictable

Against conviction only

Upheld

8

2

 

Dismissed

3

7

Against sentence only

Upheld

53

13

 

Dismissed

16

27

Against conviction and sentence

Upheld

2

2

 

Dismissed

5

8

Total

 

87

59

Prosecution performance indicators 2015–16

In 2015–16, we met all the following prosecution performance indicators:

  • prosecutions resulting in a conviction
  • defendants in defended summary hearings resulting in a conviction
  • defendants in defended committals resulting in a committal order
  • defendants tried on indictment and convicted
  • prosecution sentence appeals in a prosecution on indictment upheld.

However, we did not meet the following prosecution performance indicator:

  • prosecution sentence appeals in summary prosecutions upheld.

This outcome was affected by the small numbers of appeals involved—there were four prosecution sentence appeals in summary prosecutions.

Table 8: Prosecution performance indicators for 2015–16, national totals

Description

Target

Outcome

Number successful (total)

Prosecutions resulting in a conviction*

90%

97%

2,403 (2,473)

Defendants in defended summary hearings resulting in conviction

60%

64%

52
(81)

Defendants in defended committals resulting in a committal order

80%

99%

307
(309)

Defendants tried on indictment and convicted

60%

69%

91
(132)

Prosecution sentence appeals in a prosecution on indictment upheld

60%

77%

10
(13)

Prosecution sentence appeals in summary prosecutions upheld

60%

25%

1
(4)

*The conviction rate is calculated by taking the number of defendants convicted as a percentage of defendants convicted or acquitted. The calculation does not include defendants where the CDPP discontinued the prosecution against them in its entirety or where a prosecution has commenced and the defendant failed to appear before a court.

Table 9: Prosecution performance indicators for 2014–15 and 2015–16

Description

Target

2014–15**

2015–16

Prosecutions resulting in a conviction*

90%

98%

97%

Defendants in defended summary hearings resulting in conviction

60%

77%

64%

Defendants in defended committals resulting in a committal order

80%

99%

99%

Defendants tried on indictment and convicted

60%

70%

69%

Prosecution sentence appeals in a prosecution on indictment upheld

60%

68%

77%

Prosecution sentence appeals in summary prosecutions upheld

60%

67%

25%

*The conviction rate is calculated by taking the number of defendants convicted as a percentage of defendants convicted or acquitted. The calculation does not include defendants where the CDPP discontinued the prosecution against them in its entirety or where a prosecution has commenced and the defendant failed to appear before a court.

**The number of cases on which the percentages were calculated is published in our 2014–15 Annual Report. The report is available on our website at www.cdpp.gov.au.

Statistics about relevant legislation and partner agencies

We receive the most referrals from the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Department of Human Services, the Australian Taxation Office, Australian Border Force, and Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

Certain agencies conduct summary prosecutions for straightforward regulatory offences by arrangement with the CDPP. In some cases, this includes a state or territory agency conducting a Commonwealth prosecution, usually for reasons of convenience.

In 2015–16:

  • The Australian Taxation Office conducted more than 1,900 prosecutions of more than 1,500 individuals and 400 companies. Fines, costs and reparation orders totalling more than $11.6 million were imposed.
  • The Australian Securities and Investments Commission prosecuted 410 defendants for 936 offences. Fines and costs totalling more than $1.4 million were imposed.
  • The Australian Electoral Commission issued 477 summonses in relation to the Canning by-election. Of these, 19 were discontinued, 181 were proven and resulted in a conviction, 2 were proven but did not result in a conviction and 275 are still to be heard. Of the matters successfully prosecuted, fines totalling $12,790 and costs totalling $19,444 were imposed by the courts.
  • The following tables provide statistics covering relevant legislation and partner agencies in relation to matters dealt with in 2015–16.

In 2015–16 we received briefs of evidence from 43 Commonwealth investigative agencies.

Table 10: Legislation under which charges were dealt with in 2015–16

Legislation

Summary (charges)

Indictable (charges)

Airports (Control of On-Airport Activities) Regulations 1997

6

0

Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006

9

45

Australian Citizenship Act 2007

11

0

Australian Federal Police Act 1979

1

2

Australian Passports Act 2005

25

4

Aviation Transport Security Act 2004

6

0

Aviation Transport Security Regulations 2005

15

0

Bankruptcy Act 1966

199

5

Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988

40

0

Civil Aviation Act 1988

38

0

Civil Aviation Regulations 1988

67

0

Civil Aviation Safety Regulations 1998

6

0

Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918

26

0

Competition and Consumer Act 2010

3

0

Copyright Act 1968

185

7

Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006

18

0

Corporations Act 2001

41

137

Crimes (Aviation) Act 1991

37

3

Crimes (Currency) Act 1981

56

8

Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act 1978

0

7

Crimes Act 1914

38

27

Criminal Code

3,570

2,284

Customs Act 1901

220

80

Defence Act 1903

1

0

Defence Force Regulations 1952

3

0

Environment Protection (Sea Dumping) Act 1981

1

0

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

45

66

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000

24

0

Excise Act 1901

0

2

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

0

3

Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988

8

13

Fisheries Management Act 1991

129

0

Foreign Passports (Law Enforcement and Security) Act 2005

5

1

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975

42

0

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983

22

0

Health Insurance Act 1973

117

14

Marine Safety (Domestic Commercial Vessel) National Law Act 2012

4

0

Marriage Act 1961

6

1

Migration Act 1958

42

176

National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009

8

0

National Measurement Act 1960

1

0

Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006

9

0

Passports Act 1938

10

0

Primary Industries Levies and Charges Collection Act 1991

3

0

Proceeds of Crime Act 1987

0

1

Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983

3

0

Public Order (Protection of Persons and Property) Act 1971

14

0

Quarantine Act 1908

15

22

Radiocommunications Act 1992

3

4

Royal Commissions Act 1902

0

5

Social Security (Administration) Act 1999

172

0

Social Security Act 1991

4

0

Taxation Administration Act 1953

714

131

Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979

0

2

Therapeutic Goods Act 1989

48

0

Torres Strait Fisheries Act 1984

15

0

Trade Marks Act 1995

8

0

Work Health and Safety Act 2011

3

0

Non-Commonwealth legislation

264

421

Total

6,360

3,471

 

Table 11: Referring agencies: defendants dealt with in 2015–16

Agency

Summary

Indictable

Australian Federal Police/Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity Joint Task Force

1

5

Australian Border Force

61

43

Australian Communications and Media Authority

1

1

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

2

0

Australian Electoral Commission

25

0

Australian Federal Police

283

433

Australian Financial Security Authority

129

1

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

67

3

Australian Maritime Safety Authority

6

0

Australian Postal Corporation

5

1

Australian Securities and Investments Commission

24

23

Australian Taxation Office

93

23

Civil Aviation Safety Authority

18

0

Clean Energy Regulator

1

1

COMCARE

1

1

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

11

5

Department of Defence

3

0

Department of Education and Training

6

1

Department of Employment

1

0

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

12

0

Department of Health

41

4

Department of Human Services—Centrelink

1,246

29

Department of Human Services—Child Support Agency

10

1

Department of Human Services—Medicare

52

4

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

1

1

Department of Social Services

2

1

Department of the Environment and Energy

6

1

Director of Military Prosecution

1

0

Fair Work Building and Construction

1

0

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

37

0

National Measurement Institute

1

0

National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environment Management Authority

2

0

Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations

17

0

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

0

1

Therapeutic Goods Administration

4

0

Non-Commonwealth agencies

131

144

Total

2,302

727

Note: This list contains names of only current Commonwealth agencies at 30 June 2016. Where an agency’s name has changed over time, all the cases emanating from that agency, whatever its name, are included under the most current agency that has assumed the function.The 'Non-Commonwealth agencies' count includes one private prosecution (summary).

‘Defendants dealt with’ includes not only convictions and findings of guilt but also matters resulting in acquittals, prosecutions which are discontinued in accordance with the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth based on evidentiary or public interest considerations or as part of a charge negotiation, as well as when there is a hung jury, matters where a warrant is issued as the defendant has absconded, and determinations that a defendant is unfit to be tried.

Working with partner agencies

Our effective investigation–prosecution partnerships result in well-targeted prosecutions that:

  • help partner agencies meet their enforcement and regulatory objectives
  • build public confidence in Commonwealth law enforcement and regulatory frameworks.

The benefit of working effectively with partner agencies flows through to our prosecution services.

Prosecution services

We value the collaborative working relationships established with partner agencies.

The formation of our national practice groups has provided new opportunities to collaborate with and support partner agencies. This model has allowed us to engage with agencies earlier and more frequently, and to consider strategic issues and how prosecution can advance our partner agencies’ enforcement strategies. It also supports stronger liaison and coordination arrangements, including through identifying and addressing common or systematic issues, early engagement, scoping and pre-brief advice.

Our prosecution services begin with liaison and may also include pre-brief advice, brief assessment, prosecution and case review. They can also extend to the provision of tailored training and reciprocal secondments to build a better understanding of our respective processes and procedures.

Liaison

Our national liaison activities strengthen the relationship between partners and the CDPP, leading to better outcomes.

Practice Group Leaders are responsible for liaison with partners about the crime types covered by their group. Liaison with partner agencies is delivered through coordinated liaison meetings and is supported by a network of dedicated liaison officers.

For partner agencies whose referrals cross more than one practice group, we have a lead practice group. Commercial, Financial and Corruption is the lead practice group for liaison with the Australian Crime Commission,1 Revenue and Benefits Fraud is the lead practice group for liaison with the Australian Taxation Office. Illegal Imports and Exports is the lead practice group for liaison with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (which includes the operational agency, Australian Border Force).

Our General Guidelines for Dealing with Investigative Agencies and memoranda of understanding with a range of partner agencies also guide the way we liaise with partners.

Liaison activities vary depending on the size and requirements of each partner agency. For example, we meet regularly with larger agencies to discuss general developments, conduct in-depth analysis, discuss trends, emerging issues, anticipated referral volumes and case updates on important matters.

From time-to-time our liaison activity extends to tailored conferences. These events bring together representatives from the CDPP and the partner agency to explore specific topics and improve understanding between investigators and prosecutors.

We have developed statistical reports to help our partner agencies monitor their enforcement action and we are working with agencies to enhance the provision of advice as a national resource.

Providing pre-brief advice

Pre-brief advice is available to all partner agencies when matters are sensitive, significant, complex or of particular importance to an agency’s enforcement strategy.

Pre-brief advice may also be offered where matters have significant resource implications, or are likely to impact a broader class of cases. This time-critical and tailored service is delivered by experienced federal prosecutors. Advice may cover:

  • charges
  • elements of offences
  • substantive impediments to proving the offence and how they may be addressed
  • identification of particular witnesses who could be approached in relation to a line of enquiry
  • options for scoping the investigation
  • seriousness of offending
  • public interest considerations.

The provision of pre-brief advice helps strengthen our investigation-prosecution partnerships to assist partner agencies to meet their law enforcement objectives, while enabling us to deliver effective prosecution outcomes.

Since the implementation of our practice group model we have provided increased levels of support to partner agencies in relation to pre-brief advice, with positive feedback.

Brief assessments

Brief assessments are a fundamental part of the prosecution services we provide to partner agencies.

Federal prosecutions commence following our assessment of a brief of evidence and the issuing of a summons, charge or court attendance notice.

During the brief assessment phase, partner agency representatives can expect to be in contact with the CDPP case officer assigned to the matter.

The purpose of this contact is often to discuss queries relating to evidence and, in some instances, the need for additional investigations to fill gaps identified in the evidence.

Our prosecutors work with partner agencies to:

  • provide sound and independent legal advice
  • share specialist knowledge and experience of the prosecution process
  • assess briefs, including identifying legal issues, relevant public interest considerations and evidentiary deficiencies (evidence must be carefully assessed in accordance with the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth to ensure admissible, substantial and reliable evidence substantiates any case presented in court)
  • frame and present the prosecution case fairly and effectively
  • address the international aspects of prosecuting (such as mutual assistance and extradition)
  • deal with complex legal, evidentiary, practical and logistical issues.

Each brief assessment is an opportunity for us to provide feedback on the brief submitted. This assists prosecutors and investigators to identify ongoing areas for improvement.

Prosecutions—summary prosecutions, bail, committals, trials and appeals

Our engagement with partner agencies varies during the court phase of the prosecution process. The level of contact depends on the complexity of the matter and any issues occurring with the litigation.

While the matter is before the courts, we aim to:

  • provide regular and timely updates on progress
  • make requisitions of the informant where further enquiries are required
  • consult with the informant on all critical decisions throughout the court process
  • answer queries that the informant might have about the case
  • deal with victims, in conjunction with the informant, and in accordance with our Victims of Crime Policy.
Online resources—Partner Agency Portal

We provide various resources that are relevant to the investigation process through a dedicated and secure Partner Agency Portal.

The portal provides agencies with:

  • guidelines for dealing with us
  • brief preparation guidelines
  • information on mutual assistance and extradition
  • offence guides inclusive of element analyses and draft charges
  • legal manuals.

Our Search Warrants Manual, Telecommunications Interception and Stored Communications Warrants Manual and Surveillance Devices Manual provide Commonwealth investigators with guidance on the legal requirements for obtaining and executing warrants under Commonwealth law.

Given the technical nature of this area of law, we have an important role in ensuring investigators have clear and appropriate advice about exercising powers under the relevant legislation and case law. In recognition of the importance of these cases, we devoted significant resources to updating these manuals in late 2016.

Case reviews

We offer partner agencies a range of reports following the conclusion of a matter in court, including:

  • prosecution report—provided for matters that proceed to court
  • post-trial report—prepared following trials in intermediate and superior courts
  • case review—face-to-face meeting to review all aspects of the matter.

Post-trial reports include both qualitative and quantitative data about the trial, including any legal and evidentiary issues that arose in the case. They provide an opportunity for feedback on the performance of both the partner agency and the CDPP. These insights can identify systemic issues that lead to positive changes in processes and future referrals.

Case reviews bring together representatives from both the CDPP and partner agencies to review the investigative and prosecution process from beginning to end.

Case reviews are conducted following a significant case or a series of cases that together form a significant project or operation for an agency.

Electronic brief submission

Contemporary prosecuting increasingly involves the management and presentation to courts of voluminous evidential material. We use electronic resources to support this work where possible.

The CDPP is increasingly receiving briefs of evidence in electronic form and we are working towards trialling a new digital brief submission process.

Commonwealth Sentencing Database

The Commonwealth Sentencing Database is a joint project with the National Judicial College of Australia and the Judicial Commission of New South Wales. It provides judicial officers and other users with rapid and easy access to information about sentencing for federal offences, to assist with their sentencing decisions. The Commonwealth Sentencing Database is designed to provide primary research sources (such as judgments and legislation) linked to secondary resources (including commentary on sentencing principles and sentencing statistics).

Ensuring proper disclosure

An important and ongoing issue is ensuring proper disclosure in prosecutions, as provided for in our Statement on Prosecution Disclosure. The Statement was updated during the year.

We continue to work with partner agencies to help them meet disclosure obligations by producing resources for investigators. Our Statement on Prosecution Disclosure is on our website at www.cdpp.gov.au.

1 From 1 July 2016, the Australian Crime Commission and CrimTrac merged to form the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.

Our National Practice Groups

  • Commercial, Financial and Corruption
  • Illegal Imports and Exports
  • Organised Crime and Counter-Terrorism
  • Human Exploitation and Border Protection
  • International Assistance and Specialist Agencies
  • Revenue and Benefits Fraud

Commercial, Financial and Corruption Practice Group

The Commercial, Financial and Corruption Practice Group Leader is Shane Kirne, Deputy Director.

Crimes prosecuted
  • Complex tax fraud
  • Fraud by company directors and other breaches of directors’ duties
  • Corporations Act offences, including insider trading, market manipulation and insolvent trading
  • Offences involving financial services or consumer credit
  • Bribery and corruption
  • Serious cartel offences
  • Money laundering linked to financial crime
  • Offences against the Australian Crime Commission Act
Top referring agencies

In 2015–16 the main investigative agencies that referred briefs of evidence to the Commercial, Financial and Corruption Practice Group were:

  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission 61%
  • Australian Federal Police 16%
  • Australian Competition and Consumer Commission 7%
  • State and territory Police 7%
Practice group description

The Commercial, Financial and Corruption Practice Group is made up of approximately 50 specialist lawyers nationwide. Dedicated teams are located in Sydney and Melbourne and this practice group also regularly conducts prosecutions in Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart and Perth through our CDPP offices in those states.

The Commercial, Financial and Corruption Practice Group is responsible for prosecuting what is commonly referred to as ‘white collar’ crime, with a focus on serious and complex crimes involving money, corporations and financial markets. White collar crimes are typically very difficult to detect, investigate and prosecute but they can have devastating consequences for their victims—honest taxpayers, workers and investors—as well as their families and the wider community.

Commercial, financial and corruption prosecutions:

  • help to maintain Australia’s reputation as a fair and transparent place to conduct business
  • hold corrupt public officials and those who bribe them to account
  • send an important message to those who commit serious financial crimes, and those who may be tempted to follow them, that no-one is above the law and the CDPP will not shy away from difficult prosecutions.

In this way, the work of this practice group reinforces Australia’s economic and political stability, preserves public resources for the benefit of all Australians, and makes it harder for serious and organised crime to survive and thrive.

Crime types prosecuted

The offences prosecuted by this practice group include:

  • Complex tax fraud—complex tax fraud ‘schemes’, typically involving complex corporate structures with international dimensions (especially in countries with secretive tax systems), supported by professional advisers.
  • Market offences—offences which threaten the integrity of financial markets, such as insider trading and market manipulation.
  • Corporations—offences involving corporations, such as fraud by directors/officers/employees against a company and other breaches of directors’ duties, and trading while insolvent.
  • Financial services—offences involving financial services or consumer credit, such as operating an unregistered managed investments scheme, and breaches of relevant licensing requirements.
  • Bribery and corruption—bribery of foreign public officials and corruption involving Commonwealth officials.
  • Cartels—serious cartel conduct such as bid rigging, price fixing, allocating customers to fix market shares, or controlling the output or limiting the amount of goods and services available to buyers.
  • Money laundering linked to financial crime—money laundering, where the money or property being dealt with is the proceeds of a financial crime or is being used as an instrument of a financial crime.
  • Australian Crime Commission Act—offences where a person fails to attend, or give truthful evidence to, an examiner acting on behalf of the Australian Crime Commission.
Stakeholder engagement

The Commercial, Financial and Corruption Practice Group prosecutes some of the most complex types of Commonwealth crime because of the types of legal issues and factual scenarios involved. For this reason a crucial part of our work with partner agencies is providing pre-brief advice to investigators on matters such as the elements of an offence, evidentiary issues or potential further lines of inquiry. This helps to ensure that investigations are conducted in a strategic, efficient and effective manner.

There is a growing trend for some agencies to refer matters to us before they have compiled a full brief of evidence in order to explore whether a suspect might be willing to enter an early plea of guilty; and, if so, to identify charges which adequately reflect the criminality alleged. We recognise that guilty pleas, which lead to the timely and appropriate resolution of matters can save significant investigative, prosecution, court and community resources and are in the public interest.

We are always looking for ways to build our strategic and operational engagement with partner agencies. We meet our partners on a regular basis at both a national and regional level. In October 2015 we formed a foreign bribery ‘focus group’ to share ideas and learnings within the CDPP, and with the Australian Federal Police, in this developing area of prosecution work. We regularly collaborate in the delivery of training and in identifying potential areas of law reform.

Engagement in this area over the past year included delivering the keynote presentation to the Australian Anti-Bribery and Corruption Summit, organised by International Quality and Productivity Centre (IQPC) Australasia in Melbourne on 17 September 2015.

Commercial and financial crime

We continue to invest significant resources into prosecuting matters arising from Project Wickenby. Project Wickenby formally came to an end on 30 June 2015 after 10 years of ground-breaking, coordinated, multi-agency activity against offshore tax evasion.

On 1 July 2015 all ongoing Wickenby prosecutions were integrated into the new Serious Financial Crime Taskforce.

The Taskforce builds on the Project Wickenby operating model but is significantly broader in scope.

In addition to tackling offshore tax evasion, the Taskforce will investigate and prosecute the fraudulent use of trust structures and superannuation funds, and phoenix fraud.

Phoenix fraud involves a company deliberately liquidating assets to avoid paying creditors, taxes and employee entitlements.

A very important part of our work in this area is to ensure that the penalties imposed for white collar crime reflect the gravity of the offending, the harmful impact on victims, markets and the community, and the importance of general deterrence. On a number of occasions this year, the Director formed a view that a particular sentence was ‘manifestly inadequate’ and decided to appeal the sentence.

Project Wickenby outcomes

Raymond OSBORNE, a former accountant, took part in a complex tax avoidance scheme that involved offshore entities in Switzerland and Hong Kong and an international round-robin of false loans facilitated by a professional adviser, Philip Egglishaw of Swiss-based firm Strachans. In July 2015, after a nine week trial, Osborne was found guilty of four fraud-related charges arising from the lodgement of four tax returns on behalf of a client. Osborne signed the tax agent’s certificate on each of the returns knowing that they contained false information.

On 30 October 2015, Osborne was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, to be released immediately upon entering into a recognisance release order. The Director is appealing the sentence as it is considered manifestly inadequate. Osborne has also lodged an appeal against his conviction and both appeals are now pending outcomes.

In July 2012 an overseas-based accountant and promoter of tax schemes was found guilty of conspiring to defraud the Commonwealth of more than $5 million between 1997 and 2006. He was sentenced to a total of eight years and 11 months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of six years and eight months. In August 2015 the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal dismissed the defendant’s appeals against conviction and sentence.

Insider trading

Insider trading was a major focus of our Australian Securities and Investments Commission related trial work during 2015–16. We secured important convictions in the matters of former mining company executive Hui (Steven) Xiao; former NAB banker Lukas Kamay and Australian Bureau of Statistics employee Christopher Hill; former investment banker Oliver Curtis; and former company director Peter Farris.

In last year’s Annual Report we reported that former NAB banker Lucas Kamay was sentenced to a total of seven years and three months’ imprisonment, with a non-parole period of four and a half years, following his conviction of four counts of insider trading using highly sensitive unpublished data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, one count of dealing in the proceeds of crime, and two counts of dealing in identification information using a carriage service. Kamay appealed his sentence, which was at the time the longest sentence ever imposed in Australia for insider trading (this pre-dated the sentence imposed on Hui Xiao, profiled on page 47.) On 13 November 2015 the Victorian Court of Appeal dismissed Kamay’s appeal and upheld the original sentence.

Another significant outcome was the prosecution of Gary Armstrong, a former director of the failed white goods firm Kleenmaid. Armstrong pleaded guilty to fraud and insolvent trading charges and was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment with a non-parole period of two years and four months.

Corruption

A significant focus of the Commercial, Financial and Corruption Practice Group is prosecuting allegations of foreign bribery, contrary to section 70.2 of the Criminal Code (Cth). In accordance with the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth, the CDPP will commence prosecutions in all cases where there are reasonable prospects of obtaining a conviction based on the available, admissible evidence, and it is in the public interest.

In Victoria, we are prosecuting matters arising from the high profile Australian Federal Police investigations into Note Printing Australia Pty Ltd and Securency International Pty Ltd, entities linked to the Reserve Bank of Australia. These prosecutions are subject to numerous non-publication directions and suppression orders so it is not appropriate to provide further details.

In New South Wales we are prosecuting three individuals arising from an investigation into Lifese Engineering Pty Ltd and contracts it won for government-funded construction projects in Iraq.

In June 2016 we established a specialist work group in Melbourne to focus on foreign bribery prosecutions. The aim of this specialist work group is to centralise technical expertise, advice and lessons learned to better support CDPP prosecutors and our partner agencies in this very complex area. This specialist work group forms part of a national Foreign Bribery ‘focus group’ within the CDPP, which in turn works closely with the Australian Federal Police ‘Panel of Experts’ on foreign bribery.

Having regard to the findings of the Foreign Bribery Report published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2014, we have been in discussions with the Australian Federal Police about ways to potentially improve the self-reporting of foreign bribery by corporations.

Policy engagement and law reform

The Commercial, Financial and Corruption Practice Group has been working closely with the Attorney-General’s Department in relation to law reform and other policy initiatives that have the potential to affect the landscape for the prosecution of serious financial crime in Australia. In 2015–16 our engagement focused on:

  • drafting the new ‘false accounting’ offences in Division 490 of the Criminal Code
  • identifying law reforms required to strengthen the framework for prosecuting foreign bribery in Australia or by Australians
  • contributing to the Attorney-General’s Department’s public consultation paper, Improving enforcement options for serious corporate crime: Consideration of a Deferred Prosecution Agreements Scheme in Australia.

The Commercial, Financial and Corruption Practice Group also made submissions to:

  • the Senate inquiry into foreign bribery
  • the Senate inquiry into criminal, civil and administrative penalties for white collar crime.

Copies of the CDPP’s submissions to the Senate Economics References Committee are available on the Senate’s website.

Members of our Commercial, Financial and Corruption Practice Group also participated in consultations with the Treasury about how to simplify the cartel offences in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 in response to recommendations made by the Competition Policy Review (‘Harper Review’).

Use of material obtained by compulsory powers in prosecutions

In recent years the High Court’s decisions in Lee2 (No.2), and X73 and the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal decision in Seller & McCarthy4 have raised fundamental questions about the scope of the compulsory powers vested by statute in a number of Commonwealth investigating agencies—in particular, the Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission—and their impact on an accused’s right to a fair trial. Compulsory powers include the power to require a person to attend an examination and truthfully answer questions asked by an examiner, or to produce documents. They are ‘compulsory’ because they override a person’s common law privilege against self-incrimination; instead, the law imposes limits on the uses that can be made of information or material that is obtained. A failure to comply with an exercise of a compulsory power is a criminal offence.

The issue for the CDPP is: can material obtained or derived from the exercise of an agency’s compulsory powers be lawfully disseminated to the prosecution team in a related prosecution of the examinee; and, if so, is it admissible against them? Because each agency’s legislation is drafted in different terms there are different legal arguments about the extent to which the reasoning in the decisions cited applies to each agency.

Many Commercial, Financial and Corruption Practice Group prosecutions have been delayed while defence applications for temporary and permanent stays have been heard by the courts. In a number of matters we have been required to engage entirely new prosecution teams to eliminate the risk of prejudice to an accused where, pre-Lee, the CDPP was given access to a transcript of their examination. As a result of the High Court’s decision on 12 February 2016 to refuse special leave in the matter of OC, it is now clear that a transcript of a compulsory examination conducted under section 19 of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act can be disclosed to the CDPP and, depending on the facts, may be admissible in evidence against the accused. This is a very significant decision for us and means that ASIC-referred prosecutions are now progressing as usual.

As a result of the Law Enforcement Legislation Amendment (Powers) Act 2015 which came into effect on 28 July 2015, the Australian Crime Commission Act and the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity Act have been amended to clarify the scope of the compulsory powers vested in those two agencies. We were involved in the consultation process that led to this amending legislation.

Significant cases

Largest sentence ever handed down in Highest sentence ever handed down in Australia for insider trading

Hui (Steven) Xiao, the former Managing Director of Hanlong Mining Investment Pty Ltd (Hanlong), made about $1.5 million from trading shares and contracts for difference in Australian mining companies Sundance Resources Ltd and Bannerman Resources Ltd in 2011, when Hanlong was planning to announce takeover offers for both companies. Xiao was extradited from Hong Kong. As part of charge negotiations, he pleaded guilty to two ‘rolled-up’ insider trading charges, representing 65 separate transactions.

On 11 March 2016 Xiao was sentenced to the highest ever sentence for insider trading in Australia—eight years three months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of five and a half years.

CDPP assists in the recovery of proceeds of a crime

In December 2009 John Gay, the former chairman of collapsed Tasmanian timber company Gunns Ltd (Gunns), sold 3.4 million of Gunns shares for $3.093 million when he had price sensitive information that had not been released to the market. This was information in a Gunns’ monthly management report that showed a significant decline in the company’s financial performance. Investors only became aware of the extent of Gunns’ financial deterioration when Gunns released its half yearly report in February 2010.

In 2013 Gay pleaded guilty to one offence of insider trading in respect of the above trades. He was convicted and fined $50,000.

In 2014, following a request from Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the CDPP brought an application in the Tasmanian Supreme Court under s116 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to recover the benefit derived by Gay from the sale of the Gunns shares. Following court-ordered mediation, it was agreed that Gay would pay a $500,000 pecuniary penalty order.

2 Lee v R [2014] HCA 20; (2014) 253 CLR 455.

3 X7 v Australian Crime Commission & Another [2013] HCA 29; 248 CLR 92.

4 R v Seller; R v McCarthy [2013] NSWCCA 42.

 

Human Exploitation and Border Protection Practice Group

The Human Exploitation and Border Protection Practice Group Leader is Andrea Pavleka, Deputy Director.

Crimes prosecuted
  • Child exploitation
  • Trafficking in persons and slavery
  • People smuggling
  • Passport, visa and other migration offences
  • Telecommunications offences
  • Computer offences
  • Federal community policing
Top referring agencies

In 2015–16 the main investigative agencies that referred briefs of evidence to the Human Exploitation and Border Protection Practice Group were:

  • Australian Federal Police 43%
  • State and territory police 40%
  • Australian Border Force 3%
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australian Passport Office) 3%
Practice group description

The work of this practice group is performed across all of our offices. Dedicated branches aligned with this practice group operate in our Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide offices. Other branches in our offices in Canberra, Hobart, Perth, Townsville, Cairns and Darwin also receive work from this practice group.

This practice group prosecutes a wide variety of offence types including child exploitation offences, trafficking in persons and slavery, people smuggling, passport and migration offences, offences committed by way of telecommunications services or computers, and federal community policing.

The Human Exploitation and Border Protection Practice Group works closely with partner agencies including the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australian Passport Office), and state and territory police.

A large proportion of the work involves victims, particularly child victims. Prosecutors in this area work closely with investigators and our Witness Assistance Service to ensure that in the course of dealing with this very challenging work, victims are treated with dignity, courtesy and respect.

The Human Exploitation and Border Protection Practice Group generates a very large amount of advocacy work for Federal Prosecutors in the intermediate and superior courts around Australia, with the result that prosecutors are highly skilled in conducting plea and sentence hearings in this area.

Crime types prosecuted

The offences prosecuted by this practice group include:

  • Child exploitation offences—These include offences relating to child pornography material, child abuse material, and grooming and procuring persons under the age of 16 to engage in, or submit to, sexual activity, or to cause a child to engage in sexual activity with another person, whether by use of the internet, email, telephone or other telecommunication applications, or postal or similar services. These offences also include importation of child pornography and child abuse material, and child sex offences committed overseas by Australian citizens and permanent residents. The number of briefs and victims of crime in this practice area is increasing, as is the technical complexity of the work. These offences are becoming more sophisticated through the use of networks to distribute material, use of the ‘dark web’, encryption of devices and storage of material online in the ‘cloud’. Refer to the case study on page 54 for more information.
  • Trafficking in persons and slavery—This encompasses a range of offences including when people are moved across Australia’s borders through coercion, threat or deception for the purposes of exploitation.

It also includes offences which subject people, already in Australia, to exploitative practices such as slavery, servitude, forced labour, forced marriage, debt bondage or organ trafficking. To date, the majority of victims identified are women working in the sex industry. However, increasingly, victims of other forms of labour exploitation are being identified including in the agricultural, construction and hospitality industries.

  • People smuggling—Offences for people smuggling apply to both the organisers of ventures, and the crews of the vessels, who bring people to Australia who are not Australian citizens and have no lawful right to come to Australia. Other offences include concealing a non-citizen who has illegally entered or intends to enter Australia, and making or using false documents.
  • Passport, visa and other migration offences—Passport offences relate to the misuse of, and fraudulent application for, travel documents. This includes improperly using or possessing, selling, damaging, altering or dishonestly obtaining an Australian travel document. Migration and visa offences often include the provision of immigration assistance by a person not lawfully able to do so, and supplying false or misleading information and/or documents in support of a visa application.
  • Telecommunications offences—This includes offences relating to telephone hoaxes, threats, menacing, offensive or harassing calls, or improper use of an emergency call service.
  • Computer offences—This includes offences committed using a computer, computer network, or other form of information communications technology. Typically, this relates to conduct where technology is the target of the criminal activity, such as hacking, malware and ‘denial of service’ attacks.
  • Federal community policing—These offences are committed on airlines, ships, at airports or other federal places, including immigration detention centres.
Stakeholder engagement

We have national liaison arrangements in place with the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force and the Australian Passport Office.

Since the commencement of Divisions 270 and 271 of the Criminal Code, 17 people have been convicted of trafficking in persons and slavery-related offences, following prosecution by the CDPP. We continue to engage with the Australian Federal Police to provide early pre-brief advice on investigations in these very technical areas and to provide training to agencies investigating these offences. This year we provided advice to the Australian Federal Police in relation to 10 matters, covering a range of allegations including slavery, people trafficking, debt bondage, forced marriage and servitude.

There is a transnational nature to crimes prosecuted by the Human Exploitation and Border Protection Practice Group. As a result, we have participated in international and national forums as part of our contribution to law reform and Australia’s obligations under international law, and to enhance relationships with our partner agencies, non-government organisations and other bodies supporting victims.

Engagement in this area over the past year included:

  • attending and presenting at a conference in Taiwan hosted by the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, in June 2016
  • attending and presenting at the Youth, Technology and Virtual Communities Conference, hosted by the Queensland Police Service (Taskforce Argos) at Bond University, in April 2016
  • coordinating and hosting a visiting delegation of Senior State Counsel from Sri Lanka in Sydney, in May 2016
  • providing ongoing advice and support to the Singaporean Ministry of Manpower in relation to the prosecution of people trafficking
  • contributing as a member of the Senior Officials’ Committee on people smuggling crew prosecutions, the Operational Working Group and at the Parliamentary Roundtable on Human Trafficking, throughout 2015–16
  • attending a Pacific Region Cybercrime Training Programme in Nuku’alofa, Tonga, in February 2016
  • convening and participating in a capacity building joint Cybercrime Workshop with the Australian Federal Police, in May 2016
  • presenting on the topic ‘Human Trafficking Prosecutions and Victim Court Support’ to a visiting Malaysia–Australia Delegation, in May 2016.
Policy and law reform

Non-consensual sharing of intimate images—Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee

In January 2016, we made a submission to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee in relation to the phenomenon colloquially referred to as ‘revenge porn’. This involves sharing private sexual images and recordings of a person without their consent, with the intention of causing that person harm. Our submission commented on existing Commonwealth, state, and foreign laws—defining the material that may constitute ‘revenge porn’, identifying potential Constitutional limitations where state and Commonwealth offences criminalise the same conduct, and proposing increased penalties where the victim is a child.

The Committee’s report recommended that the Australian Government legislate, to the extent of its constitutional power and in conjunction with state and territory legislation, offences for: knowingly or recklessly recording an intimate image without consent; knowingly or recklessly sharing intimate images without consent; and threatening to take and/or share intimate images without consent, irrespective of whether or not those images exist.

Human trafficking

Following our detailed submission to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Reference Committee in relation to the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Powers, Offences and Other Measures) Bill, amendments to the ‘forced marriage’ offence in the Criminal Code came into force on 27 November 2015.

The definition of a ‘forced marriage’ was expanded to also include circumstances in which a person does not freely and fully consent because he or she is incapable of understanding the nature and effect of a marriage ceremony, for reasons such as age or mental capacity. The amended definition also creates a presumption that a person under the age of 16 does not understand the nature and effect of a marriage ceremony, even where there has been no use of coercion, threat or deception. The penalties for a forced marriage were also increased to seven years for the base offence and nine years for the aggravated offence.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

In November 2015 we provided assistance to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse by providing documents including policies, procedures, guidelines and information relating to our Witness Assistance Service. In April 2016 we participated in a roundtable discussion with the Commission and state and territory DPPs regarding processes for dealing with cases involving child victims of sexual offences.

Victims of crime

The Human Exploitation and Border Protection Practice Group is receiving an increasing number of referrals involving adult and child victims and vulnerable witnesses. Prosecutions involving victims and vulnerable witnesses present unique challenges and can also require engagement with Commonwealth, state and territory witness assistance services, as well as various non-government organisations involved in victim support.

Witness Assistance Service

Our Witness Assistance Service is a national service provided out of our Sydney office by two qualified social workers. This service aims to ensure that we provide information and support, in accord with the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth and our Victims of Crime Policy, to the most vulnerable victims and witnesses involved in matters prosecuted by the CDPP.

Services to victims and witnesses

The Witness Assistance Service Referral Guidelines, contained in a National Legal Direction, require that CDPP lawyers refer all identifiable child victims and victims of slavery, sexual servitude and forced marriage offences to the Witness Assistance Service. Following referral, Witness Assistance Service and legal staff work together to ensure that the most vulnerable victims of Commonwealth crime are provided with information and support throughout the prosecution process.

In 2015–16 a total of 245 new victims/witnesses were referred to the Witness Assistance Service, of whom 107 (44 per cent) were children. All new child referrals involved sexual offences, the vast majority (95 per cent) of which occurred online.

Table 12: New Witness Assistance Service referrals in 2015–16

Offence type

Victims/Witnesses*

Online child sex exploitation

222

Child sex offences outside Australia

6

Commercial/economic

2

Drugs

1

Miscellaneous

14

Total

245

*Includes parents/caregivers of child victims.

Our Witness Assistance Service staff provide a range of information and support services including updates on the progress of a prosecution, general information about the prosecution process, court tours, referrals to support services, support at court and during conferences with legal staff, and information concerning victim impact statements. During the reporting period there were 1,551 instances of contact with victims/witnesses referred to the Witness Assistance Service.

Training and education

Our Witness Assistance Service also provides training to CDPP staff in relation to victims’ issues. During 2015–16 the Witness Assistance Service, in collaboration with a Principal Federal Prosecutor, developed and delivered National Victim Training across the Office. This training was mandatory for legal staff in the Illegal Imports and Exports/Human Exploitation and Border Protection Practice Groups and aimed to raise awareness in relation to victim-related policy, legislation and ractice issues. A total of 167 CDPP staff (115 legal and 52 administrative support) attended the 2016 National Victim Training. In addition, Witness Assistance Service staff provided induction training to new legal staff throughout the reporting period.

The Witness Assistance Service also delivered presentations to a delegation of Senior State Counsel from Sri Lanka and the Malaysia–Australia Human Trafficking (Victim Protection) Roundtable during the reporting period.

Information resources for victims including the Witness Assistance Service Referral Guidelines are available on our website at www.cdpp.gov.au.

Significant cases

Website administrators receive significant sentences

This year, two administrators of child pornography websites were successfully prosecuted.Significant sentences were imposed in each matter, namely Shannon McCoole was sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole of 28 years (this sentence is a combination of state and federal sentences) and Matthew David Graham was sentenced to 15 and a half years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 10 years. These results demonstrate not only that investigators and prosecutors are well placed to meet the challenges of highly sophisticated online offending, but that administrators of websites that facilitate the distribution of child pornography can expect to receive lengthy sentences from the courts.

First CDPP prosecution for child trafficking leads to prison sentence

The second ever conviction for an offence of trafficking in children, and the first prosecuted by the CDPP occured in 2015–16. The offender fathered twin daughters born via an overseas surrogate, brought them to Australia, sexually abused them and produced video recordings and images of those assaults for the purpose of making it available to others online.

The offender was also convicted of other child pornography and sexual abuse offences, some of which involved two of his nieces. The offender was sentenced to 22 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 15 and a half years, reflecting the seriousness of the offending and the importance of deterrence, protection of the community, denunciation and punishment.

Case Study: Unravelling a web of deceit

The internet is increasingly used as a platform for criminal activity. For paedophiles it enables anonymity while engaging in online child exploitation of children. Often it only takes one person to speak up to bring these offenders to justice.

Between February 2011 and October 2013, a 33-year-old Victorian man, Daniel Watson, posed as a teenage girl and created numerous fake social media and email accounts to befriend and communicate with young females. After building trust, Watson would send an explicit photo of a teenage girl, encouraging them to reciprocate. The victim would assume the image was of their new friend. Instead, the explicit photo was of an earlier victim.

When a victim reciprocated, Watson would make demands and threaten to publish the photos or videos on the internet, or give them to the victim’s family, friends or school. In some cases he threatened to tell police that the victims were sending child pornography. In this way, he pressured his victims to provide more explicit imagery.

The importance of speaking up

In August 2013, members of the Victoria Police online child exploitation taskforce, Astraea, executed a warrant at Watson’s house, seizing computer equipment and a smart phone. This investigation was initiated after a 14-year-old girl and her mother contacted Victoria Police and said a teenage girl had been using threats to demand nude photos of the 14-year-old and her younger sister. They had been communicating via Facebook and an app called Kik.

Watson initially denied knowledge of the girl who complained to police, and said the social media accounts were used by other people. He later admitted to using some of the accounts and said it was possible he had communicated with the complainant.

The police investigation found a complex web of deceit, threats and traumatised young girls.

After Watson was arrested and bailed on 20 August 2013, he made contact with one of the victims again and tried to force her to send him more sexually explicit pictures and videos. Watson was subsequently rearrested and has been in custody since November 2013.

As the investigation unfolded, it emerged that Watson had collected a total of 1,480 photos and 41 videos from victims in Victoria, interstate and overseas.

More details emerged in court. Watson had forced a 15-year-old from the United States to perform explicit acts with her five-year-old sister and then send him photos and videos of the acts. Watson then allegedly demanded more images, threatening to report the victim to the police if she did not send them.

He allegedly repeated this with a 14-year-old Australian girl and her younger sister—the victim who spoke up and ultimately led police to Watson.

Watson was charged with 27 offences covering 43 victims from whom he obtained child pornography material and a further 28 victims from whom he had solicited child pornography or menaced and harassed. He pleaded guilty after negotiations at committal.

Crown appeal results in an increased sentence

On 20 August 2015 Watson was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of four years and eight months.

Following a Crown appeal on 20 April 2016, Watson’s sentence was increased to 10 years and five months with a non-parole period of seven years and three months.

The majority judgment of the Victorian Court of Appeal stated ‘When considered as a whole, the nature and circumstances of this offending were extremely serious, and warranted very significant penalties’.

The successful appeal reinforced the fact that crimes of this nature are very serious and will be punished accordingly.

Prosecuting complex child exploitation matters—media interest

This case received significant media attention.

Part of the CDPP’s role in prosecuting offenders is to raise awareness of these crimes in order to educate the community and deter potential offenders. This case provided opportunities to work proactively with media outlets that had the capability to raise awareness and educate the broader community about online child exploitation and the fact it can happen to anyone.

Supporting victims and witnesses

Cases such as this highlight the importance of our dedicated Witness Assistance Service which supports the victims or witnesses through the prosecution process.

As part of the CDPP’s prosecution processes we refer the most vulnerable victims and witnesses to our dedicated Witness Assistance Service. This service puts a qualified social worker alongside the prosecutor to ensure the victim or witness is guided and supported through every stage of the prosecution process.

Looking after staff wellbeing

In addition to looking after the needs of victims and witnesses, the CDPP conducts mandatory wellbeing checks for Federal Prosecutors working in areas with a risk of psychological injury or accumulative stress.

This area of crime is psychologically stressful. Cases can involve thousands of disturbing images, and consequently, the scale and seriousness poses challenges for both investigators and prosecutors.

 

Illegal Imports and Exports Practice Group

The Illegal Imports and Exports Practice Group Leader is Andrea Pavleka, Deputy Director.

Crimes prosecuted
  • Serious drug and precursor importations
  • Money laundering
  • Other importation and exportation matters
Top referring agencies

In 2015–16 the main investigative agencies that referred briefs of evidence to the Illegal Imports and Exports Practice Group were:

  • Australian Federal Police 63%
  • State and territory police 10%
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australian Passport Office) 19%
  • Department of Agriculture and Water Resources 5%
Practice group description

The work of the Illegal Imports and Exports Practice Group is performed across all of our offices. Dedicated branches aligned with these practice groups operate in our Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide offices. Other branches in our Canberra, Hobart, Perth, Townsville, Cairns and Darwin offices also receive work from this practice group.

This practice group prosecutes offences associated with protecting the integrity of Australia’s borders, including general drug and precursor importation offences, drug-related money laundering, general money laundering, quarantine offences, wildlife imports and exports, other import and export offences (for example, illicit tobacco, steroids or weapons) and illegal cross-border movements of money.

Key agencies this group works with include the Australian Federal Police, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (Australian Border Force), the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, AusTrade and state and territory police.

The Illegal Imports and Exports Practice Group is a high volume, arrest driven, indictable practice undertaking the largest number of trials conducted by the CDPP. Prosecutors in Illegal Imports and Exports branches are skilled criminal litigators and spend a significant proportion of each year undertaking committal hearings and instructing in trials.

Trial work usually relates to drug and precursor importations or money laundering. Our Federal Prosecutors also undertake a substantial amount of advocacy by way of plea/sentence hearings in the intermediate courts around Australia.

Crime types prosecuted

The offences prosecuted by this practice group include:

  • Serious drug and precursor importations—The interception of illicit drugs and drug precursors at the border prevents them from entering the Australian community. Chemical precursors, such as pseudoephedrine, are an essential part of the production process for illicit drugs. Drug and precursor offences are among the most serious Commonwealth offences and attract substantial penalties, including imprisonment for life for offences involving commercial quantities of serious drugs. Importation activity may take place at airports (via the use of couriers), or through Australia’s ports (through shipping containers) or increasingly, through the postal system. There are a range of other serious drug offences in the Criminal Code including possession, trafficking and the commercial manufacture of drugs. On occasion, we also prosecute state and territory drug offences, usually where the investigation involves a Commonwealth agency or where the offences have a federal aspect.
  • Money laundering—The Illegal Imports and Exports Practice Group is responsible for prosecuting drug-related money laundering crimes. The offences are defined in Part 10.2 of the Criminal Code and encompass a very wide range of criminal activity. Money laundering activity involves two distinct aspects:
    • dealing with money or property where it is intended to become, or where there is a risk that it will become, an instrument of crime
    • dealing with money or property that is the proceeds of crime.

Money laundering is a diverse activity that often occurs via third parties who are well removed from the core criminal activity (such as drug importation). Launderers play an important role in facilitating and concealing serious criminal activity and in the retention of the profits of serious crimes. There is no single method of laundering money, although use of the banking system and money transfer services is common. Money launderers are constantly creating schemes to attempt to circumvent measures designed to detect them.

  • Other importation and exportation matters—Our partner agency, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, refers cases following investigations relating to quarantine offending, breaches of food import controls, forgery of exportation documentation and breaches of export control legislation involving the exportation of live cattle. The Australian Border Force also refers breaches of the Customs Act, which may relate to illicit importations of firearms and other weapons, steroids and tobacco.
Stakeholder engagement

The practice group works closely with partner agencies, particularly those with responsibilities in relation to the import and export of goods to and from Australia.

Apart from providing core litigation services to agencies, this practice group engages in regular national and regional liaison with the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, to ensure the strategic objectives of each agency are well understood. These forums also provided a valuable opportunity to discuss trends, identify systemic issues within the investigative or prosecution processes as well as identifying potential law reform and training requirements.

The practice group also provided training to the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, and state and territory police during the year, and an Australian Federal Police representative attended the annual Illegal Imports and Exports/Human Exploitation and Border Protection Practice Group conference in October 2015.

Policy and law reform

The Illegal Imports and Exports Practice Group worked very successfully with the Attorney-General’s Department, in conjunction with the Australian Federal Police, to bring about amendments to the Criminal Code. The relevant amendments have achieved important objectives to facilitate the effective prosecution of drug and precursor cases:

  • The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Powers, Offences and Other Measures) Act 2015, effective from 26 November 2015, made the following significant amendments:
    • The inclusion of s.300.6 into the Code has ensured that the lower fault element of ‘recklessness’ will now be sufficient to prove an offence of ‘attempt’, just as it would be for the substantive offence. Historically, when law enforcement agencies substituted drugs and precursors with inert substances, this often resulted in prosecutors proceeding with charges of ‘attempt’. Prior to these amendments, this resulted in an elevation of the fault element that was required to be proved as to the nature of the substance.
    • The proof of offences relating to the importing and exporting of precursors under the Criminal Code has now been simplified by the repeal of the ‘intent to manufacture’ element that previously existed.
  • The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Proceeds of Crime and Other Measures) Act 2015, effective from 1 March 2016, made several amendments to the serious drug offence provisions in the Criminal Code to clarify the definitions of the terms ‘drug analogue’ and ‘manufacture’, thereby ensuring the appropriate legislative prohibition of relevant substances and activities. In particular:
    • The definition of ‘drug analogue’ was amended to clarify that the terms ‘addition’ and ‘replacement’ have their ordinary meaning rather than their scientific meaning. This change was necessary to remove ambiguity and to ensure that the Code operated to capture all substances that are structurally similar to listed controlled and border controlled drugs.
    • The definition of the term ‘manufacture’ in s.305.1 of the Code was amended to ensure that it applied to processes where a substance is converted from one form into another, but which do not necessarily create a new substance or change the chemical structure of the substance. These changes were necessary to remove ambiguities in the definition of ‘manufacture’ as highlighted by the decision of the Victorian Court of Appeal in Beqiri v R (2013) 37 VR 219.

Significant cases

Export company prosecuted for false fumigation records for chickpea exports

Woods Grain Pty Ltd was an export grain company and Thomas Woods was a director of the company. Between 2007 and 2009 the company packed chickpeas for export to India and Bangladesh for six commodity traders. Exports to India must be fumigated with methyl bromide, and Bangladeshi fumigation requirements vary. The company created false fumigation and/or clearance certificates in order to falsely obtain from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources phytosantitary certificates clearing the chickpeas for export. In late 2008 Woods became aware of the practice and attempted to conceal it from authorities. Woods Grain Pty Ltd was charged in Brisbane with 68 counts of influencing a Commonwealth public official between 26 October 2007 and 10 October 2009 (s 135.1(7) of the Code). Woods ultimately pleaded guilty to 16 counts relating to false clearance certificates.

Judge Butler SC, who convicted Woods Grain Pty Ltd and fined it $680,000, noted that the dishonest conduct risked compromising the integrity of Australia’s export inspection and certification system, exposed Australia to criticism and breached the trust the company owed to exporters while falsely invoicing them. Thomas Woods was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment, to be released after six months upon entering into a recognisance of $1,000 conditioned that he be of good behaviour for two years.

Significant sentences for importing 400 kilograms of cocaine by sea

In 2010 ‘A’ sailed a catamaran from Panama carrying 400 kilograms of cocaine to Australia. A transfer of the drugs was made 320 nautical miles from the Australian coastline to an Australian yacht sailed by ‘B’ and ‘C’. Bad weather forced this yacht to dock in Scarborough, Queensland. A vehicle was driven from Port Macquarie in New South Wales to Scarborough to meet B and C. C loaded a sample 45 kilograms of cocaine into the vehicle and B and C were arrested shortly afterwards. Customs apprehended A near the drug transfer point. After a trial of four weeks concluding on 14 August 2015 the accused were found guilty by the jury and were sentenced by Judge Atkinson of the Supreme Court on 16 September 2015.

Each of the three was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment with non-parole periods of 20 years for B, 18 years for C and 16 years for A. In sentencing the Judge noted that the ‘wholesale value was some $200,000 per kilogram and, therefore, the wholesale value was about $80 million. The retail value may well have been somewhere in the vicinity of $120 million’. Her Honour said, ‘This was very serious offending, obviously undertaken purely for profit, of a very, very significant amount of a drug that would have caused great damage to the Australian community, an activity which would have been, had it not been for information supplied by the Drug Enforcement Administration from the United States, very difficult to detect. Hence, this is very much a case where the fear of punishment should be weighed by those who attempted to engage in such activity and where punishment and deterrence are the primary considerations’.

As B and C have appealed against their convictions and sentences to the Queensland Court of Appeal and those appeals are yet to be heard, the names of all three accused have not been used in this Annual Report.

Conviction for possession of border controlled drug

Kev and co-offender Sok, were convicted by a jury in the County Court of Victoria of one charge of importing, and one charge of possessing, a border controlled drug (heroin) in not less than a commercial quantity. The charges related to the importation of heroin, disguised as brown hair dye, through the mail from Cambodia. Forensic analysis revealed the sachets of hair dye contained 14.045 kilograms of brown liquid. The total pure net weight of heroin in the sachets was 2.4016 kilograms.

Kev and Sok were each sentenced to a total effective sentence of 14 years nine months’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 11 years.

Each appealed his conviction and sentence on the basis that it was manifestly excessive. The conviction appeals were dismissed. In dismissing the appeals against sentence, the Court held that the most significant factor in sentencing Sok and Kev was the objective seriousness of their offending. The quantity imported was approximately eight times the prescribed commercial quantity.

 

International Assistance and Specialist Agencies Practice Group

The International Assistance and Specialist Agencies Practice Group Leader is David Adsett, Deputy Director.

Crimes prosecuted
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporations
  • Administration of justice offences
  • Aviation compliance
  • Bankruptcy
  • Defence
  • Electoral offences
  • Environment
  • Extradition and mutual assistance
  • Fisheries, marine safety and crimes at sea
  • Intellectual property
  • Offences against Commonwealth officials and property
  • Secrecy and browsing offences
  • Specific regulatory offences
  • Work, health and safety compliance
Top referring agencies

In 2015–16 the main investigative agencies that referred briefs of evidence to the International Assistance and Specialist Agencies Practice Group were:

  • Australian Financial Security Authority 25%
  • Australian Fisheries Management Authority 14%
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 12%
  • Australian Federal Police 12%
  • Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations 10%
  • State and territory police 8%
Practice group description

The International Assistance and Specialist Agencies Practice Group has branches in the Canberra and Hobart offices. Deputy Director, David Adsett, took over management of the Practice Group from Shane Kirne, Deputy Director, in May 2016, together with assuming responsibility for leading National Business Improvements for the CDPP, including Legal Learning and Professional Development.

The International Assistance and Specialist Agencies Practice Group is responsible for dealing with offences against a wide array of Commonwealth criminal laws referred by a variety of partner agencies. Much of this work is specialised in nature and compliance focused, and includes matters arising from Federal Elections and the Census, administration of justice offences such as perjury, offences involving Commonwealth officials, the environment, fisheries, marine safety, bankruptcy, Indigenous corporations, therapeutic goods, aviation compliance, copyright and trademarks, radiocommunications and crimes at sea.

This practice group also has a key role in international assistance, including extradition and mutual assistance. Additionally, the practice group coordinates the CDPP’s proceeds of crime work, and our obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and Privacy Act 1988.

International assistance

International assistance is an important tool in the successful prosecution of transnational crime. International assistance in the form of extradition and mutual assistance is vital to effectively investigate and prosecute serious offences such as terrorism, people smuggling, drug trafficking, sexual servitude, bribery of foreign officials, money laundering and offences relating to child exploitation and abuse material.

Increasingly, we seek cooperation from other countries to assist in the prosecution of transnational crime and to apprehend and extradite fugitives. The primary responsibility for these areas rests with the Attorney-General’s Department, Australia’s central authority for mutual assistance in criminal matters and extradition. However, we play an important part in assisting with requests.

Based on our expertise and practical experience in prosecuting, we also contribute internationally, particularly within the region, to legal capacity programmes to strengthen effective investigation and prosecution of criminal activities such as people smuggling, human trafficking terrorism and cybercrime. This contribution is significant in building international and regional relationships, which are important given the increasingly transnational nature of criminal activity.

Mutual assistance

Mutual assistance is a formal process used by countries to provide assistance to each other to investigate and prosecute criminal offences and to recover the proceeds of crime.

The formal mutual assistance regime runs parallel to the less formal system of international cooperation between investigating agencies, known as ‘agency-to-agency’ assistance. Formal mutual assistance channels are most commonly used when the request for assistance involves the use of coercive powers or when the material requested is required to be in a form that is admissible in criminal proceedings.

The mutual assistance regime rests on a network of international relations and obligations together with the willingness of participating countries to provide assistance to each other. This international network is underpinned by a number of bilateral treaties and multilateral conventions. Australia has ratified 29 bilateral mutual assistance treaties and a number of multilateral conventions, which bind the signatories to provide mutual assistance to each other. These include the:

  • United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances
  • United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime
  • Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds of Crime.

Countries that are not signatories to mutual assistance treaties or conventions may also request mutual assistance from, and provide mutual assistance to, each other. This is done under the principle of reciprocity where countries agree to provide assistance to each other on a case-by-case basis, on the understanding that each will receive similar assistance in return.

We are responsible for drafting mutual assistance requests to foreign countries to support Australian criminal proceedings for federal offences where charges have been laid against the alleged offender. By arrangement with the Attorney-General’s Department, in drug-related matters we provide detailed information to the department to facilitate the making of mutual assistance requests. This year we were involved in the preparation of 78 outgoing requests made by Australia to 31 foreign countries in relation to matters where charges were laid by a Commonwealth investigative agency or where we received specific funding to draft mutual assistance requests related to a particular matter or type of matter. These outgoing requests were generally made in conjunction with Commonwealth investigative agencies or joint taskforces comprising law enforcement officers from Commonwealth, state and territory agencies.

Extradition

Extradition is a formal process where offenders who are outside the jurisdiction are returned to the country requesting extradition to be prosecuted or to serve a sentence of imprisonment. Extradition is an important and effective mechanism in law enforcement.

The Attorney-General’s Department has sole responsibility for international extradition for all countries except New Zealand. Our role in extradition is confined to requesting that extradition be sought in Commonwealth matters and the execution of incoming requests from New Zealand.

In the case of outgoing extradition requests, we prepare documents in support of requests for extradition in serious cases where a person is wanted for prosecution for an offence against Commonwealth law or to serve a sentence of imprisonment, and is found to be in a foreign country.

Outgoing requests

During the year we asked the Attorney-General’s Department to make one extradition request to a foreign country in relation to prosecutions we were conducting. One person was surrendered to Australia during 2015–16 as a result of extradition requests made in previous years. A further 11 requests from previous years are ongoing, including one request to New Zealand.

Incoming requests

Requests from New Zealand are made on a police-to-police basis and are referred to us by the Australian Federal Police. We appear on behalf of New Zealand in extradition proceedings before a Magistrate to determine whether a person will be surrendered, and in any review or appeal arising from those proceedings.

In the past year we appeared on behalf of New Zealand in relation to two matters. Those proceedings resulted in one person being surrendered to New Zealand.

Specialist agencies

The ‘specialist agencies’ aspect of the International Assistance and Specialist Agencies Practice Group arises from the breadth of Commonwealth criminal legislation. As a consequence we receive referrals from a wide variety of partner agencies whose work does not fall within the specific crime types covered by the other practice groups. We recognise the importance of these partner agencies by allocating their work to a dedicated practice group.

During 2015–16 the International Assistance and Specialist Agencies Practice Group implemented a Centralised Model to deal with referrals from our specialist agencies—with matters referred, as far as possible, to the International Assistance and Specialist Agencies Canberra and Hobart offices. Under this model, responsibilities for specific agency work have also been assigned to our Adelaide and Townsville offices. The centralisation of this practice group’s specialist agency work commenced with matters referred from 1 February 2016. The new model takes advantage of the efficiencies that come from closer specialisation and improves the consistency and quality of our work.

Partner agencies

The International Assistance and Specialist Agencies Practice Group deals with many and varied specialised agencies. Our strategy is to foster expertise in specialist agency matters and to enhance our liaison relationship so that we can work efficiently and effectively with these agencies to assist them to achieve their strategic objectives. The agencies include:

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity
  • Australian Communications and Media Authority
  • Australian Crime Commission
  • Australian Electoral Commission
  • Australian Fisheries Management Authority
  • Australian Federal Police and state and territory police
  • Australian Financial Security Authority
  • Australian Grape and Wine Authority
  • Australian Maritime Safety Authority
  • Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority
  • Australian Skills Quality Authority
  • Civil Aviation Safety Authority
  • Clean Energy Regulator
  • Comcare
  • Department of Defence
  • Department of Education and Training
  • Department of Employment
  • Department of the Environment and Energy
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
  • Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
  • Fair Work Building and Construction
  • Foreign Investment Review Board
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
  • National Measurement Institute
  • National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority
  • Office of the Director of Military Prosecutions
  • Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations
  • Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency
  • Therapeutic Goods Administration (within the Department of Health).
Freedom of information

The International Assistance and Specialist Agencies Practice Group is responsible for general freedom of information policy and reporting work. Responsibility for responding to freedom of information requests and decision-making is delegated to designated Freedom of Information Officers in each of the regions.

Criminal confiscation

Up until 1 January 2012 the CDPP had sole responsibility for conducting criminal confiscation action under Commonwealth legislation. On 1 January 2012 the Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce was established. The taskforce is led by the Australian Federal Police and includes the Australian Taxation Office and the Australian Crime Commission. At the same time, legislative amendments to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002) came into force to enable the Australian Federal Police Commissioner to take criminal confiscation action under that Act.

Following the establishment of the taskforce, the Australian Federal Police has taken responsibility for the majority of proceedings under the POCA 2002, and our role in criminal confiscation action is now limited. Since 2 April 2012 we have not commenced criminal confiscation action in non-conviction based matters, or conviction-based matters commenced by restraining order.

We retain responsibility for taking criminal confiscation action in matters where the restraint of property is not required to preserve the property for confiscation, and the person has been convicted of an offence. All other matters are conducted by the taskforce.

Between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2016, a total of $3,615,725 was recovered through action we took under the POCA 2002.

A small number of restraining orders made under the POCA 2002 to secure property to pay pecuniary penalty orders remain active, as recovery action by the Official Trustee is ongoing.

Other legislation

The Proceeds of Crime Act 1987 (POCA 1987) applies to cases in which confiscation action commenced prior to 1 January 2003. No amendments have been made to the POCA 1987 to enable the Australian Federal Police Commissioner to conduct matters under this Act. Recoveries continue to be made in a small number of residual matters under this legislation.

The CDPP also has statutory duties under the Crimes (Superannuation Benefits) Act 1989 and Part VA of the Australian Federal Police Act 1979. We have the function of bringing applications to forfeit the employer-funded component of superannuation payable to Commonwealth and Australian Federal Police employees who have been convicted of corruption offences. One superannuation order was made in 2015–16 pursuant to the Crimes (Superannuation Benefits) Act 1989.

We have two further responsibilities in this area, which have not been used following the enactment of proceeds of crime legislation under Division 3 of Part XIII of the Customs Act 1901 and the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1983.

Each state and territory in Australia has legislation dealing with the confiscation of property derived from state and territory offences, which facilitate proceeds of crime action by state and territory authorities.

Table 13: Proceeds of Crime Act 2002—orders in 2015–16

 

Number

Value

Conviction based pecuniary penalty orders

1

$500,000

Conviction based forfeiture orders

13

$1,155,516

Table 14: Criminal assets—summary of recoveries for 2015–16

 

Amount recovered

POCA 1987 pecuniary penalty orders

$53,621

POCA 1987 forfeiture orders

$0

POCA 1987 automatic forfeiture

$0

POCA 1987 sub total

$53,621

POCA 2002 pecuniary penalty orders

$500,418

POCA 2002 forfeiture orders

$1,513,186

POCA 2002 automatic forfeiture

$1,602,121

POCA 2002 sub total

$3,615,725

Total

$3,669,346

Agreements

On 22 December 2015, a Mutual Expectations document between the CDPP and the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority was settled. The document reflects the practical expectations of the CDPP and our partner agency in relation to discharging our obligations. The document formalises the requirement for levels of communication that meet both our organisations’ operational requirements, including indicating certain periods within which responses and actions are required. The aim of the document is to assist each agency to determine what we may expect from each other and, in turn, enhance the performance of each organisation.

Policy instructions

During 2015–16, the International Assistance and Specialist Agencies Practice Group revised the following Practice Group Instructions (PGI):

  • PGI No. 1—Proceeds of crime actions
  • PGI No. 8—Bankruptcy Act 1966
  • PGI No. 9—Defence Force: discipline offences and offences committed by members of visiting forces.

These instructions can be accessed from our website: www.cdpp.gov.au.

Policy engagement and law reform

During the reporting period the International Assistance and Specialist Agencies Practice Group was consulted on a proposal to amend the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982 in relation to consents for the prosecution of certain types of drug offences or drug matters involving trafficable quantities within Australia. The practice group also provided information to the Productivity Commission’s Intellectual Property Arrangements Inquiry, regarding prosecution activity pursuant to the Copyright Act 1968 and Trade Marks Act 1995.

International engagement

In May 2016, a member of the practice group made a presentation on mutual assistance to delegates visiting Australia as part of the Sri Lankan Prosecutor Pairing Programme.

One of our Principal Federal Prosecutors also attended an official engagement in April 2016 with Thai law and justice officials participating in a counter-terrorism investigations and prosecutions study tour. The event was also attended by Australia’s Counter-Terrorism Ambassador and the Thai Ambassador to Australia as well as representatives from the Attorney-General’s Department and the Office of the Counter-Terrorism Co-Ordinator.

On 18 November 2015 representatives from the International Assistance and Specialist Agencies Practice Group met with delegates of the Legal Task Force of the Inter Agency Forum against Corruption from the Republic of Uganda. The Task Force was looking at best practice, and the challenges faced by Australia, in the implementation of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 1987.

Significant cases

Company convicted for offshore gas rig fatalities

On 27 August 2012 two men were fatally injured on board the Stena Clyde, a mobile offshore gas drilling rig operating in Commonwealth waters in Bass Strait. The men were struck by heavy, rotating equipment during an operation to attempt to free the drilling mechanism, which had become stuck in the sea floor. An investigation by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority found that the deaths were attributable to a failure to implement recognised safety procedures designed to minimise the risk of such occurrences.

On 3 September 2015 Stena Drilling Australia Pty Ltd was convicted and fined $330,000 in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, for its failure to implement and maintain systems of work that were safe and without risk to health, contrary to Schedule 3, Clause 9(4) of the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006. The Magistrate stated that, but for the plea of guilty, the fine would have been $440,000. (The maximum penalty for a corporation at the time of the offence was $550,000.) In sentencing the accused, the Magistrate noted that the work environment was inherently dangerous, that the potential consequences for the crew and the environment of any failures were extremely grave and that general deterrence was required. The Magistrate noted that while the accused company had a proactive safety system and, prior to the incident, a good safety record, scrupulous adherence to safety systems was essential.

Government employee convicted for disclosing classified information

In October 2012, a Department of Defence graduate employee, Michael Scerba, downloaded a classified sensitive document from the Defence Secret Network and posted two pages of the document on an image sharing website. Several people viewed and commented on the post before it was automatically deleted by the website. The total number of people who accessed the sensitive information is not known.

On 5 November 2015 Scerba pleaded guilty in the ACT Supreme Court to one count of disclosure of information by a current Commonwealth officer under section 70(1) of the Crimes Act 1914. Scerba was convicted and sentenced to a maximum of 12 months’ imprisonment to be released after three months upon entering into a recognisance order pursuant to section 20(1)(b) of the Crimes Act 1914 in the sum of $500, and to be of good behaviour for two years. In handing down the sentence, Justice Refshauge accepted that Scerba had not intended to compromise national security, although he knew the disclosure could cause harm. Justice Refshauge said that the ‘level of harm may never be known’. Justice Refshauge also accepted there had been no political, ideological, or financial motive for the offending. He found the seriousness of the offence required a sentence of full-time imprisonment.

 

Organised Crime and Counter-Terrorism Practice Group

The Organised Crime and Counter-Terrorism Practice Group Leader is Scott Bruckard, Deputy Director.

Crimes prosecuted

  • Large-scale and cross-border organised crime and related offences
  • Counter-terrorism
  • War crimes
  • Security of the Commonwealth prosecutions

Top referring agencies

In 2015–16 the main investigative agencies that referred briefs of evidence to the Organised Crime and Counter-Terrorism Practice Group were:

  • Australian Federal Police 80%
  • State and territory police 17%
  • Australian Border Force 2%
  • Australian Crime Commission 1%
  •  

Practice group description

The Organised Crime and Counter-Terrorism Practice Group is responsible for the prosecution of all counter-terrorism and large-scale organised crime matters. This practice group, which comprises specialist lawyers supported by administrative support staff, prosecutes these cases before the courts throughout Australia. In addition our lawyers provide legal advice to our partner agencies during the course of police investigations. Early cooperation between police and prosecutors in complex criminal investigations helps to focus investigative resources, improve efficiency and deliver better law enforcement outcomes.

This practice group has branches in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. In addition, another five branches of prosecutors across Australia, particularly Brisbane and Adelaide, receive work from this practice group.

 
Crime types prosecuted
  • Organised crime—Large-scale and cross-border organised crime and related offences are commonly investigated on a multi-agency basis, including:
    • crime group, illegal substance, firearm trafficking
    • related offences such as money laundering and facilitating corruption.
  • Counter-terrorism—This crime type encompasses all counter-terrorism offences and includes the provision of qualified pre-brief advice.
  • War crimes—These include a range of offences committed in the course of armed conflicts.
  • Security of the Commonwealth prosecutions—This work includes offences relating to Australia’s national security.
Stakeholder engagement

Our key partner agencies in this work are the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Crime Commission, and state and territory police services.

In 2015–16 our Federal Prosecutors delivered specialised counter-terrorism training to Australian Federal Police as well as state and territory police agencies across Australia.

The Organised Crime and Counter-Terrorism Practice Group is also supported by, and works closely with, staff from the Attorney-General’s Department and the Office of the Counter-Terrorism Co-ordinator.

The support provided by staff in these two agencies has been invaluable, particularly as the CDPP responded to the resource demands arising from the recent surge in counter-terrorism referrals.

Counter-terrorism work

This year saw a further significant increase in the number of counter-terrorism matters referred to the CDPP for prosecution and pre-brief legal advice. We are presently conducting prosecutions in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane that relate to alleged plans to commit acts of terrorism in Australia. Some of these matters involve children and young persons. One such matter arises from a plan to kill a police officer on Anzac Day in Melbourne and then use the officer’s weapon to attack others. In each of these cases, the alleged plan to commit a terrorist act was successfully disrupted by police and intelligence agencies before it could be implemented. Australia’s unique counter-terrorism laws allow criminal liability for terrorism offending to arise at a much early stage than is the case for other, traditional crime types. These laws help to protect the community by enabling a criminal prosecution to be undertaken for preparatory acts.

Unfortunately not all acts of terrorism have been disrupted. The CDPP is presently prosecuting a number of persons for terrorism offences that arise out of the tragic death of a New South Wales police employee outside police headquarters in Parramatta in October 2015. These matters are now before the courts in New South Wales.

In addition to our domestic counter-terrorism work, the Organised Crime and Counter-Terrorism Practice Group continues to receive referrals related to Australian citizens who have become involved in, or are supporters of, the armed conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Some of these matters involve the supply of money or other resources intended to support those participating in these conflicts. Other matters involve the prosecution of returning foreign fighters. Many of these cases give rise to complex legal issues and often require the gathering of evidence from jurisdictions outside of Australia.

In December 2015 the Australian Government provided the CDPP with additional resources to deal with the unprecedented number of new counter-terrorism referrals being received. These resources have been used to recruit additional staff and invest in the capacity building and knowledge-sharing required to support prosecutors working in this highly specialised crime type. In addition, these resources will fund the undertaking of a number of lengthy jury trials, which are expected to take place in the year ahead.

In September 2015 we held our inaugural Practice Group Conference in Sydney. Federal Prosecutors from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth attended, along with invited guests from key partner agencies. The theme for this conference was ‘Foreign Fighters’. This conference provided prosecutors with an opportunity to share valuable knowledge and insights into legal and practical issues associated with the prosecution of foreign fighter cases. Importantly, this conference also provided prosecutors with an opportunity to build relationships with staff from key external agencies as well as prosecutors from other parts of Australia.

Organised crime work

Our organised crime work covers a broad range of criminal conduct, but predominantly involves commercial drug importation, drug trafficking, money laundering and waterfront corruption. These matters generally involve cross-border and transnational criminal conduct. This work is largely referred to us from the Australian Federal Police and various joint-agency taskforces that have been established to combat organised crime throughout Australia.

Those prosecuted for organised crime offences face heavy penalties if convicted. Where charges are contested, jury trials may run for many weeks or months and involve the presentation of large volumes of electronic and physical surveillance evidence. These long and complex cases require a significant personal commitment from our staff and the counsel we engage to present the evidence before the court. Such cases also highlight the value of an early plea of guilty and emphasise the need for us to engage early with partner agencies to focus on evidence selection and proactively look for opportunities to narrow issues in dispute.

Policy engagement and law reform

The Organised Crime and Counter-Terrorism Practice Group actively looks for opportunities to support the important legislative and policy work of the Australian Attorney-General’s Department. In 2015–16 our engagement focused on legislative and policy issues including:

  • the New South Wales Parliament’s enactment of new police powers, which provide for ‘investigative detention’ of those suspected of committing terrorism crimes
  • legal issues surrounding the prosecution of children charged with terrorism offences
  • legislative amendments introduced in the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Harming Australians) Bill 2015—these amendments extend the retrospective application of the offences in sub-sections 115.1 and 115.2 of the Criminal Code of murder and manslaughter of an Australian citizen or resident of Australia outside Australia, to crimes that occurred before 1 October 2002
  • the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2015.

Our Organised Crime and Counter-Terrorism Practice Group also assisted the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor with various inquires.

International engagement

During the year, our Organised Crime and Counter-Terrorism Practice Group hosted delegations from the Philippines, Thailand and Korea. These meetings provided an opportunity to share our experience prosecuting counter-terrorism cases with legal officials and policy-makers from important countries in our region. Such engagements contribute to the global effort that is required to combat international terrorism. In addition, one of our prosecutors travelled to New Zealand in February 2016 to attend the Five Eyes Law Enforcement Group Proceeds of Crime Working Group conference.

Significant cases

First conviction for assisting Australians to fight in Syria

Hamdi Alqudsi is the first person to be convicted of providing assistance to Australians wishing to travel to Syria with the intention of joining a group engaged in the armed hostilities taking place there. Alqudsi was charged on indictment in the Supreme Court of New South Wales with seven offences contrary to section 7(1)(e) of the Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act 1978. It was alleged that Alqudsi performed services for seven men intending that they would travel to Syria and fight on the front line in the conflict. Alqudsi advised and instructed the men about travel routes, hotel accommodation, appropriate currencies and how to solve problems with local security services. In addition, Alqudsi also made arrangements for some of the men to meet up with Mohammad Ali Baryalei (aka Abu Omar), an Australian then working with one of the armed groups fighting in the Syrian conflict.

In the course of this prosecution Alqudsi made a number of legal challenges. He sought a declaration that the offence provision under which he had been charged was invalid on the ground that it exceeded the external affairs power contained in section 51(xxix) of the Constitution. In addition, Alqudsi brought proceedings in the High Court of Australia seeking an order that he be permitted to stand trial before a judge alone, without a jury. Both applications failed.

Mr Alqudsi5 was convicted of all seven offences.

New Zealand citizen found guilty of preparing to fight in Syria

Amin Mohamed, a New Zealand citizen who had been living in Australia, was one of several men who had been assisted by Alqudsi to make arrangements to travel and fight in Syria.

Mohamed was charged with doing an act preparatory to the commission of a foreign incursions offence contrary to section 7(1)(a) the Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act 1978. The prosecution alleged that in 2013, Mohamed intended to travel to Syria to engage in hostile activity. The charges arose out of his application for a passport, booking of an airline ticket to Turkey and his receipt of contact details of a person who could guide him from Turkey into Syria.

At his trial Mohamed elected to give evidence. He told the jury that he intended to travel to Syria to perform humanitarian aid work and that he communicated with Alqudsi as someone who could facilitate his travel to Syria. Mohamed said his use of coded language and his selection of an indirect route to enter Syria was motivated by the need to avoid unwarranted police attention in a climate where young Muslim men were easily suspected of being involved in terrorist activity.

The jury rejected Mohamed’s evidence. He was found guilty of all three charges.

Informer sentenced on drugs and money laundering charges

In March and April 2015 James Henry Kinch pleaded guilty to his part in two separate conspiracies to import illicit drugs into Australia. The first, a conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of MDMA contrary to section 233 B (1)(cb) of the Customs Act 1901, occurred between 2001 and 2003. The maximum penalty for this offence is life imprisonment. Kinch also pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering contrary to section 81 (since repealed) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 1987, which carried a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 20 years.

Kinch was arrested for state drug offences in 2003 by police attached to the New South Wales Crime Commission. He became a registered informer, directly managed by former Assistant Director Mark Standen. A corrupt relationship developed and in 2008, Kinch, Standen and co-conspirator Bakhos Jalalaty were charged with conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of pseudoephedrine.

Kinch is a British and Irish citizen who was closely associated with an international drugs and money laundering group based in the Netherlands.

In February 2016 Kinch was sentenced to 22 and a half years' imprisonment for the MDMA importation, and seven years partially accumulated on the money laundering count. A non-parole period of 16 years was fixed. For the count of conspiracy to import a commercial quantity of pseudoephedrine, Kinch was sentenced to be imprisoned for 14 and a half years with a non-parole period of 10 years.

5 On 1 September 2016, Hamdi Alqudsi was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of six years for assisting seven men in their efforts to travel to Syria in order to join the armed conflict taking place there.

 

Revenue and Benefits Fraud Practice Group

The Revenue and Benefits Fraud Practice Group Leader is James Carter, Deputy  Director.

Crimes prosecuted
  • General tax fraud and tax compliance, including income tax and goods and services tax (GST) fraud
  • Social security fraud
  • Medicare fraud
  • All other frauds against the Australian Government including internal fraud and counterfeit currency
  • Fraud-related money laundering
  • Identity fraud
  • Child support offences
  • Postal offences
Top referring agencies

In 2015–16 the main investigative agencies that referred briefs of evidence to the Revenue and Benefits Fraud Practice Group were:

  • Department of Human Services (Centrelink) 80%
  • Australian Taxation Office 9%
  • Department of Health 2%
Practice group description

The Revenue and Benefits Fraud Practice Group is generally responsible for prosecuting fraud against the Australian Government, including general tax fraud, social security fraud, Medicare fraud, and identity fraud. This practice group is also responsible for prosecuting fraud-related money laundering, counterfeit currency and child support offences.

Prosecuting fraud offences is a major part of our overall practice. Commonwealth revenue and benefit systems rely heavily on the integrity and honesty of all Australians. These prosecutions are fundamental in protecting Commonwealth resources for the benefit of all Australians.

The Revenue and Benefits Fraud Practice Group is identifying innovative ways to engage with partner agencies and is implementing measures to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the brief assessment process. The practice group is focusing on collaboration, innovation and supporting and developing our lawyers.

Crime types prosecuted

Revenue fraud

  • Prosecuting tax frauds continued to be an important part of our practice this year. As in previous years, there were a significant number of fraud cases relating to income tax and the GST. We prosecute tax frauds referred by the Serious Non-Compliance area of the Australian Taxation Office, as well as the Australian Federal Police. The GST is a key element of the Australian tax system. Prosecutions relating to GST vary in sophistication from small-scale fraud to large, complex schemes. By prosecuting people who exploit that system—for example, by failing to report cash income they receive or falsifying claims for GST credits—we help to maintain voluntary compliance with tax laws.

Benefits fraud

The Department of Human Services provides a range of health, social and welfare payments and services including through Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support. Of all our partner agencies, this department refers the largest number of briefs to the CDPP. Our prosecutions play an essential role in protecting Commonwealth resources and ensuring support is provided where it is most needed in our community. Briefs typically relate to allegations that people have intentionally engaged in conduct and, as a result, received social, health or welfare services or payments they knew they were not entitled to. 

  • Centrelink prosecutions typically involve a person receiving benefits that have been calculated on a false premise. For example, a person might say they are unemployed when, in fact, they are receiving income from paid employment, or they might fail to advise the department that they have become a member of a couple. Cases can also involve fraud where someone has received benefits on behalf of a person who has died, or where someone uses multiple identities to obtain multiple benefits.
  • Child Support fraud includes claims for child support by someone who is not entitled to that support, parents who do not correctly declare their income or relationship status, and employers who fail to deduct an amount from a paying parent’s salary or wage, or fail to forward an amount that has been deducted.
  • Medicare fraud may involve claims for services that were not provided. This can involve a person using their own name to claim services from Medicare, or service providers or their employees using patients’ identities to make fraudulent claims. The Department of Human Services investigates fraud by patients and the Department of Health investigates fraud by service providers.
Stakeholder engagement

Over the past year our Revenue and Benefits Fraud Practice Group engaged with partner agencies to advance their enforcement strategies and consider longer-term strategic issues. We have strengthened liaison and coordination arrangements with partner agencies and increased informal liaison.

Our Revenue and Benefits Fraud Practice Group is the lead practice group for all liaison with the Australian Taxation Office and the Department of Human Services and also works closely with the Australian Federal Police.

In addition, this practice group liaises with and conducts prosecutions referred by:

  • the Department of Health, which is responsible for investigating allegations of fraud by Medicare providers and their employees
  • the Department of Social Services, which is responsible for programmes relating to the National Rental Affordability Scheme and Disability Employment Services
  • the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, which has primary responsibility for Indigenous affairs and most Commonwealth Indigenous-specific policy and programmes
  • the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, which refers briefs of evidence relating to a range of fraudulent activity, including claiming benefits to which one is not entitled, fraud through over-servicing by service providers, and deceased beneficiary cases.
Policy and law reform

The Revenue and Benefits Fraud Practice Group works closely with our partner agencies to identify and develop reform proposals.

Significant cases

Financial advantage gained by deception results in imprisonment

On 9 March 2016 former accountant and tax agent Christopher Kirkwood of Mackay Queensland was sentenced to two years and six months' imprisonment to be released after serving nine months, after he pleaded guilty to three counts of obtaining a financial advantage by a deception in the District Court at Mackay.

Kirkwood was the sole director of Wellsprings Financial Services Pty Ltd. This company was Trustee for Wellsprings Financial Services Trust (the Trust) which operated an accountancy and tax agent practice in Mackay known as CR Kirkwood & Associates (the Business). Kirkwood was the principal of the Trust and the Business. The beneficiaries of the Trust were Kirkwood, his wife Katrina Kirkwood and the company.

Between 29 December 2005 and 15 May 2008 Kirkwood lodged income tax returns with the Australian Taxation Office on behalf of the Trust for the financial years 2005, 2006 and 2007. On each of these tax returns Kirkwood falsely declared that the Trust had made distributions of income to clients of his business. These clients were not beneficiaries of the Trust and Kirkwood was aware that these clients had carried forward losses from previous years available to offset the trust distributions. The lodgement of these false tax returns resulted in Wellsprings Financial Services Pty Ltd being liable to pay less income tax.

The total shortfall in income tax for the financial years 2005, 2006 and 2007 arising from the lodgement of these false tax returns was $377, 732.

Kirkwood was sentenced in relation to three counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception contrary to section 134.2(1) of the Criminal Code.

He was sentenced to two years and six months' imprisonment to be released after serving nine months upon a single recognisance in the sum of $2,000 conditioned that he be of good behaviour for a period of two years. Kirkwood was further ordered pursuant to section 21B of the Crimes Act 1914 to pay reparation to the Commonwealth in the sum of $377,732.

Case Study: Catching those who receive benefits using false claims

The prosecution of fraud offences is a major part of our legal practice. Fraud offences can include tax fraud, aged care fraud, Medicare fraud, tax and social security fraud.

One of the most commonly prosecuted fraud offences is Centrelink fraud. Perpetrators who think this is an easy way to receive additional benefits don’t realise that Centrelink’s sophisticated capability to detect and investigate fraud includes data matching, advanced data analysis, surveillance and tip-offs. It is only a matter of time before the law catches up with them.

This was the case for Ezzat Zaky, a 62-year-old from Mount Druitt in New South Wales.

Between July 1999 and January 2008, Zaky claimed and received Parenting Payments and Newstart Allowance in the name Ezzat Zaky while working for multiple employers and also lodging Newstart claims in an alias of Dr Ezzat William.

Zaky’s wife was also receiving social security payments. On the birth of their first son she was granted Family Allowance in May 1988, and after the birth of their second son she was granted Family Payments.

Ezatt Zaky received a total overpayment of $56,599.92 as a result of his fraudulent conduct.

Managing a dual identify led to downfall

Centrelink investigated Zaky when it was found he removed a phone number he provided to Centrelink as part of his contact details after only one week, and again when online documents showed that in December 2007, he rang Centrelink ‘to make enquiries about hypothetical situations’—namely whether surrendering his Newstart Allowance would affect his partner’s payment.

Ezzat Zaky was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, to be released after serving two years and six months for intentionally mispresenting his circumstances to Centrelink by not disclosing the correct amount of his income from employment over almost 10 years and receiving benefits simultaneously in the name Ezzat Zaky and Ezzat William. Zaky had previous criminal convictions for fraud.

Courts take the offence seriously because it is viewed as stealing Commonwealth funds that are meant to help those who are most in need. Zaky’s sentence is a clear example that ongoing, intentional and sustained offending does not pay.

Working with partners to send a strong message of deterrence

The Australian Department of Human Services refers the largest number of briefs to the CDPP. These prosecutions play an essential role in protecting Commonwealth resources, ensuring that support is provided where it is most needed in our community.

Cases typically involve a person receiving benefits that have been calculated on a false premise, such as someone claiming to be unemployed when receiving income from paid employment or claiming to be single when part of a couple. Cases can also involve fraud where someone has received benefits on behalf of a person who is deceased or, as in Zaky’s case, where multiple identities are used to obtain multiple benefits. Prosecutions may involve significant sums, particularly where there has been a continuing fraud over many years.

We continue to work closely with the Department of Human Services to improve the investigative-prosecution process and respond to the changing volume and complexity of matters, while sending a strong message of deterrence to potential offenders.

Prosecution appeals against sentence

The Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth provides that the prosecution right to appeal against sentence should be exercised with appropriate restraint. In deciding whether to appeal, we consider whether there is a reasonable prospect that the appeal will be successful. Factors we may consider when deciding to appeal include whether:

  • the sentence is manifestly inadequate
  • the sentence reveals an inconsistency in sentencing standards
  • the sentence proceeded on the basis of a material error of law or fact requiring appellate correction
  • the sentence is substantially and unnecessarily inconsistent with other relevant sentences
  • an appeal to a Court of Appeal will enable the court to lay down some general principles for the governance and guidance of sentencers
  • an appeal will enable the court to establish and maintain adequate standards of punishment for crime
  • an appeal will ensure, as far as the subject matter permits, uniformity in sentencing
  • an appeal will enable an appellate court to correct an error of legal principle.

In 2015–16 a total of 14 prosecution appeals against sentence in indictable matters were decided. Of those, 11 were upheld while three were dismissed.

R v ALLAN

In the course of his employment with the Department of Immigration, Alex Escala Allan6 used his position for personal and financial gain, including receiving in excess of $563,000 in bribes. In just under a year in 2013–14 he self-allocated and approved the assessment of 59 visa applications, 17 of which were for family and friends and 42 of which were at the request of a co-offender in exchange for money. In the Brisbane District Court Allan pleaded guilty to abuse of public office and receiving a bribe contrary to the Criminal Code. He was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, to be released after serving eight months. The Director’s appeal against sentence was successful, and Allan was resentenced by the Queensland Court of Criminal Appeal to two and a half years’ imprisonment, to be released after serving 15 months.

R v ONYEBUCHI

Emmanuel Onyekachi Onyebuchi7 pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court of Queensland to importing 791.9 grams of methamphetamine (a commercial quantity) with an estimated value between $673,000 and $2.02 million. A Crown appeal against sentence was successful, with the Queensland Criminal Court of Appeal substituting a sentence of nine years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of four and a half years in place of the original sentence of seven years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of three and a half years.

The appeal court found that by reference to application of legal principles set out in comparable cases, the sentence at first instance was manifestly inadequate, given the amount of drugs imported and the defendant’s essential role in the offending.

R v DUONG

Khanh Minh Duong8 was convicted at first instance in the Victorian County Court on one charge of trafficking heroin and two charges of aiding, abetting and procuring a marketable quantity of heroin contrary to the Criminal Code and was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of seven years. The offences related to a period between 2009 and 2011 when Duong was the principal in a number of syndicates that facilitated the importation of heroin into Australia and its subsequent trafficking. Following a successful appeal by the Director, Duong was resentenced by the Victorian Court of Appeal to 14 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of 11 years. The appeal court allowed the appeal on the basis that the defendant was a principal, given his position near the top of each relevant trafficking syndicate and the quantity of heroin trafficked was at the highest end of the scale.

R v WATSON

Daniel Watson9 was convicted in the Melbourne County Court of multiple Commonwealth and state child exploitation offences committed between 2011 and 2013. He forced young females, both in Australia and overseas, to send him sexually explicit pictures and videos of themselves by threatening to send these images to their families and schools. In total the offending involved over 70 victims, 43 of whom sent him sexually explicit material. Watson was originally sentenced in the County Court of Victoria to seven years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of four years and eight months. The Director’s appeal against sentence was upheld, and Watson’s sentence was increased by the Victorian Court of Appeal to imprisonment for 10 years and five months, with a non-parole period of seven years and three months. See case study on page 54.

R v YUAN

Ziyi Yuan10 was convicted of importing a commercial quantity of methamphetamine into Sydney between August and September 2012 and was sentenced in the New South Wales District Court to 10 years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of six years. The weight of the imported drugs was 73 times more than the quantity qualifying it to be a commercial amount. The wholesale value of the drugs was estimated to be between $13 and $17 million and the retail value was estimated to be between $48 million and $55 million.

The New South Wales Criminal Court of Appeal upheld the Director’s appeal on the grounds the sentence was manifestly inadequate and resentenced Yuan to 15 years’ imprisonment to serve a minimum of 10 years.

The appeal court emphasised the significant need for general deterrence and the sentencing principle that ‘the difficulty of detecting importation offences, and the great social consequences that follow, suggest that deterrence is to be given chief weight on sentence and that stern punishment will be warranted in almost every case’. The defendant’s role in the importation was found to be significant, his offending involved considerable planning and he occupied a pivotal position as the supervisor/executor of the operation. It was also found that the offence was committed for substantial financial gain.

R v SALEH

Adam Saleh11 pleaded guilty in the New South Wales District Court to a charge of aiding and abetting the importation of tobacco products with the intention of defrauding the revenue contrary to section 233BABAD(1) of the Customs Act 1901. During a 12-day period in March 2013, Saleh organised the final stages of the importation into Australia of 2,250 kilograms of unmanufactured loose tobacco from Indonesia. The tobacco was concealed in a shipping container of 600 bamboo blinds. He organised the movement of the container through Customs and then its subsequent delivery, unpacking and storage within Australia. As a result of the information provided by Saleh regarding the contents of the container, the duty payable on the import was $4,696.21. The import duty payable on the tobacco actually imported was $996,997.50.

In the New South Wales District Court Saleh was sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment but ordered that he be released forthwith, upon entering into a recognisance to be of good behaviour for 20 months—effectively a suspended sentence.

An appeal by the Director against sentence was successful with the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal, imposing a sentence of three years’ imprisonment with two years to be served. The majority of the court found that the Crown had made out two of the grounds of appeal, namely that the sentencing judge had erred in her assessment of the objective seriousness of the offence and also that the sentence was in all the circumstances manifestly inadequate. The court found that even though Saleh was not the principal behind the importation, his level of involvement was reasonably significant and further, that he committed a reasonably serious instance of the offence. Given the maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to five times the duty payable on the tobacco, the court determined that a full-time custodial sentence was required.

This appeal was the first to consider the section 233BABAD(1) offence provision, which had been specifically introduced by parliament in 2012 to provide appropriate penalties to act as a strong deterrent against illegal importations of tobacco.

On 28 July 2016 the High Court refused an application by Saleh seeking special leave to appeal against the judgment of the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal.

R v PORTE and R v DE LEEUW

In two unrelated New South Wales matters the Director was successful in appeals involving offences of possession of child pornography and accessing child pornography via the internet where the offenders were sentenced to imprisonment to be served by way of Intensive Correction Order (ICO).

David Ferdinand Porte12 was convicted of offences of possessing more than 34,000 files of child abuse material and using a carriage service to access child pornography material. He was sentenced by the New South Wales District Court to 18 months’ imprisonment on each charge to be served concurrently by way of an Intensive Corrections Order.

The New South Wales Criminal Court of Appeal upheld the Crown appeal and Porte was re-sentenced to an effective sentence of two years and nine months' imprisonment with a non-parole period of one year and six months. The Appeal Court determined that a substantial wrong had occurred and the interests of justice required the imposition of an immediate period of imprisonment.

The Appeal Court observed the general principles in sentencing these types of offences, including that the courts have made it clear that the ready availability of this type of material has warranted substantial penalties with general deterrence and denunciation being paramount considerations. At the outset of their judgement, the Appeal Court generally observed, ‘There are few areas where the age of the internet has impacted upon the criminal law more severely than in the field of child pornography offences’. The Court recited the rationale of the Government in 2010 in its Explanatory Memorandum in increasing the penalty for the Commonwealth accessing offences from 10 years’ imprisonment to 15 years: 'it is evident that the internet is creating ever greater demands for new material of ever greater levels of depravity and corruption. The internet is being used to access and distribute child pornography on a massive global scale and offending has become pervasive and widespread. As a result, offending behaviour is becoming increasingly destructive. Children, in addition to being victims of the initial abuse required for the production of the material, are exploited on a massive scale through the repeated distribution of the image, or images, throughout international networks’.

The appeal court held that the imposition of an Intensive Corrections Order was an entirely inappropriate sentence given the magnitude of Porte’s offending and the appropriate level of punishment required a sentence of immediate incarceration.

Paul De Leeuw13 was convicted of possessing 32,000 files containing child abuse material and three counts of using a carriage service to access child pornography material over a seven-year period. He was sentenced in the District Court New South Wales to a total effective sentence of two years’ imprisonment to be served by way of an ICO. The appeal court specifically referred to its recent decision regarding Porte, and upheld the Crown appeal on the grounds the sentence was manifestly inadequate. De Leeuw’s total effective sentence was increased to three years’ imprisonment with him being required to serve a minimum of one year and nine months prior to being eligible for parole.

Prosecution appeals in previous years

2014–15

In 2014–15 a total of 19 prosecution appeals against sentence in indictable matters were decided. Of these, 13 CDPP appeals were upheld and six were dismissed. In one of the dismissed appeals, the appeal court found that the non-parole period imposed by the sentencing judge was manifestly inadequate, however, the court elected to exercise its residual discretion not to intervene and dismissed the appeal. In two of the dismissed appeals, the appeal court considered the sentences imposed at first instance, although not manifestly inadequate, were lenient or very lenient.

2013–14

In 2013–14 a total of 17 prosecution appeals against sentence in indictable matters were decided. Of these, 11 CDPP appeals were upheld, while six of our appeals were dismissed. In two of the dismissed appeals, the appeal court considered the sentences imposed at first instance, although not manifestly inadequate, were lenient, and in a third that the sentence was prima facie too merciful.

Exercise of statutory powers

The Director has powers that can be exercised as part of conducting a prosecution. These include the power to ‘no Bill’ a prosecution, to grant an indemnity, to take over a private prosecution, to file an ex officio indictment and to consent to conspiracy charges being laid in a particular case.

‘No Bill’ applications

After a defendant has been committed for trial, the question sometimes arises whether the prosecution should continue. This can arise either as a result of an application by the defendant or on our own initiative. A submission made to the Director to discontinue such a matter is known as a ‘no Bill’ application.

The Director’s power to discontinue is delegated to the CDPP Practice Group Leaders and branch heads who make these decisions in certain circumstances.

In the past year there were 14 ‘no Bill’ applications received from defendants or their representatives decided by the Director or the Practice Group Leaders. Of these, three were granted and 11 were refused. A further 14 prosecutions were discontinued on the basis of a recommendation from a prosecutor without prior representations from the defendant. A total of 17 prosecutions were discontinued, following decisions by the Director in two matters and by Practice Group Leaders in 15 matters.

In all the 17 prosecutions that were discontinued the primary reason for discontinuing was because there was insufficient evidence.

Almost all of the matters that were discontinued involved drugs offences, with a relatively few number involving other offences such as fraud and money laundering.

Indemnities

The Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1983 (the DPP Act) empowers the Director to give an undertaking—referred to as an indemnity—to a potential witness in three circumstances:

  • section 9(6) authorises the Director to give an indemnity to a potential witness in Commonwealth proceedings that any evidence the person may give, and anything derived from that evidence, will not be used in evidence against the person, other than in proceedings for perjury
  • section 9(6D) empowers the Director to give an indemnity to a person that he or she will not be prosecuted under Commonwealth law in respect of a specified offence
  • section 9(6B) empowers the Director to give an indemnity to a person that any evidence he or she may give in proceedings under state or territory law will not be used in evidence against them in a Commonwealth matter.

In 2015–16, we provided 10 indemnities under sections 9(6) and 9(6D) and two indemnities under section 9(6B), mostly in relation to drugs and related offences.

Taking matters over—private prosecutions

Traditionally it has been open to any person to bring a private prosecution for a criminal offence. That right is protected in Commonwealth matters by section 13 of the Crimes Act 1914 and is expressly preserved under section 10(2) of the DPP Act.

Under section 9(5) of the DPP Act, the Director has the power to take over a prosecution for a Commonwealth offence that has been instituted by another person. The Director is empowered to either carry on the prosecution or, if appropriate, to discontinue it.

The Director exercised this power in 2015–16 in relation to one person who had commenced a private prosecution.

Ex officio indictments

The Director has powers under section 6(2A)–(2D) of the DPP Act to institute prosecutions on indictment referred to as ex officio indictments. These powers are used in circumstances where a defendant consents to a prosecution on indictment without being examined or committed for trial or a defendant stands trial on different charges from those on which they were committed, whether under Commonwealth, state or territory law. Section 6(2D) of the DPP Act provides that in any other case where the Director considers it appropriate to do so, the Director may institute a prosecution of a person on indictment for an indictable offence against the laws of the Commonwealth in respect of which the person has not been examined or committed for trial.

In certain circumstances the decision to present an ex officio indictment is delegated to Practice Group Leaders and branch heads. In 2015–16 the Director or a Practice Group Leader exercised ex officio powers on nine occasions.

Consent to conspiracy proceedings

The Director’s consent is required before proceedings for Commonwealth conspiracy offences can be commenced. In 2015–16 the Director consented to the commencement of conspiracy proceedings against 45 defendants in relation to 24 alleged conspiracies.

Consent under section 121(8) of the Family Law Act 1975

The Director’s consent is required before proceedings are commenced for an offence against section 121 of the Family Law Act 1975, which restricts publication of court proceedings. In 2015–16 the Director was not required to give consent for such proceedings.

Chapter 3: Management and accountability

Prosecution service
We contribute to a fair, safe and just society by delivering an effective, independent prosecution service.
Governance framework
Our governance framework ensures we meet the standard of fairness, openness, consistency, accountability and efficiency.
Practice group model
Our national practice group model has strengthened the expertise of our knowledgeable and professional staff to respond to the changing nature and complexity of criminal prosecutions.
Performance management
We manage our performance through a combination of careful planning, effective measurement and monitoring of performance, and appropriate, transparent reporting.

Guiding policies

Our legislative policy and framework establishes the role of our organisation and the statutory position of Director. Key elements include:

  • Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1983 (the DPP Act)
  • Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (the PGPA Act)
  • Public Service Act 1999 (Public Service Act)
  • Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth.

The role of the Director

The DPP Act establishes the Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

It sets out the functions and powers of the Director including independent responsibility for conducting prosecutions for offences against laws of the Commonwealth. The Director delegates most of those functions or powers to staff of the CDPP. The Director and staff together constitute a statutory agency and the Director is the head of that statutory agency.

The Director also has a number of miscellaneous functions, including to:

  • provide legal advice to Commonwealth investigators
  • apply for superannuation forfeiture orders under Commonwealth law.

The Commonwealth Solicitor for Public Prosecutions takes a lead role in supporting the Director to fulfil her statutory obligations.

Internal governance

Director

Sarah McNaughton SC

On 5 May 2016 the Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, announced the appointment of Ms Sarah McNaughton SC as Commonwealth Director of Public of Public Prosecutions. Her appointment is for a period of five years.

Ms McNaughton has 27 years’ experience as a legal practitioner.

She has been a respected member of the New South Wales Bar since 1996 and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2011.

Ms McNaughton has appeared as both prosecution and defence counsel in complex criminal trials and has specialist expertise in offences related to taxation, corporate crime, drug importation and terrorism.

She has held a range of roles in private practice and with the CDPP.

Ms McNaughton holds degrees in Arts (Hons), Law (Hons) and a Master of Laws from the University of Sydney.

Commonwealth Solicitor for Public Prosecutions

Mark Pedley

In October 2015, the former Director, Robert Bromwich SC, appointed Mark Pedley as the Commonwealth Solicitor for Public Prosecutions.

Mr Pedley previously worked at the CDPP, having joined the Office at its inception in 1984 as a prosecutor and appeared regularly in Victorian courts. He was Deputy Director of the Melbourne Office over 17 years between 1994 and 2011, before being appointed as a Judicial Registrar of the Victorian Court of Appeal.

Mr Pedley is a highly regarded criminal lawyer and senior executive leader, with an acknowledged expertise in federal sentencing. As Commonwealth Solicitor for Public Prosecutions he is a member of the executive leadership team and works closely with the CDPP legal practice and corporate management to enhance our prosecution services. Central to his role is ensuring effective investigation-prosecution partnerships—supporting our law enforcement and investigative stakeholders to advance the aim of the CDPP to ensure offenders are brought to justice and potential offenders deterred.

Mr Pedley holds degrees in Law and Arts from the University of Melbourne.

Organisation structure

We implemented our national practice model last year to create a cohesive and nationally consistent federal prosecution service to harness the expertise of our knowledgeable and professional staff to respond to the changing nature and complexity of criminal activity.

This national model creates consistency, agility and flexibility to enable us to adapt and respond to the diverse range and volume of referrals received from partner agencies. As the volume and diversity of cases referred is outside our control, our national approach builds the capability of our people, enabling them to work consistently across a range of crime types and jurisdictions or specialise where necessary, for example in the emerging areas of counter-terrorism and online child exploitation.

While jurisdictional differences remain in the prosecution process, the model has built expertise and strengthened relationships with partner agencies by harnessing the collective expertise of the entire office.

While still in its infancy, the national practice model continues to evolve and deliver benefits—specifically the ability to adapt and change in response to changes in our operating environment, budget and partner agency referrals.

Figure 1: Organisation chart at 30 June 2016

  • Sarah McNaughton SC, Commonwealth Director
    • Mark Pedley, Commonwealth Solicitor for Public Prosecutions
      • Gaby Medley-Brown, Chief Corporate Officer,Canberra Office
      • Shane Kirne, Deputy Director, Commercial, Financial and Corruption, Melbourne Office
      • James Carter, Deputy Director, Revenue and Benefits Fraud, Canberra Office
      • Scott Bruckard PSM, Deputy Director, Organised Crime and Counter-Terrorism, Perth and Melbourne Offices
      • Andrea Pavleka, Deputy Director, Illegal Imports and Exports/Human Exploitation and Border Protection, Sydney Office
      • David Adsett, Deputy Director, International Assistance and Specialist Agencies/National Business Improvement, Brisbane Office

CDPP Group Portrait

Left to right: James Carter, David Adsett, Shane Kirne, Sarah McNaughton SC, Mark Pedley, Andrea Pavleka, Scott Bruckard PSM, Gaby Medley-Brown

Executive Leadership Group

The Executive Leadership Group (ELG) is the key advisory group to the Director. The ELG comprises the Director as Chair, the Commonwealth Solicitor for Public Prosecutions, the Chief Corporate Officer and the Deputy Directors who provide advice on:

  • prosecutions
  • policy development
  • law reform
  • strategy
  • planning
  • governance and risk management
  • practice management
  • corporate management
  • performance reporting
  • significant issues of national interest to the CDPP.

The ELG is an accomplished team of professionals offering a broad range of expertise and specialist knowledge.

See more details about this group’s role on page 102.

David Adsett

Deputy Director Illegal Imports and Exports/Human Exploitation and Border Protection (to 29 May 2016)

Deputy Director International Assistance and Specialist Agencies/National Business Improvement (from 30 May 2016)

Mr Adsett has been a Federal Prosecutor for almost 30 years. During his extensive legal career he has conducted prosecutions for a wide range of Commonwealth offending, including money laundering, tax fraud, commercial fraud, drug importation, people smuggling and terrorism. He currently leads National Business Improvement Practice Group, including Legal Learning and Professional Development. Mr Adsett also heads the International Assistance and Specialist Agencies Practice Group, overseeing specialist agency work and the international functions of extradition and mutual assistance.

Mr Adsett is a Barrister and holds Law and Arts degrees from the University of Queensland and a Master of Laws degree from the University of Sydney.

Scott Bruckard PSM

Deputy Director Organised Crime and Counter-Terrorism

Mr Bruckard has worked as a Federal Prosecutor for more than 27 years, prosecuting a wide range of crime types. Since 2004 he has specialised in the prosecution of counter-terrorism matters. Mr Bruckard has managed some of Australia’s largest and high profile cases including the prosecution of Jack Thomas and the numerous prosecutions arising out of Australian Federal Police Operation Halophyte, Operation Neath and Operation Pendennis—Australia’s largest counter-terrorism police investigation.

Mr Bruckard oversees the delivery of specialist legal services to police and other partner agencies during the course of counter-terrorism and more complex organised crime investigations. He has a strong interest in developing better ways to manage large criminal litigation, particularly through more effective partnerships and smarter use of technology. Mr Bruckard has represented Australia at a number of international counter-terrorism conferences and forums, including at the United Nations in New York and at a Global Counter-Terrorism Forum in Frankfurt.

In June 2016, Mr Bruckard was awarded a Public Service Medal (PSM) in recognition of his distinguished service to the law enforcement and justice community through spearheading counter-terrorism prosecutions.

He holds degrees in Arts and Law from the University of Melbourne.

James Carter

Director Revenue and Benefits Fraud

Mr Carter commenced his legal career at the CDPP as a graduate legal officer in 1987. He prosecuted in the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales before moving to national legal, liaison, law reform and practice management roles.

Mr Carter has extensive experience in Commonwealth criminal law and working with partner agencies to successfully investigate and prosecute the wide range of Commonwealth criminal offences. He has contributed to the work of the Australian Law Reform Commission, particularly in relation to the sentencing of federal offenders. Mr Carter’s experience led to his leadership of the Revenue and Benefits Fraud Practice group. In this role he is responsible nationally for the prosecution of general tax, social security, internal and identity fraud, to protect the integrity of Commonwealth programmes. Mr Carter has been a member of the Senior Executive of the CDPP since 2004 and a Deputy Director since 2007.

He holds degrees in Law and Arts from the Australian National University.

Shane Kirne

Deputy Director Commercial, Financial and Corruption

Deputy Director International Assistance and Specialist Agencies (1 July 2015 to 29 May 2016)

Shane Kirne has been a key member of the CDPP since 1985.

Mr Kirne has personally handled and/or managed a diverse range of matters, including large and complex drug matters, complex commercial fraud and market manipulation matters, and prosecution of frauds committed against the Commonwealth or by Commonwealth employees, including fraud committed by a member of federal parliament.

Mr Kirne’s knowledge and experience is highly regarded. He is regularly invited to speak at legal forums to share his knowledge of commercial crimes and their prosecution.

Mr Kirne holds degrees in Law (Hons) and Arts from the University of Melbourne.

Gaby Medley-Brown

Chief Corporate Officer

Ms Medley-Brown is an accomplished Chief Corporate Officer (CCO) with more than six years’ experience in successfully leading all facets of corporate services. Ms Medley-Brown’s experience includes the leadership and stewardship of human resources management, information technology and information management, finance, governance audit and risk, property and security services, communication, media, parliamentary services and legal services.

Before joining the CDPP, she was Chief Operating Officer at Comcare (2010–2014)—a position she gained after more than 17 years designing, implementing and running large information communication technology environments including as the ICT National Operations Manager for Medicare Australia (2005–2010).

Ms Medley-Brown is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program (2013).

Andrea Pavleka

Deputy Director Illegal Imports and Exports/Human Exploitation and Border Protection (from 30 May 2016)

Ms Pavleka has national responsibility for a large variety of crime types, including general drug and precursor importation offences, money laundering, child exploitation offences, human trafficking, slavery and people smuggling. During 2015–16, she moved to the CDPP Sydney Office to take up the Deputy Director position.

Ms Pavleka first joined the CDPP’s Melbourne Office 25 years ago. Prior to joining the Executive Leadership Group, Ms Pavleka was a Federal Prosecutor responsible for major criminal litigation including some of the most complex and long-running trials ever undertaken by the CDPP. She was a member of the senior executive in the Melbourne Office for more than 10 years, where she was Assistant Director for a number of branches including General Prosecutions (encompassing drug and fraud prosecutions), tax and people smuggling and more recently, organised crime and counter-terrorism.

She holds a degree in Law from the Australian National University.

Corporate governance

Governance in the CDPP provides a framework to ensure that we meet the standards of fairness, openness, consistency, accountability and efficiency in prosecuting offences against the laws of the Commonwealth and, in meeting these standards, maintain the confidence of the public we serve.

In 2015–16, we strengthened our focus on our corporate governance structure, frameworks and delivery by continuing to embed the following principles of public sector governance:

  • values-driven leadership
  • appropriate governance
  • performance orientation
  • transparency and integrity
  • collaboration.

We continually refine our governance arrangements to ensure they are fit-for-purpose and clear to everyone. Our governance structure (see Figure 2) provides clarity on accountabilities and aligns our work and relationships with our stakeholders, to work together to achieve the Outcome and Aim expressed in our Corporate Plan.

Figure 2: CDPP governance structure at 30 June 2016

Download the CDPP governance diagram.

Executive Leadership Group

Our Executive Leadership Group is the key advisory group to the Director and comprises the Director as Chair, Commonwealth Solicitor for Public Prosecutions, Deputy Directors and Chief Corporate Officer. The Executive Leadership group meets monthly to:

  • identify and consider emerging strategic issues
  • monitor and consider legal practice performance and outcomes
  • consider, endorse and oversee CDPP strategies and policies on matters such as human resource management, communications, planning, information and communications technology, information management, security and governance
  • oversee budget reporting and financial strategy
  • ensure national consistency in legal practice and corporate policies and processes
  • oversee strategic planning, including risk identification and management
  • oversee implementation, evaluation and improvement of our governance structures and processes
  • monitor and provide oversight on significant issues of national interest to the CDPP
  • consider and approve work plans and outcomes of its sub-committees.

Audit Committee

Our Audit Committee provides independent assurance and assistance to the Director on the CDPP’s financial and performance reporting responsibilities, risk oversight and management and system of internal control.

The Committee comprises three independent members:

  • Ken Moore, Chair
  • Robyn Gray, Deputy Chair
  • Simon Kidman, Member.

During this period, management representatives who attended regular meetings were the Chief Corporate Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, the Commonwealth Solicitor for Public Prosecutions, the Deputy Director Revenue and Benefits Fraud, and the Chief Audit Executive. Other staff members attended as observers and presenters as determined by the Chair. Representatives from the Australian National Audit Office and the internal audit provider were invited to attend all Audit Committee meetings as observers. The Chair briefs the Director after each meeting.

The Committee undertakes an annual self-assessment of its performance with input from the Director, members, senior management, internal and external auditors, Chief Financial Officer, and any other relevant stakeholders as determined by the Director.

Table 15: Audit Committee attendance in 2015–16

Independent members

25 Sep 2015

25 Nov 2015

23 Mar 2016

29 Jun 2016

Ken Moore

Robyn Gray

Simon Kidman

Management representatives

* Angela Alexandrou

N/A

N/A

James Carter

Apology

Apology

Karel Havlat

Gaby Medley-Brown

** Mark Pedley

N/A

N/A

** Celine Roach

N/A

N/A

Note: * Member from September 2015 – November 2015
** Members from March 2016

Attendance correction

In accordance with section 17AH(1)(e) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 we wish to advise that in the 2014–15 Annual Report it was reported that Ms Ellen McKenzie was absent for the 18 March 2015 Audit Committee meeting. Ms McKenzie was no longer a member of the Audit Committee at that date.

National Health and Safety Committee

In accordance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, we take all reasonably practicable steps to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and other workers at work. This includes consulting with workers who are, or are likely to be, directly affected by a work health or safety matter.

The independent National Health and Safety Committee is accountable to our staff, assisting and advising on matters affecting the health, safety and wellbeing of staff and other workers at CDPP workplaces. The Committee consults widely with staff and other workers through a comprehensive Work Group Health and Safety Committee structure on the development of the Work Health and Safety Management System.

The central point of cooperation and consultation between management, staff and other workers, the Committee is responsible for disseminating Work Health and Safety information, particularly in the regional offices, in a regular and timely manner. In the past 12 months the Committee has assisted in in the consultation process with respect to several improvements and upgrades to the Work Health and Safety Management System, relating to both physical safety and mental health issues.

Membership is agreed between management and staff with representatives drawn from across the functions and locations of the CDPP.

Project Board

A Project Board chaired by the Commonwealth Solicitor for Public Prosecutions provides focused oversight of the feasibility and achievement of agreed outcomes for all projects across the CDPP. The Board is responsible for monitoring, evaluation and reporting on progress and risk profiles of projects to the Executive Leadership Group.

Costing Model Steering Committee

The Commonwealth Solicitor for Public Prosecutions chairs this Committee. The Committee is overseeing the project we are undertaking, in conjunction with the Department of Finance and the Attorney-General’s Department, to establish a model for predicting and advising the Government on CDPP resourcing implications. This is in response to new policy proposals expected to increase the workload of the CDPP. The Committee reports to the Project Board and in turn, to the Executive Leadership Group.

Planning, performance and reporting

We manage our performance through a combination of careful planning, effective measurement and monitoring of performance, and appropriate, transparent reporting.

The CDPP 2015–16 Corporate Plan provided the baseline performance measures for the first annual performance statements (see page 24), building on existing reporting requirements in Portfolio Budget Statements and Annual Reports. The annual performance statements demonstrate our performance in achieving our purpose, and are presented by reporting against our targets and measures that we established at the beginning of the reporting period.

As with all other elements required by the PGPA Act, we are working hard to ensure we meet these new requirements. The resulting integrated performance, planning and reporting framework presented here will ensure our operational performance aligns to, and supports achievement of, our strategic outcome.

Risk management

Risk management is part of our strategy and planning processes and is seen as a preventative measure, rather than as a back-end control.

The CDPP 2016 Risk Appetite and Tolerance Statement, endorsed by the Audit Committee, clearly articulates our lowest risk appetite is around compliance objectives (principally compliance with the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth) including employee work health and safety.

Our Executive Leadership Group and Audit Committee actively monitor and manage our Strategic Risk Register and Management Plan. The plan identifies the following risks to achieving our Outcome:

  • failure to apply the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth
  • serious workplace injury or death to one or more staff members
  • systemic breakdown in external stakeholder relationships.

We are actively building a true risk management culture where operational risks are identified in our Business Plan and then assessed, analysed and treatments recorded and monitored in the Corporate Services Operational Risk Register.

In 2016, Comcover assessed our agency’s risk management capability as having achieved a maturity level of Advanced, an improvement from previous year’s level of Integrated.14

Fraud prevention and control

We work diligently to minimise the potential for fraud and corruption through continuous improvement of our fraud control framework and mechanisms. Our Fraud Control Policy assists employees, contactors, consultants and the public to understand what fraud is, and encourages employees at all levels to participate in protecting public resources.

The Audit Committee and our senior management are assured through reporting in the Strategic Risk Register and Management Plan and the Corporate Services Operational Risk Register that fraud prevention, detection, investigation and reporting mechanisms are in place to meet the requirements of the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework 2014, and specifically section 10(b) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 (PGPA Rule).

Fraud reporting

During the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016 there were no reported incidents of fraud.

Public interest disclosure

We are committed to the highest standards of ethical and accountable conduct, encouraging, supporting and protecting public officials who report disclosable conduct in accordance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013.

We recognise that it is important to have an effective system for reporting and investigating disclosable conduct. We hold awareness sessions for all staff and provide training for our Authorised Officer network. We have a dedicated email address for disclosures to be made to Authorised Officers, who report regularly to the Director. Our Public Interest Disclosure Policy and supporting documents are provided on our intranet and website: www.cdpp.gov.au.

Ethical standards

Part of developing strong leadership for an organisation like the CDPP is bringing an ethical framework to our decision-making. Everyone at the CDPP undertakes to follow these standards on joining our organisation, and is expected to adhere to the standards throughout their time with us.

The Ethics Advisory Service is available to all employees who wish to discuss and seek advice on ethical issues that occur in the workplace and make sound decisions around these issues. Our people can also access policies, guidance and support from our People Team and through the Employee Assistance Provider.

We rigorously pursue disclosure and management of conflicts of interest.

During 2015–16 the Governance Team worked with the executive to review and strengthen the conflicts policy and related guidance and procedures to enable all officials under the PGPA Act, including the Director as the accountable authority, to meet their disclosure requirements.

Internal audit

We carry out an internal audit programme each year to provide an independent assurance on compliance with procedures and systems of internal control, assist CDPP management to improve business performance and monitor the implementation of audit outcomes. The audit programme is approved by the Executive Leadership Group and endorsed by the Audit Committee.

In 2015–16, internal audit work was fully outsourced. With the appointment of a Chief Audit Executive in early 2016, we are looking to deliver future audits using a combination of in-house capabilities and external resources.

Improving our national legal practice

In May 2016 we established the National Business Improvement Practice Group. The purpose of the Practice Group is to foster innovation in the CDPP. This includes business ownership of the Director’s Coordination Unit.

The National Business Improvement Practice Group also has responsibility for:

  • Legal learning and professional development
  • CDPP business systems including our internal case management systems Case Recording and Information Management System (CRIMS) and Electronic Red Folder (ERF) system
  • a range of business improvement projects including major redevelopments of both our intranet and our secure Partner Agency Portal
  • CDPP legal manuals including our Federal Prosecution Manual
  • other information and communications technology business improvement projects such as digitisation
  • our partner engagement strategy.
Legal policy and procedure

A primary function of the National Business Improvement Practice Group is to build nationally consistent business practices to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the way we conduct our prosecutions. This includes delivering quality assurance processes, and leading internal and external legal policy and legislative improvement.

Project Management Framework

Part of good governance is about well-reasoned and timely decision-making within an overarching plan (in effect, project management). During 2015–16 we built on our extensive work in delivering better practice governance by putting in place:

  • a Project Board
  • a Project Management Procedure (the core of our broader Project Management Framework) for use across the CDPP on all projects. Its application assists all staff to more rapidly manage the schedule, budget risks and context of any project. The general principles are also applied to planning complex litigation
  • nationally consistent templates and training support for development of stronger project management skills, with benefits for staff performance as well as the CDPP as a whole.
Digital platforms

We are developing a new secure Partner Agency Portal and new user-friendly and responsive intranet for staff. Both redevelopment projects are designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of CDPP staff and partner agencies by connecting them to resources to enable and support their time-critical work.

Legal Learning and Professional Development

During 2015–16 we developed an extensive Legal Learning and Professional Development (LLPD) Programme, resulting in a June 2016 launch of a new LLPD strategy for legal practice and administrative support staff. The strategy provides the necessary framework for embedding a learning culture through targeted activities and training programmes and is guided by the strategic theme of investing in our people.

A major component of the LLPD strategy is providing our staff with relevant learning experiences. A learning needs analysis has been carried out, identifying skills gaps to shape this strategy. One area identified for skills development is advocacy training. A provider has started delivering this training to staff.

Partner agency satisfaction

Understanding partner agency perceptions of the CDPP across a range of service areas provides valuable insights that help shape and improve processes, procedures and performance. To align with the introduction of the biennial satisfaction survey in 2015–16, we set a partner agency satisfaction target of 90 per cent and achieved a satisfaction rating of 83 per cent. While this result fell slightly short of the target, it captured valuable feedback to assist the CDPP meet the target in the future.

The survey has established a methodology and baseline to track satisfaction on an ongoing basis. The next survey will be conducted in 2018.

Survey participants

The online survey targeted a representative sample of partner agencies who have had recent contact with the CDPP. Participants were nominated by Practice Groups and a statistically robust response rate of 60 per cent was achieved.

The majority of stakeholders were people who held investigation, enforcement or compliance roles. Most had been working in their agency for more than six years and have regular contact with the CDPP.

Key results
Overall satisfaction
Participants were asked to score their level of satisfaction with the CDPP out of 10—the highest level of satisfaction. The score is just short of the 90% target and will form the baseline for future measurement of satisfaction - 83%Results reinforce that our work is important, valued and we are a vital part of the Australian justice system.
Professionalism
Staff scored well on professionalism across all practice groups - 97%
Commitment
Staff commitment is seen to be high - 91%
Knowledge
Staff across all practice groups were considered knowledgeable - 93%

Of the legal service areas, the two primary drivers for satisfaction were ensuring responsiveness to requests for brief assessment of the sufficiency of evidence to prosecution, and liaison and support activities.

Pre-brief advice
The majority of practice groups rated positively in terms of pre-brief legal advice and support - 77%
Responsiveness
Responsiveness to requests for brief assessments for sufficiency of evidence to prosecute generally WELL RATED
Legal representation
All practice groups scored well in regard to legal representation before courts and tribunals - 84%

Educating partner agencies about our prosecution services

As part of our stakeholder engagement strategy, communication material was developed to create a common understanding of the prosecution services we offer to partner agencies. Products produced include:

  • a brochure promoting prosecution services
  • a National Legal Direction on Prosecution Services for partner agencies
  • a practical guide for prosecutors on prosecution services for partner agencies
  • a template for post committal meeting between the CDPP and partner agencies
  • three video case studies highlighting the services provided by the CDPP for promotion via the new CDPP Partner Agency Portal.

These information products will be used by our partner agencies and within the CDPP during 2016–17.

Federal Counsel Group

Under the national practice group model, we established a national specialist in-house advocacy programme, called the Federal Counsel Group.

During 2015–16 the programme comprised a specialist group of advocates capable of regularly conducting federal criminal jury trials, superior court appeals and other more challenging and complex appearance work that would otherwise be briefed to the private bar.

The Director has decided to adopt a more flexible model to encourage lawyers across the Office to extend the level of advocacy undertaken in-house. This has been supported by specialist criminal advocacy training.

The programme, and in-house advocacy more generally, generates financial savings for the CDPP and promotes the development of highly specialised advocacy skills.

Corporate services

The Corporate Services group provides a customer-focused and collaborative approach to tailoring and strengthening the support services for the legal practice.

To achieve this, the Corporate Services Group delivers timely, quality services to support the day-to-day work of the legal practice and delivers modern business systems to equip lawyers with the necessary tools to conduct prosecutions effectively and efficiently. These two broad objectives guide and direct the work of all business areas within the Corporate Services branch comprising:

  • People
  • Finance
  • Legal Administration Support
  • Governance, Internal Audit
  • Communications
  • Planning, Information Management
  • Information Technology.

Leadership Programme

We have a two-pronged approach to building the capability of our people—specialist legal training and education through the Legal Learning and Professional Development programme, and ongoing leadership training for new and experienced managers. This approach acknowledges the professional legal expertise required to guide and support staff in their prosecution work, and the essential people management skills and knowledge required to help them thrive and perform effectively in their roles.

Participants in our Leadership Programme attended forums featuring a range of inspiring speakers from Government, partner agencies and the private sector. They also contributed to action learning projects assigned to syndicate groups, and participated in individual coaching to help progress personal goals and leadership ability and capability (see the following case study).

Case Study: Building leadership capability

In July 2015, we launched an innovative leadership development programme, based around our strategic theme of ‘Investing in our people’. By the end of the programme, a total of 63 staff from administration through to senior legal staff had successfully completed the course.

The first step in developing the leadership programme was a comprehensive training needs analysis, which highlighted developmental priorities for the Senior Executive Service, Work Group Coordinators and Administrative Coordinators.

We then built these priority areas into the tailored leadership development programme, customised for each target group.

Co-designed by the Executive Leadership Group, Senior Executive Services and our change management consultancy, the programme supported each target group to develop the leadership capability needed to implement our national service delivery model, workforce planning and workload management systems.

Key learning activities included:

  • insights—forum-based presentations from government, partner agencies and private sector speakers
  • actions—Executive Leadership Group-endorsed Action Learning Projects carried out by syndicate groups
  • education—individual coaching to help participants achieve personal goals and organisational objectives.

Insights—Leadership Forums

We delivered seven forums throughout the programme, with various internal and external speakers covering relevant topics and introducing activities designed to expose the groups to a broad range of content and context.

The final forum in June 2016 focused on the Action Learning Projects and included an evaluation of each, recommendations for effectively implementing and embedding the ideas presented into CDPP practices, and discussion around establishing a common focus and direction for 2016 and beyond.

Actions—Action Learning Projects

One of the key learning methods used in the programme was creating 12 syndicate groups—across the three participating levels. Each syndicate group was assigned an Action Learning Project to consider implementing into CDPP business practice.

Groups had to work collaboratively using a project management methodology to advance solutions to associated workplace priorities and/or problems.

Assigning Action Learning Projects was a key strategy to solve business problems, with the solutions developed to be implemented across the CDPP in 2016–17.

Education—coaching sessions

Coaching sessions focused on individual needs within the context of an officer’s role within CDPP and the broader workplace. Discussions covered leadership and management challenges, the Australian Public Service, Integrated Leadership System and career trajectory, strategies and tasks.

Coaching sessions were delivered to all leadership development programme participants, and focused on:

  • supporting the development of clear expectations about responsibility and accountability, to more effectively manage complex litigation matters (Senior Executive Service)
  • moving ahead with Integrated Leadership System discussions to assist individual contributions to Action Learning Projects (Work Group Coordinators)
  • managing upwards, influencing and managing expectations and building effective working relationships with practice groups and Federal Prosecutors (Administrative Coordinators).

Action Learning Projects

Our service

Related projects included:

  • an Information Governance Framework
  • improved management of complex litigation matters
  • improved measures for identifying and managing prosecution matters
  • a National Service Offer for legal administrative support.

Our people

Related projects included:

  • mentoring programme for Federal Prosecutor 1s
  • Who’s Got Talent—a performance framework focused on performance excellence
  • Skills Inventory Tool to support performance excellence
  • building a vibrant Work Group Coordinators network
  • building relationships between Work Group Coordinators, Complex Litigators and Practice Group Coordinators.
  • managing attendance in the prosecution environment
  • remote management in a national practice.

Administrative support

The Administrative Support Team provides a range specialist and general administrative support services to Federal Prosecutors.

The team is led by a National Coordinator and is focused on delivering timely quality services to support the day-to-day needs of the legal practice. We have begun a project to articulate this work as a nationally consistent service offer, which is linked to each stage of the criminal prosecution process.

The skills required to undertake this work continue to evolve in line with changes to legal and court practices and advances in technology, such as new digital processes. The knowledge and capability of the team is continually developed through targeted training activities and programmes in accordance with the Legal Learning and Professional Development Strategy.

Information management

The Information Management Team supports the work of the CDPP by managing access to legal resources and providing expert research and training services. The team operates a National Research Support Helpdesk that delivers a high quality and efficient research service equitably to all CDPP staff.

In 2016 we completed a holistic review of the Library subscriptions to ensure our print and online collections continue to meet the needs of a modern prosecution service. The Information Management Team is working with the Communications Team on the intranet redevelopment project to provide practitioners with easy and intuitive access to legal research material. Information Management Team staff are also involved in the information and communications technology mobile computing initiative, so that access to legal resources remains seamless and uninterrupted.

Communications and media

The Communications Team provides specialist communication services to our organisation. This includes providing account management services to assist practice groups or business areas deliver their internal programmes, and external communication targeting stakeholders, media, partner agencies and the general public.

The work of the Communications Team is guided by the CDPP’s Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy. The strategy sets out a proactive approach to communications and engagement to raise awareness of the role of the CDPP, support staff, improve collaboration with partner agencies, identify and generate opportunities, and build public confidence in the CDPP as a vital part of the Australian justice system.

In 2015–16 the Communications Team:

  • provided timely and effective communication services to support internal programmes, including the Leadership Programme featured on page 110
  • liaised with media where matters attracted significant media interest, including providing timely responses to enquiries
  • redeveloped and launched the CDPP’s website, providing a user-friendly, modern and responsive communications channel
  • developed and launched the inaugural Stakeholder Business Satisfaction Survey
  • participated in communication-specific taskforce working groups.

In 2016–17, the Communications Team will continue to evolve services in step with the needs of the CDPP and partner agencies. This will include delivering a new intranet to connect legal staff to the resources and information they need to undertake their work, and a new secure Partner Agency Portal to assist investigators complete their time-critical work.

Information technology

Our computing environment comprises a national network covering all CDPP offices across the country. The focus for 2015–16 has been delivering fit-for-purpose information technology products and contemporary tools and services that represent value for money in enabling:

  • introducing modern mobile computing solutions, including iPhones iPads and laptop ‘two-in-one’ devices that will enable our legal practitioners to work remotely
  • modernising the work of our Legal practice by introducing commercial off-the-shelf digital solutions including:
    • introducing our internal work management system
    • introducing automated litigation support tools to improve the timeliness and accuracy of assessing briefs
    • automating the production of internal and client case correspondence
  • developing a secure method to enable partner agencies to lodge briefs electronically
  • providing reliable platforms for the re-development of the CDPP intranet and website
  • improving our Human Resources Management System
  • introducing a new Financial Management Information System
  • expanding our video conferencing capability
  • introducing a national digital solution for case files and administrative records storage
  • enhancing our digital records management capability, in line with the Whole of Government Digital Continuity 2020 Policy.

Improving day-to-day information technology support services internally and to partner agencies is also a core area of work that will enable better and faster outcomes through the delivery of secure, timely, quality information and communications services that support the day-to-day work practices of our legal practice.

Chapter 4: People

  • Employing - 417 
    • Female - 70%
    • Male - 30%
  • Working in 10 offices across the nation
  • 60% Frontline lawyers working across all jurisdictions and all levels of court - 60%
  • 42 new recruits as Federal Prosecutors joined our ranks in 2015-16

Human resource overview

At 30 June 2016 the CDPP comprised 417 people (headcount) with the average full-time equivalent employee level (operative employees only) for the year being 376.6.

Of the headcount number, 60 per cent were lawyers assigned to legal roles across the practice groups. The CDPP prosecutions function is supported by a range of legal practice services, including litigation support, accountancy, information technology, people services, finance and legal administrative support (see page 110).

During 2015–16, we reduced the number of Principal Federal Prosecutors by 30 per cent and increased the number of Senior Federal Prosecutors by 19 per cent. At the same time, non-legal roles increased slightly, by one per cent across the organisation. The ratio of Senior Executive Service employees to total employee numbers remained at five per cent of total employees. Our non-ongoing engagements increased by 36 per cent.

All CDPP employees were employed under the Public Service Act 1999 or the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1983 (DPP Act).

Workforce planning

Building on the realignment of our core business, we are now consolidating our new national structure.

We will achieve this through a strategic approach to planning that links an integrated human resources strategy to core CDPP corporate objectives via a strategic workforce plan. The objective is to embed strategic, tactical and operational workforce planning into business-as-usual practices across the CDPP.

The proposed workforce plan will be in place by June 2017 and include:

  • a clear understanding of CDPP’s workforce needs now and into the future
  • an examination of skills gaps
  • an outline of the capabilities that are common across the agency and those that are unique to specialist areas within CDPP
  • an agreed ratio for span of control applicable to various business groups informing current and future organisational structures
  • an identification of critical roles aligned to succession planning and resourcing strategies
  • a workforce trend analysis informing both current and forecasted supply and demand considerations for qualified and experienced criminal lawyers and identified critical roles
  • an employee life cycle analysis maximising employee engagement and skills development opportunities.

Workforce statistics and pay

A breakdown of employee numbers appears in the following tables.

Table 16: Employee headcount by classification level and region at 30 June 2016

Classification

ACT

NSW

NT

QLD

SA

TAS

VIC

WA

Total

Director

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

SES Band 3

1

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

SES Band 2

2

1

-

-

-

-

2

-

5

SES Band 1

3

6

-

3

1

-

2

1

16

Principal Federal Prosecutor

5

17

1

7

3

1

11

2

47

Senior Federal Prosecutor

8

40

1

15

6

3

26

7

106

Federal Prosecutor Level 2

1

18

2

10

3

1

13

2

50

Federal Prosecutor Level 1

2

16

1

9

4

-

10

5

47

Executive Level 2

5

1

-

-

-

1

-

-

7

Executive Level 1

10

1

-

1

1

-

1

1

15

APS Level 6

12

5

-

-

-

-

-

-

17

APS Level 5

7

5

-

2

2

-

3

3

22

APS Level 4

4

4

1

9

1

-

5

2

26

APS Level 3

4

21

1

3

1

3

10

4

47

APS Level 2

-

6

-

-

-

-

1

-

7

APS Level 1

1

1

-

1

-

-

-

-

3

Total

66

142

7

60

22

9

84

27

417

Notes:

1. This table includes inoperative employees.

2. Employees are reported at their substantive classification.

Table 17: Workforce profile by classification at 30 June 2016

Classification

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

Director

1

1

1

SES Band 3

-

-

1

SES Band 2

7

6

5

SES Band 1

24

17

16

Principal Federal Prosecutor

99

67

47

Senior Federal Prosecutor

90

86

106

Federal Prosecutor Level 2

54

49

50

Federal Prosecutor Level 1

26

56

47

Executive Level 2

15

8

7

Executive Level 1

24

15

15

APS Level 6

22

18

17

APS Level 5

22

18

22

APS Level 4

43

33

26

APS Level 3

62

44

47

APS Level 2

6

5

7

APS Level 1

1

2

3

Total

496

425

417

Notes:

1. This table includes inoperative employees.

2. Employees are reported at their substantive classification.

Table 18: Workforce profile by location at 30 June 2016

Location

2013–14

2014–15

2015–16

ACT

75

55

66

NSW

158

148

142

NT

8

7

7

QLD

81

70

60

SA

22

21

22

TAS

10

9

9

VIC

89

85

84

WA

53

30

27

Total

496

425

417

Notes:

1. This table includes inoperative employees.

Table 19: Average staffing levels (ASL) by location at 30 June 2016

Location

ASL 2015–16

ACT

53.25

NSW

123.94

VIC

77.19

QLD

56.19

SA

17.55

WA

23.06

TAS

8.46

NT

5.8

Total

365.44

Notes:

1. The ASL includes employees who received pay or had an employer superannuation expense payment based on the hours they worked during the month.

2. Excludes employees paid through a third party i.e. employment agency or any hours associated to cash out payments.

Table 20: Full-time equivalent (FTE) employees by location at 30 June 2016

Location

FTE 2015–16

ACT

59.03

NSW

124.9

VIC

77.24

QLD

52.41

SA

19.76

WA

23.8

TAS

7.56

NT

7

Total

371.7

Notes:

1. This table excludes inoperative employees

Table 21: Staffing summary at 30 June 2016

Category

30 June 2015

30 June 2016

Total staff employed under the Public Service Act 1999

410

406

Total staff employed under the Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1983

14

10

Statutory Office holders

1

1

Total

425

417

Notes:

1. This table includes inoperative staff.

2. The total number of non-ongoing staff reflected in this table for the reporting period is 37.

Table 22: Workforce profile by category summary at 30 June 2016

 

30 June 2015

30 June 2016

Category

Full-time

Part-time

Casual

Total

Full-time

Part-time

Casual

Total

Director

1

-

-

1

1

-

-

1

SES Band 3

-

-

-

-

1

-

-

1

SES Band 2

6

-

-

6

5

-

-

5

SES Band 1

17

-

-

17

16

-

-

16

Federal Prosecutors

200

58

-

258

201

49

-

250

Executive Level Officers

20

1

2

23

18

4

-

22

APS Level 1— APS Level 6

104

15

1

120

107

15

-

122

Total

348

74

3

425

349

68

-

417

Notes:

1. This table includes inoperative employees.

2. Employees are reported at their substantive classification.

Table 23: Employees by employment type and gender at 30 June 2016

 

Ongoing

Non-ongoing

Total

Category

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Director

-

-

1

-

1

-

SES Band 3

-

1

-

-

-

1

SES Band 2

1

4

-

-

1

4

SES Band 1

7

8

1

-

8

8

Legal Officers

171

75

3

1

174

76

Executive Level Officers

15

6

1

-

16

6

APS Level 1—APS Level 6

67

25

24

6

91

31

Total

261

119

30

7

291

126

Notes:

1. This table includes inoperative employees.

2. Employees are reported at their substantive classification.

Enterprise agreement

The CDPP Enterprise Agreement 2011–14 reached its nominal expiry date on 30 June 2014.

We sought to negotiate a new agreement, with staff entering into bargaining meetings with a clear objective of providing a greatly simplified agreement offering the maximum pay increase permissible without reducing employee terms and conditions. The proposed Enterprise Agreement 2016–2019 was not voted in by staff. Overall, we achieved a positive participation rate with 87.5 per cent of eligible employees casting a vote, however of those employees, 69 per cent voted ‘no’ and 31 per cent voted ‘yes’.

Given this result, the terms and conditions including rates of pay under the CDPP Enterprise Agreement 2011–14 continue to apply.

We are committed to negotiating a new enterprise agreement with staff.

At 30 June 2016 there were 394 employees covered by the Enterprise Agreement.

Table 24: Salary scales at 30 June 2016

Classification

Salary scales

SES remuneration ranges

 

SES Band 3

$260,723 – $310,639

SES Band 2

$222,991 – $247,158

SES Band 1

$188546 – $212,148

CDPP Enterprise Agreement 2011–14

 

Principal Federal Prosecutor

$122,323 – $130,117

Executive Level 2

$112,110 – $126,894

Senior Federal Prosecutor

$93,044 – $113,220

Executive Level 1

$93,044 – $101,545

APS Level 6

$73,461 – $84,389

Federal Prosecutor 2

$67,271 – $82,513

APS Level 5

$66,835 – $72,232

Federal Prosecutor 1

$59,996 – $66,371

APS Level 4

$59,996 – $66,371

APS Level 3

$53,904 – $59,274

APS Level 2

$48,697 – $53,542

APS Level 1

$25,299 – $47,240

Notes:

1. Non-SES rates of pay at 30 June 2016 remain under the CDPP Enterprise Agreement 2011–14.

Common law contracts

The terms and conditions of employment for substantive Senior Executive Service (SES)employees are provided under individual common law contracts. At 30 June 2016 there were 22 of these contracts in place.

Performance pay

We do not pay performance pay.

Section 24(1) determination

In 2015–2016 we made one determination pursuant to section 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999.

Staff survey

The 2016 Australian Public Service Employee Census was conducted between May and June 2016. The survey is managed by the Australian Public Service Commission and delivered by ORC International.

Of the CDPP’s 417 employees, 66 per cent participated. The census is an effective measure of employee engagement upon which management decisions continue to be made to improve employee engagement, wellbeing and work practices.

Our census results for the four aspects of employee engagement (job, team, supervisor, agency) improved in all elements compared with 2015 census results. Our results also indicated that our employees experience opportunities to contribute, use their skills and are proud to work for the CDPP. We will continue to implement strategies to ensure ongoing improvement.

Work health and safety

Improvements to our Work Health and Safety Management System have resulted in increased compliance, improved reporting and effective consultation.

Information about our work health and safety arrangements (in accordance with Schedule 2, Part 4 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011) is reported in Appendix 3 from page 187.

Employee wellbeing

Our Employee Wellbeing Programme is an integral part of our work health and safety arrangements and establishes a framework to strengthen and synchronise wellbeing policy and practice across the CDPP through a holistic approach to general wellbeing, emotional and social wellbeing, and psychological wellbeing.

We recognise the importance of building employee resilience against psychological harm from exposure to potentially distressing case materials and provide a work environment that encourages our people to identify psychological issues early and access appropriate help.

The current approach to wellbeing consists of a mandatory wellbeing (fit-for-work) check carried out by our service provider prior to commencing work in the Illegal Imports and Exports, Human Exploitation and Border Protection, International Assistance and Specialist Agencies or Organised Crime and Counter-Terrorism Practice Groups. Administrative staff who are working across these areas also undergo a mandatory wellbeing check.

Once working in these areas, our staff attend additional wellbeing checks on an annual basis.

Workplace diversity

Our Workplace Diversity Plan is scheduled to be reviewed during the 2016 calendar year. The current programme builds on earlier workplace diversity plans and programmes and recognises and incorporates developments and progress that we have made as an organisation in this area. It aims to integrate the principles of workplace diversity into all aspects of human resource management. This involves raising awareness of, and promoting, core values and standards of behaviour among all our staff. It further involves embedding those principles into all human resource management policies and practices, including the performance management scheme and selection and induction processes.

Our workplace diversity profile is shown in the table below. The table is based on information volunteered by staff who may choose not to disclose their status, and as a result the information may not be complete.

Table 25: Employees by diversity group at 30 June 2016

 

Female

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

Person with disability

First language English plus another

First language other than English

Classification

     

Director

1

-

-

-

-

SES Band 3

-

-

-

-

-

SES Band 2

1

-

-

-

-

SES Band 1

8

-

-

1

1

Legal Officers

174

1

7

28

15

Executive Level Officers

16

-

-

1

2

APS Level 1—APS Level 6

91

-

4

12

21

Total

291

1

11

42

39

Notes:

1. This table includes inoperative employees.

2. Employees are reported at their substantive classification.

Reconciliation Action Plan

Our Reconciliation Action Plan outlines our commitment to fostering an environment in which everyone has the same opportunities and may be included in the workforce. Our work impacts on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through our dealings with alleged offenders and other people affected by the criminal justice process. This includes ensuring that victims and witnesses understand the criminal process and their role in that process.

Our Reconciliation Action Plan supports our core business by articulating actions that will enhance and improve our responsiveness to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples affected by the criminal justice process and ensure that our witness and victim services are more accessible to these communities.

Agency Multicultural Plan

We are committed to understanding Australia’s culturally and linguistically diverse population in order to appropriately reflect the needs of these communities in all of our work, including the development and delivery of policy and services.

During 2015–16 we developed key performance indicators that can be used for future reporting. Further, we have built reporting capability into our Case Reporting and Information Management System to capture information on culturally and linguistically diverse clients.

Culturally and linguistically diverse clients include defendants and victims who:

  • have low English proficiency (requiring an interpreter)
  • speak a language other than English at home (requiring an interpreter)
  • are from a country of birth outside Australia and other English speaking countries (unless Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander)
  • are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

In 2015–16 the available data shows we provided services to 659 clients who had been determined as meeting the criteria of culturally and linguistically diverse clients. These clients include defendants and victims.

Status of women

At 30 June 2016 a total of 69.8 per cent of CDPP employees were female. Within the legal practice groups, female participation was 68.1 per cent. Female participation at the SES level was 40.9 per cent.

National Disability Strategy

The development of the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 sets out a 10-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high level two-yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. These reports can be found at www.dss.gov.au.

Privacy

There were no reports served on the CDPP by the Privacy Commissioner under section 30 of the Privacy Act 1988 in 2015–16.

Chapter 5: Financials

Financial statements

The audited financial statements included in this report were prepared in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (Financial reporting) Rule 2015. Detailed information on the accounting policies used to prepare the audited financial statements is at Note 1 to the financial statements.

Under current budget arrangements, the CDPP has one government outcome with one programme of activities to achieve this outcome. Further information about our budget can be found in the Attorney-General’s Portfolio Budget Statements.

Financial performance

Our operations are primarily funded through parliamentary appropriations but we also receive a small component (9.6 per cent) of revenue independently. The Australian Taxation Office transfers part of its appropriation to us to cover the cost of prosecutions for offences under goods and services tax (GST) legislation. The amount receipted in 2015–16 under this arrangement was $3.5 million. This is accounted for under an arrangement pursuant to section 74 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) as agency revenue, and retained for our use.

Operating results

Our operating revenue for 2015–16 was $86.943 million, which is an increase of $1.862 million from 2014–15. This increase is mainly due to additional funding we received for counter-terrorism prosecutions.

Operating expenses for 2015–16 were $82.025 million (excluding depreciation and amortisation expenses). This is a decrease of $1.408 million compared with 2014–15. The decrease was mainly due to a reduction to our external legal counsel expenses across the 2015–16 financial year.

The operating result for 2015–16 was a surplus of $4.918 million, excluding depreciation and amortisation expenses (in line with the Australian Government’s net cash appropriation arrangements).

Asset management

Our major assets are office fit-out, office furniture, computer equipment, purchased software and library holdings. We conduct an annual stocktake to ensure the accuracy of our asset records.

We undertook a review of library holdings in 2015–16, which identified a reduction in the use of physical libraries due to increasing availability of online legal resources. The subsequent reduction of our library holdings has reduced our overall lease space requirements. This will reduce our space requirements for a number of premises that come up for renewal over the next 18 months.

During 2015–16 we commenced a mobile computing project involving the purchase of mobile devices, associated hardware and software. There were no additional major asset acquisitions or replacement projects during the year.

Purchasing

Our procurement and purchasing in 2015–16 was undertaken in accordance with the principles set out in the Commonwealth Procurement Rules, which are underpinned by value for money.

We adhere to the core purchasing policies and principles in the Commonwealth Procurement Rules including encouraging competition among actual and potential suppliers, promoting the use of resources in an efficient, effective, economical and ethical manner, and being accountable and transparent during the procurement process.

We apply these principles to our procurement activities through the Director’s Governance and Finance Instructions and supporting guidelines, which have been developed to ensure we undertake competitive, non-discriminatory procurement processes, use resources efficiently, effectively, economically and ethically, and make decisions in an accountable and transparent manner.

Consultancy services

We engage consultants where we lack specialist expertise or when independent research, review or assessment is required. Typically, we engage consultants to investigate or diagnose a defined issue or problem, carry out defined reviews or evaluations, or provide independent advice, information or creative solutions to assist in our decision-making.

Before we engage consultants, we take into account the skills and resources required for the task, the skills available internally, and the cost-effectiveness of engaging external expertise. We make decisions to engage a consultant in line with the PGPA Act and related regulations (including the Commonwealth Procurement Rules and relevant internal policies).

Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website: www.tenders.gov.au.

During 2015–16, we entered into 19 new consultancy contracts with a total actual expenditure of $535,709 (including GST). In addition, seven ongoing consultancy contracts were active during 2015–16, involving a total actual expenditure of $737,565 (including GST).

Australian National Audit Office access clauses

During the reporting period we did not let any contracts for $100,000 or more (including GST) that do not provide for the Auditor-General to have access to the contractor’s premises.

Exempt contracts

We have exempted the publication of details of prosecution legal counsel on the basis that to do so would disclose exempt matters under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.

Procurement initiatives to support small business

We support small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Small Enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website: www.finance.gov.au/procurement/statistics-on-commonwealth-purchasing-contracts/.

We recognise the importance of ensuring that small businesses are paid on time. The results of the Survey of Australian Government Payments to Small Business are available on the Treasury’s website: www.treasury.gov.au/.

Some of the ways that our procurement practices support SMEs include:

  • using the Commonwealth Contracting Suite for low-risk procurements valued under $200,000
  • communicating in clear, simple language and presenting information in an accessible format
  • adhering to the Pay on Time Policy relating to paying small business suppliers.

External scrutiny

The Auditor-General issued an unqualified audit report for the CDPP’s 2015–16 financial statements.

No other reports that included information on our operations were issued by the Auditor-General, a Parliamentary committee, or the Commonwealth Ombudsman. There was no agency capability review of our operations during 2015–16.

During the reporting period there were no decisions of administrative tribunals or the Australian Information Commissioner that have had or may have a significant impact on our operations.

Legal services expenditure

The Legal Services Directions 2005 require agencies to report expenditure on legal services.

These directions are not intended to cover the handling of criminal prosecutions and related proceedings (see General Note 4 to the Directions). Therefore, our report relates to our administrative activities only.

Our total expenditure on legal services (excluding the handling of criminal prosecutions and related proceedings) during 2015–16 was $38,377 (excluding GST). Further details are in the following table.

Table 26: Legal services expenditure in 2015–16

This is a statement of legal services expenditure published in compliance with paragraph 11.1(ba) of the Legal Services Directions 2005.

Expenditure

Amount

Total (external and internal) expenditure

$38,377.00

Total internal legal services expenditure

$0

Total external legal services expenditure

$38,377.00

Summary of external legal services expenditure

Total value of briefs to counsel (A)

$0

Total value of disbursements (excluding counsel) (B)

$0

Total value of professional fees paid (C)

$38,377.00

Total external legal services expenditure (A + B + C)

$38,377.00

Note: Excludes the handling of criminal prosecutions and related proceedings.

Chapter 6: Financial statements

OFFICE OF THE COMMONWEALTH DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS FINANCIAL STATEMENTS 2015–2016

Download financial statements as a PDF
  • Independent Audit Report
  • Certification of the Financial Statement
  • Statement of Comprehensive Income
  • Statement of Financial Position
  • Statement of Changes of Equity
  • Cash Flow Statement
  • Schedule of Commitments
  • Notes to and forming part of the Financial Statements

Independent Audit Report 2015–2016

 

CDPP Auditor's Report - signed 23 September 2016 - page 1

CDPP Auditor's Report - signed 23 September 2016 - page 2

CDPP Auditor's Report - signed 23 September 2016 - page 3

Chapter 7: Appendices and references

Appendix 1. List of requirements

Schedule 2 paragraph 17AJ(d) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Amendment (Non-corporate Commonwealth Entity Annual Reporting) Rule 2016 requires the list of requirements to be included in a non-corporate Commonwealth entity’s annual report for a reporting period. This Schedule is made for subsection 46(3) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (the Act).

Table 27: List of requirements

Ref *

Part of report

Description

Requirement

Location

17AD(g)

Letter of transmittal

17AI

 

A copy of the letter of transmittal signed and dated by accountable authority on date final text approved, with statement that the report has been prepared in accordance with section 46 of the Act and any enabling legislation that specifies additional requirements in relation to the annual report

Mandatory

Preliminary

17AD(h)

Aid to access

17AJ(a)

 

Table of contents

Mandatory

Preliminary

17AJ(b)

 

Alphabetical index

Mandatory

Chapter 7

17AJ(c)

 

Glossary of abbreviations and acronyms

Mandatory

Chapter 7

17AJ(d)

 

List of requirements

Mandatory

Chapter 7

17AJ(e)

 

Details of contact officer

Mandatory

Preliminary

17AJ(f)

 

Entity’s website address

Mandatory

Preliminary

17AJ(g)

 

Electronic address of report

Mandatory

Preliminary

17AD(a)

Review by accountable authority

17AD(a)

 

Review by accountable authority of the entity

Mandatory

Director’s Review—Preliminary

17AD(b)

Overview of the entity

17AE(1)(a)(i)

 

A description of the role and functions of the entity

Mandatory

Chapter 1

17AE(1)(a)(ii)

 

A description of the organisational structure of the entity

Mandatory

Chapter 3

17AE(1)(a)(iii)

 

A description of the outcomes and programmes administered by the entity

Mandatory

Chapter 1

17AE(1)(a)(iv)

 

A description of the purposes of the entity as included in corporate plan

Mandatory

Chapter 1

17AE(1)(b)

 

An outline of the structure of the portfolio of the entity

Portfolio departments mandatory

Not applicable

17AE(2)

 

Where the outcomes and programs administered by the entity differ from any Portfolio Budget Statement, Portfolio Additional Estimates Statement or other portfolio estimates statement that was prepared for the entity for the period, include details of variation and reasons for change

Mandatory

Chapter 1

17AD(c)

Report on the Performance of the entity

 

Annual performance Statements

17AD(c)(i); 16F

 

Annual performance statement in accordance with paragraph 39(1)(b) of the Act and section 16F of the Rule

Mandatory

Chapter 2

17AD(c)(ii)

Report on Financial Performance

17AF(1)(a)

 

A discussion and analysis of the entity’s financial performance

Mandatory

Director’s Review—Preliminary and Chapter 5

17AF(1)(b)

 

A table summarising the total resources and total payments of the entity

Mandatory

Chapter 7
(Appendix 6)

17AF(2)

 

If there may be significant changes in the financial results during or after the previous or current reporting period, information on those changes, including: the cause of any operating loss of the entity; how the entity has responded to the loss and the actions that have been taken in relation to the loss; and any matter or circumstances that it can reasonably be anticipated will have a significant impact on the entity’s future operation or financial results

If applicable, mandatory

Chapter 5

17AD(d)

Management and Accountability

 

Corporate Governance

17AG(2)(a)

 

Information on compliance with section 10 (fraud systems)

Mandatory

Transmittal letter and Chapter 3

17AG(2)(b)(i)

 

A certification by accountable authority that fraud risk assessments and fraud control plans have been prepared

Mandatory

Transmittal letter and Chapter 3

17AG(2)(b)(ii)

 

A certification by accountable authority that appropriate mechanisms for preventing, detecting incidents of, investigating or otherwise dealing with, and recording or reporting fraud that meet the specific needs of the entity are in place

Mandatory

Transmittal letter and Chapter 3

17AG(2)(b)(iii)

 

A certification by accountable authority that all reasonable measures have been taken to deal appropriately with fraud relating to the entity

Mandatory

Transmittal letter and Chapter 3

17AG(2)(c)

 

An outline of structures and processes in place for the entity to implement principles and objectives of corporate governance

Mandatory

Chapter 3

17AG(2)(d) – (e)

 

A statement of significant issues reported to Minister under paragraph 19(1)(e) of the Act that relates to non-compliance with Finance law and action taken to remedy non-compliance

If applicable, Mandatory

Not applicable

 

External Scrutiny

17AG(3)

 

Information on the most significant developments in external scrutiny and the entity’s response to the scrutiny

Mandatory

Director’s Review—Preliminary and Chapter 5

17AG(3)(a)

 

Information on judicial decisions and decisions of administrative tribunals and by the Australian Information Commissioner that may have a significant effect on the operations of the entity

If applicable, Mandatory

Not applicable

17AG(3)(b)

 

Information on any reports on operations of the entity by the Auditor-General (other than report under section 43 of the Act), a Parliamentary Committee, or the Commonwealth Ombudsman

If applicable, Mandatory

Chapter 5

17AG(3)(c)

 

Information on any capability reviews on the entity that were released during the period

If applicable, Mandatory

Not applicable

 

Management of Human Resources

17AG(4)(a)

 

An assessment of the entity’s effectiveness in managing and developing employees to achieve entity objectives

Mandatory

Director’s Review—Preliminary, and Chapter 3 and 4

  

Statistics on the entity’s APS employees on an ongoing and non-ongoing basis; including the following:

• Statistics on staffing classification level;

• Statistics on full-time employees;

• Statistics on part-time employees;

• Statistics on gender;

• Statistics on staff location;

• Statistics on employees who identify as Indigenous

Mandatory

Chapter 4

17AG(4)(c)

 

Information on any enterprise agreements, individual flexibility arrangements, Australian workplace agreements, common law contracts and determinations under subsection 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999

Mandatory

Chapter 4

17AG(4)(c)(i)

 

Information on the number of SES and non-SES employees covered by agreements etc identified in paragraph 17AD(4(c)

Mandatory

Chapter 4

17AG(4)(c)(ii)

 

The salary ranges available for APS employees by classification level

Mandatory

Chapter 4

17AG(4)(c)(iii)

 

A description of non-salary benefits provided to employees

Mandatory

Chapter 4

17AG(4)(d)(i)

 

Information on the number of employees at each classification level who received performance pay

If applicable, Mandatory

Not applicable

17AG(4)(d)(ii)

 

Information on aggregate amounts of performance pay at each classification level

If applicable, Mandatory

Not applicable

17AG(4)(d)(iii)

 

Information on the average amount of performance payment, and range of such payments, at each classification level

If applicable, Mandatory

Not applicable

17AG(4)(d)(iv)

 

Information on aggregate amount of performance payments

If applicable, Mandatory

Not applicable

 

Assets Management

17 AG(5)

 

An assessment of effectiveness of assets management where asset management is a significant part of the entity’s activities

If applicable, Mandatory

Chapter 5

 

Purchasing

17 AG(6)

 

An assessment of entity performance against the Commonwealth Procurement Rules

Mandatory

Chapter 5

 

Consultants

17AG(7)(a)

 

A summary statement detailing the number of new contracts engaging consultants entered into during the period; the total actual expenditure on all new consultancy contracts entered into during the period (inclusive of GST); the number of ongoing consultancy contracts that were entered into during a previous reporting period; and the total actual expenditure in the reporting year on the ongoing consultancy contracts (inclusive of GST)

Mandatory

Chapter 5

17AG(7)(b)

 

A statement that “During [reporting period], [specified number] new consultancy contracts were entered into involving total actual expenditure of $[specified million]. In addition, [specified number] ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the period, involving total actual expenditure of $[specified million]”

Mandatory

Chapter 5

17AG(7)(c)

 

A summary of the policies and procedures for selecting and engaging consultants and the main categories of purposes for which consultants were selected and engaged.

Mandatory

Chapter 5

17AG(7)(d)

 

A statement that “Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website.”

Mandatory

Chapter 5

 

Australian National Audit Office Access Clauses

17AG(8)

 

If an entity entered into a contract with a value of more than $100 000 (inclusive of GST) and the contract did not provide the Auditor-General with access to the contractor’s premises, the report must include the name of the contractor, purpose and value of the contract, and the reason why a clause allowing access was not included in the contract.

If applicable, Mandatory

Chapter 5

 

Exempt contracts

17AG(9)

 

If an entity entered into a contract or there is a standing offer with a value greater than $10 000 (inclusive of GST) which has been exempted from being published in AusTender because it would disclose exempt matters under the FOI Act, the annual report must include a statement that the contract or standing offer has been exempted, and the value of the contract or standing offer, to the extent that doing so does not disclose the exempt matters.

If applicable, Mandatory

Chapter 5

17AG(10)(a)

 

A statement that “[Name of entity] supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Small Enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website.”

Mandatory

Chapter 5

17AG(10)(b)

 

An outline of the ways in which the procurement practices of the entity support small and medium enterprises.

Mandatory

Chapter 5

17AG(10)(c)

 

If the entity is considered by the Department administered by the Finance Minister as material in nature—a statement that “[Name of entity] recognises the importance of ensuring that small businesses are paid on time. The results of the Survey of Australian Government Payments to Small Business are available on the Treasury’s website.”

If applicable, Mandatory

Chapter 5

 

Financial Statements

17AD(e)

 

Inclusion of the annual financial statements in accordance with subsection 43(4) of the Act

Mandatory

Chapter 6

17AD(f)

Other Mandatory Information

17AH(1)(a)(i)

 

If the entity conducted advertising campaigns, a statement that “During [reporting period], the [name of entity] conducted the following advertising campaigns: [name of advertising campaigns undertaken]. Further information on those advertising campaigns is available at [address of entity’s website] and in the reports on Australian Government advertising prepared by the Department of Finance Those reports are available on the Department of Finance’s website.”

If applicable, Mandatory

Chapter 7

17AH(1)(a)(ii)

 

If the entity did not conduct advertising campaigns, a statement to that effect

If applicable, Mandatory

Not applicable

17AH(1)(b)

 

A statement that “Information on grants awarded to [name of entity] during [reporting period] is available at [address of entity’s website].”

If applicable, Mandatory

Not applicable

17AH(1)(c)

 

Outline of mechanisms of disability reporting, including reference to website for further information

Mandatory

Chapter 4

17AH(1)(d)

 

Website reference to where the entity’s Information Publication Scheme statement pursuant to Part II of FOI Act can be found

Mandatory

Chapter 7

17AH(1)(e)

 

Correction of material errors in previous annual report

If applicable, mandatory

Chapter 3

17AH(2)

 

Information required by other legislation

Mandatory

Chapter 7

* The reference is to the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014 (the Rule).

Appendix 2. Information Publication Scheme

The CDPP is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) and is required to publish information to the public as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS).

This requirement is in Part 11 of the FOI Act and has replaced the former requirement to publish a section 8 statement in an annual report.

The CDPP website displays a plan showing what information is published in accordance with the IPS requirements.

www.cdpp.gov.au

Appendix 3. Work health and safety

We continue to strengthen our Work Health and Safety Management System (WHS Management System) with the addition of a suite of policies and procedures designed to meet the associated Australian Standards. The system is intended to be easily understood and applied at a working level, allowing workers greater responsibility for WHS management in their respective areas, consistent with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

As part of this process we have analysed incident data over the past five years to identify the highest priority WHS issues within the CDPP. This has allowed us to make evidence-based decisions on how to strategically target remedial resources and implement procedures to reduce the number and severity of WHS incidents.

As an example, psychological injuries resulting from, among other things, exposure to distressing material forming the core material of certain prosecutions make up the highest proportion of compensable injuries over the past five years.

As a result, we increased the number of wellbeing sessions and resilience checks by 45 per cent during 2015–16 to examine the wellbeing of staff exposed to potentially distressing items of evidence. These checks included workers who may have only had episodic contact with this material.

There were three notifiable incidents during 2015–16 that arose out of conducting our businesses or undertakings. There was one Compliance Inspection activity conducted during the period that related to the businesses or undertakings we conducted. No notices were given to the CDPP during 2015–16 under Part 10 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

In 2015–16 we reviewed rehabilitation policies and procedures. As a result we redeveloped our previous Rehabilitation and Return to Work Arrangements into a Rehabilitation Management System (RMS). The RMS provides the framework for efficient rehabilitation management in the CDPP. It includes elements of current good practice in injury management, recognises our legislative obligations and identifies the key processes and procedures required to support sustainable return-to-work outcomes for all staff. We provide injury management and rehabilitation for both compensable and non-compensable injuries and illnesses.

Injury prevention and early intervention

One of the key principles of the RMS is a managed process involving injury prevention and early intervention with appropriate and timely services based on assessed needs.

We continue to focus on reducing the lifetime cost of injury claims through current and emerging injury prevention strategies and provision of early intervention. These strategies are aimed at rehabilitating and returning staff to the workplace as quickly as possible.

The Early Intervention Programme provides timely and tailored support to injured/ill workers and includes provision of short-term treatment (physical or psychological), and access to Employee Assistance Programme support, workplace rehabilitation providers, workplace assessments and fitness for duty medical assessments.

Workers’ compensation

In 2015–16 a total of two workers compensation claims were accepted, compared with three in 2014–15.

Mechanism of injury descriptors are based on a national classification system that assists in identifying injury trends and setting injury prevention performance targets. There has been no remarkable change in injury trends in the last two years.

Employee Assistance Programme

During 2015–16, the Employee Assistance Programme use rate (new referrals) was 6.55 per cent of the total CDPP workforce. The percentage of personal to work-related issues, as the primary reason for accessing this service, was 43.35 per cent personal compared with 56.65 per cent work-related.

Appendix 4. Advertising and market research

Under section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, we are required to disclose payments of $12,700 or more (including GST) for advertising and market research.

We did not undertake any advertising campaigns during 2015–16.

Appendix 5. Ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance

One of our priorities is the ongoing efficient and effective management of resources. We have initiatives in place that contribute to a more sustainable environment.

We use a range of energy saving methods including:

  • using technology to minimise energy use, including automatic power down devices on electrical equipment
  • ensuring all of our computer equipment is energy star enabled
  • sourcing a component of electricity costs for Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra Offices from green energy options
  • recycling waste paper and giving preference to environmentally sound products when purchasing office supplies
  • providing staff with access to video and teleconferencing facilities in our offices with the aim of reducing the overall amount of air travel undertaken
  • incorporating lighting that is activated by movement detectors in the new office fitouts for the Sydney and Adelaide Offices.

Environmental performance

The following table summarises the environmental performance of our sites during 2015–16.

Table 28: Environmental performance during in 2015–16

 

Performance 2015–16

Office tenant light and power

Electricity

1,006,551 kilowatt hours

Green power

151,972 kilowatt hours

Total

3,623.6 gigajoules

Total electricity consumed per employee

8,689.7 megajoules

Passenger vehicles

Petrol

6,075 litres

Total

207.76 gigajoules

Distance

155,322 kilometres

Megajoule/kilometre

1.33

Total CDPP consumption

3,831.36 gigajoules

Notes: CDPP sites for the reporting period included Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Darwin, Townsville and Cairns.

Appendix 6. Entity resource statement and expenses by outcome

Table 29: Entity resource statement 2015–16

 

Actual available appropriation for
2015–16

$’000

(a)

Payments made
2015–16

$’000

(b)

Balance remaining
2015–16

$’000

(a)–(b)

DEPARTMENTAL

Ordinary Annual Services1

Prior-year departmental appropriation

10,073

10,073

0

Departmental appropriation2

80,202

64,537

15,665

s.74 relevant agency receipts3

10,192

10,192

0

Total net resourcing for entity

100,467

84,802

15,665

Notes:

1. Appropriation Act (No. 1) 2015–16.

2. Includes an amount of $1.903 million in 2015–16 for our departmental capital budget. For accounting purposes this amount has been designated as ‘contributions by owners’.

3. Retained revenue receipts under section 74 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

Expenses by outcome

Table 30: Expenses and resources for Outcome 1

Outcome 1: Contribute to a fair, safe and just society by delivering an effective, independent prosecution service in accordance with the Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth

Actual available appropriation for
2015–16

$’000

(a)

Payments made
2015–16

$’000

(b)

Balance remaining
2015–16

$’000

(a)–(b)

Programme 1.1: An independent service to prosecute alleged offences against the criminal law of the Commonwealth

 

Departmental expenses

   

Departmental appropriation1

88,491

94,676

(6,185)

Expenses not requiring appropriation2

4,839

3,800

1,089

Total expenses for Outcome 1

93,330

98,476

(5,146)

 

Budget

2015–16

Actual

2015–16

 

Average staffing level (number)

413

365

 

Notes:

1. Departmental Appropriation combines Ordinary annual services (Appropriation Act No. 1) and Retained Revenue Receipts under section 74 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability ACT 2013.

2. Expenses not requiring appropriation in the budget year are made up of services received free of charge, depreciation and amortisation expenses.

 

Tables and figures

 

List of tables

Table 1: Annual Performance Statements 25

Table 2: Outcomes of successful prosecutions in 2015–16 27

Table 3: Summary prosecutions in 2015–16 27

Table 4: Committals in 2015–16 27

Table 5: Prosecutions on indictment in 2015–16 28

Table 6: Prosecution appeals against sentence in 2015–16 28

Table 7: Defence appeals in 2015–16 28

Table 8: Prosecution performance indicators for 2015–16, national totals 29

Table 9: Prosecution performance indicators for 2014–15 and 2015–16 30

Table 10: Legislation under which charges were dealt with in 2015–16 31

Table 11: Referring agencies: defendants dealt with in 2015–16 33

Table 12: New Witness Assistance Service referrals in 2015–16 52

Table 13: Proceeds of Crime Act 2002—orders in 2015–16 69

Table 14: Criminal assets—summary of recoveries for 2015–16 69

Table 15: Audit Committee attendance in 2015–16 103

Table 16: Employee headcount by classification level and region at 30 June 2016 120

Table 17: Workforce profile by classification at 30 June 2016 121

Table 18: Workforce profile by location at 30 June 2016 121

Table 19: Average staffing levels (ASL) by location at 30 June 2016 122

Table 20: Full-time equivalent (FTE) employees by location at 30 June 2016 122

Table 21: Staffing summary at 30 June 2016 122

Table 22: Workforce profile by category summary at 30 June 2016 123

Table 23: Employees by employment type and gender at 30 June 2016 123

Table 24: Salary scales at 30 June 2016 124

Table 25: Employees by diversity group at 30 June 2016 127

Table 26: Legal services expenditure in 2015–16 135

Table 27: List of requirements 178

Table 28: Environmental performance during in 2015–16 190

Table 29: Entity resource statement 2015–16 191

Table 30: Expenses and resources for Outcome 1 192

 

List of figures

Figure 1: Organisation chart at 30 June 2016 95

Figure 2: CDPP governance structure at 30 June 2016 101

 

Acronyms and abbreviations

ACC

Australian Crime Commission (now ACIC)

ACCC

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

ACIC

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (formerly ACC)

ACLEI

Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity

ACT

Australian Capital Territory

AFSA

Australian Financial Security Authority

AEC

Australian Electoral Commission

AFMA

Australian Fisheries Management Authority

AFP

Australian Federal Police

AGD

Attorney-General’s Department

AML/CTF

Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth)

AMP

Agency Multicultural Plan

APS

Australian Public Service

APSC

Australian Public Service Commission

ASIC

Australian Securities and Investments Commission

ASIO

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

ATO

Australian Taxation Office

AWA

Australian Workplace Agreement

CASA

Civil Aviation Safety Authority

CDPP

Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

CFC

Commercial, Financial and Corruption

CRIMS

Case Reporting and Information Management System

Customs Act

Customs Act 1901 (Cth)

Defendant

A person who has been charged with an offence

DFAT

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

DHS

Department of Human Services

DLI

Director’s Litigation Instruction

DPP

Director of Public Prosecutions

DPP Act

Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1983 (Cth)

DSS

Department of Social Services

DVA

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

ELG

Executive Leadership Group

FOI Act

Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth)

GST

Goods and services tax

ICO

Intensive Corrections Order

ICT

Information and communication technology

LLPD

Legal Learning and Professional Development

NSW

New South Wales

NT

Northern Territory

POC 1987

Proceeds of Crime Act 1987 (Cth)

POC 2002

Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth)

Prosecution Policy

Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth

QLD

Queensland

RMS

Rehabilitation Management System

SES

Senior Executive Service

TAS

Tasmania

VIC

Victoria

WA

Western Australia

WAS

Witness Assistance Service

WHS

Work health and safety

Glossary of terms

Acquit/Acquittal/Acquitted

When the magistrate, jury or appeal court find that a person is not guilty of the crime.

Appeal

To take a case to a higher court in order to challenge a decision. The person who appeals is the appellant. Not all decisions can be appealed.

Brief or Brief of evidence

This is a collection of statements from witnesses (both police and ordinary witnesses), documents, expert reports, medical reports, photographs, bail papers, charge sheets etc. that is given to the CDPP by the police or investigating agency after they have finished their investigation. We use the material contained within the brief of evidence to decide whether a prosecution should take place and, if so, to prosecute the accused.

Common law

The law based on previous court decisions and customs as distinct from statute law created by Parliament.

Commonwealth federal offence

A criminal offence against a Commonwealth federal law (as opposed to a state or territory law).

Conviction

When a person accused of committing a criminal offence is found guilty of that offence and is convicted, a record of their conviction is recorded on their criminal history.

The Crown

In higher courts the prosecution may be referred to as ‘the Crown’, that is, representing the Queen in right of the Commonwealth.

Evidence

Information provided to the court that is used to prove or disprove a fact in issue in court proceedings.

Guilty

To be legally responsible for a criminal offence. When a defendant enters a plea of guilty, they accept responsibility for the offence. When a defendant pleads not guilty, a jury will determine their guilt if the matter proceeds as a trial in a higher court. Where a defendant pleads not guilty in the Magistrates or Local Court, the Magistrate determines the guilt of the defendant.

Indictable offence

A serious criminal offence that is usually heard in a higher court before a judge and jury. Less serious indictable offences and summary offences, are usually heard in a Local Court.

Indictment

A formal written accusation charging a person with an offence that is to be tried in a higher court.

Matter

A prosecution or a proceeding in a court (a ‘case’) may be referred to as a ‘matter’.

No Bill/No further proceedings

We may decide that a case will not proceed further, for example, due to insufficient evidence. This may be called entering a ‘no Bill’ or deciding there will be no further proceedings. A prosecution is discontinued when the court is informed of this.

Prima facie

A case in which there is evidence that will suffice to support the allegations made in it, and which will stand unless there is evidence to rebut the allegation. When a case is being heard in court, the party on whom the burden of proof rests must make out a prima facie case, otherwise the other party will be able to submit that there is no case to answer and, if successful, the case will be dismissed.

Prosecutor/prosecution

The CDPP lawyer or lawyers conducting a criminal case before the court.

Prosecution counsel

A CDPP lawyer or private barrister who presents the prosecution case in court on behalf of the CDPP.

Sentencing

A range of penalties can be given during sentencing of an offender including imprisonment, community service orders, good behaviour bonds and fines. The Crimes Act 1914 requires the court to have regard to a number of factors in deciding on the sentence for a federal offence and also requires that the sentence be of a severity appropriate in all the circumstances of the offence.

Victim

A person who has suffered harm as the direct result of an offence or offences.

Witness

Any person who has to come to court and answer questions in front of a Magistrate or Judge and jury.

Photos and graphics

Front cover

CDPP photo

Page i

Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions—infographic

Page iii

Summary of performance 2015–16—infographic

Page vi

Chapter break—stock photo

Page 6

CDPP Director—photo

Page 13

Chapter break—stock photo

Page 14

About us—graphic

Page 15

Our strategic themes—graphic

Page 21

Stock photo

Page 23

Chapter break—stock photo

Page 35

CDPP photo

Page 40

Our National Practice Groups—graphic

Page 41

Commercial, Financial and Corruption Practice Group—infographic

Page 48

Human Exploitation and Border Protection Practice Group—infographic

Page 55

Stock photo

Page 57

CDPP photo

Page 58

Illegal Imports and Exports Practice Group—infographic

Page 61

CDPP photo

Page 64

International Assistance and Specialist Agencies Practice Group—infographic

Page 72

Organised Crime and Counter-Terrorism Practice Group—infographic

Page 75

CDPP photo

Page 78

Revenue and Benefits Fraud Practice Group—infographic

Page 80

CDPP photo

Page 83

Stock photo

Page 91

Chapter break—CDPP photo

Page 92

Management and accountability—graphic

Page 96

Our Executive—CDPP photo

Page 100

CDPP photo

Page 108

Survey key results—graphic

Page 112

Building leadership capability—CDPP photos

Page 113

Action Learning Projects—graphic

Page 117

Chapter break—stock photo

Page 118

People—infographic

Page 129

CDPP photo

Page 131

Chapter break—stock photo

Page 137

Chapter break—stock photo

Page 177

Chapter break—stock photo

Page 186

CDPP photo

Page 189

Stock photo

Alphabetical index

A

abbreviations, 194–5

accountable authority annual performance statement, 24

acronyms, 194–5

address and contact details, 2, inside back cover

Administrative Support Team, 114

administrative tribunal decisions, 134

Adsett, David, 64, 96, 97

advertising and market research, 189

advocacy skills, 10, 109

agency capability reviews, 134

Agency Multicultural Plan, 128

aim (CDPP), 14

Allan, Alex Escala, 84

Alqudsi, Hamdi, 9, 76

annual report 2014–15 corrections, 103

annual report contact details, 2

appeals against sentence

defence appeals, 28

prosecution appeals, 28, 29, 30, 84–8

Armstrong, Gary, 44

asset management, 133

Astraea (taskforce), 54

Attorney-General, 18

Attorney-General’s Department, 45, 60, 65, 66, 73, 74, 104

Audit Committee, 102–3, 104, 105

Auditor-General, 134

audits, internal, 106

Australian Anti-Bribery and Corruption Summit, Melbourne, 2015, 43

Australian Border Force, 36, 59, 60

Australian Bureau of Statistics former employee conviction, 44

Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, 46

Australian Consumer and Competition Commission, 46

Australian Crime Commission, 36, 42, 46, 68, 73

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, 36

Australian Electoral Commission, 30

Australian Federal Police, 43, 45, 60, 66, 68, 73, 80

Australian Information Commissioner, 134

Australian National Audit Office, 102, 134

Australian Public Service Employee Census, 125

Australian Securities and Investments Commission, 30, 44, 46, 47

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, 73

Australian Taxation Office, 30, 36, 68, 80

Australians supporting terrorist groups overseas, 9, 74, 76

B

benefits fraud, 79, 82–3

Beqiri v R (2013) 37 VR 219, 61

Brandis, Hon George, 94

bribery, foreign, 42, 43, 45

brief assessments, 37–8

brief submission process, 39

Bromwich, Robert, 6

Bruckard, Scott, 72, 96, 97

business improvement, 17, 106

C

cartel offences, 46

Carter, James, 78, 96, 98

case reviews, 39

case studies

benefits fraud, 82–3

Building leadership capability, 111–13

child exploitation, 54–6

Centrelink prosecutions, 7, 79, 83–4

Chief Corporate Officer, 99

child exploitation offences, 9, 49, 51, 52, 53, 54–6

child support fraud, 79

classified information disclosure, 71

cocaine importation, 62–3

Comcover assessment of risk management capability, 105

Commercial, Financial and Corruption Practice Group, 36, 41–3

commercial and financial crime, 42, 43

committals, 27

committees, 101–4

common law contracts, 125

Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, 94

consent required, 89

directions to, 18

Director’s review of year, 6–10

establishment of office, 14

overview, 14–21

powers, 88–9

role and functions, 14–17, 93

Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework 2014, 105

Commonwealth Ombudsman, 134

Commonwealth Sentencing Database, 39

Commonwealth Solicitor for Public Prosecutions, 7, 93, 94

Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Strategy, 114

communication material on prosecution services, 38–9, 109

Communications Team, 114–15

compliance with the prosecutions test, 19–20, 25, 26

compulsory powers vested in Commonwealth investigating agencies, 46

computer offences, 50

Conference of Australian Directors of Public Prosecutions, 21

conferences, 37, 43, 50, 60, 74, 75

confiscation of property derived from offences, 47, 68–9

conflicts of interest, 106

conspiracy proceedings, Director’s consent to, 89

consultancy services, 133–4

contact details, 2, inside back cover

conventions and treaties, 65–6

convictions resulting from prosecutions see prosecutions

corporate governance, 100–9

corporate plan, 8, 104

corporate services, 110–15

Corporate Services Operational Risk Register, 105

corrections to annual report 2014–15, 103

corruption prosecutions, 43–5, 69

costing model, 7, 10, 104

Costing Model Steering Committee, 104

counter-terrorism work, 7, 70, 73–5

crime types prosecuted, 41, 42, 49–50, 59, 73, 79

Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act 1978, 76

Crimes Act 1914

disclosure of information, 71

financial advantage gained by deception, 81

private prosecutions, 89

sentencing, 199

Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce, 68

Criminal Code, 45, 51

amendments, 60–1

clarification of definitions in, 61

drug offences, 59, 61

criminal confiscation action, 47, 68–9

culturally and linguistically diverse clients, 128

Curtis, Oliver, 44

D

de Leeuw, Paul, 86–7

defence appeals, 28

Defence Force Discipline Act 1982, 70

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, 59, 60

Department of Finance, 104

Department of Health, 79, 80

Department of Human Services, 79, 80, 83

Department of Immigration and Border Protection, 36

Department of Social Services, 80

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 80

Department of Veterans’ Affairs, 80

Deputy Directors, 17, 96–9

digital brief submission process, 39

digital platforms see intranet; Partner Agency Portal

Director of Public Prosecutions see Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Director of Public Prosecutions Act 1983, 14, 88–9, 93, 118

Director’s Governance and Finance Instructions, 133

Directors of Public Prosecutions (state and territory), 21

disclosure obligations in prosecutions, 39

disclosure of information by a Commonwealth officer, 71

diversity in the workplace, 127–8

drug offences, 59, 60–1, 62–3, 70, 77

Duong, Khanh Minh, 85

E

ecologically sustainable development, 190

Egglishaw, Philip, 44

electronic brief submission, 39

electronic resources see online resources

Employee Assistance Programme, 188

Employee Wellbeing Programme, 126

enabling legislation, 93

enterprise agreement, 10, 124

entity resource statements, 193

environmental performance, 192

equity and social justice, 20

ethical standards, 20, 105–6

Ethics Advisory Service, 106

ex officio indictments, 89

Executive Leadership Group, 96, 102, 104

exempt contracts, 134

exportation and importation matters, 59, 62–3, 77 see also drug offences

external scrutiny, 134

extradition, 66

F

Family Law Act 1975 s121 offences, 89

Farris, Peter, 44

fatalities on offshore gas rig, 71

federal community policing, 50

Federal Counsel Group, 109

Federal Prosecutors, 7–8, 10

female staff, 123, 127, 128

finances

entity resource statement, 193

financial overview, 132–5

financial statements, 132, 134, 137–76

resources for outcome, 194

financial crime, 42, 43, 47, 79, 81 see also fraud offences

‘forced marriage’ offence, 51

foreign bribery, 42, 43, 45

foreign fighters, 9, 74, 76

fraud offences, 42, 44, 79, 81, 82–3

fraud prevention and control (CDPP), 105

freedom of information, 64, 68, 134, 186

G

Gay, John, 47

general enquires contact details, inside back cover

General Guidelines for Dealing with Investigative Agencies, 37

glossary, 196–7

governance

corporate, 100–9

internal, 92, 94–9

Graham, Matthew David, 53

GST fraud, 79

guidance material, 20, 37, 38–9, 52, 70, 109

Guidelines on Official Conduct for CDPP employees, 20

guiding policies, 93

Gunns Ltd, 47

H

Hanlong Mining Investment Pty Ltd, 47

Harper Review, 46

heroin importation, 63

Hill, Christopher, 44

Human Exploitation and Border Protection Practice Group, 48–56

human resources management, 118–29

human trafficking offences, 49, 51

I

Illegal Imports and Exports Practice Group, 36, 58–63

images, non-consensual sharing of, 51

importation and exportation matters, 59, 62–3, 77

indemnities, 88–9

Independent National Security Legislation Monitor, 75

indictments

ex officio, 89

prosecutions on, 27–30

Information Management Team, 114

Information Publication Scheme, 186

information resources, 38–9, 53

library holdings and services, 114, 133

information technology

in CDPP, 107, 114, 115, 133

computer offences, 50

injury prevention and rehabilitation, 187–88

insider trading, 9, 44, 47

internal audits, 106

internal governance, 92, 94–9

international assistance, 65, 70

International Assistance and Specialist Agencies Practice Group, 64–71

international engagement, 50, 70, 75

Internet as platform for criminal activity, 52, 53, 54–6

internet home page address, 2, inside back cover

intimate images, non-consensual
sharing of, 51

intranet, 107, 114, 115

investigating agency powers, 46

Iraq, foreign corruption allegations, 45

Iraq armed conflict, 74

J

Jalalaty, Bakhos, 77

Judicial Commission of New South Wales, 39

jurisdiction, 15

K

Kamay, Lukas, 44

Kev (heroin smuggler), 47

key performance indicators see performance

Kinch, Henry, 77

Kirkwood, Christopher, 81

Kirne, Shane, 41, 64, 96, 98

Kleenmaid, 44

L

Law Enforcement Legislation Amendment (Powers) Act 2015, 46

law reform and policy engagement, 45–6, 51, 60, 70, 74–5, 80

leadership programme, 8, 110–13

Lee v R [2014], 46

Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee, 51

Legal Learning and Professional Development Programme, 107, 110

legal policy and procedure, 106

legal services expenditure, 134–5

legislation under which charges were dealt with, 30–2

legislative framework, 93

letter of transmittal, 3

liaison, 36–7 see also stakeholder engagement

library holdings and services, 114, 133

Lifese Engineering Pty Ltd, 45

looking ahead, 10

M

Management Team, 114

manuals see guidance material

market research, 191

McCoole, Shannon, 9, 53

McNaughton, Sarah, 94, 96

Director’s review of year, 6–10

see also Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

MDMA importation, 77

media relations, 10, 56, 114–15

Medicare fraud, 79

Medley-Brown, Gaby, 96, 99

migration offences, 49

Mohamed, Amin, 76

money laundering, 59, 77

multicultural plan, 128

mutual assistance, 65–6, 70

Mutual Expectations document, 70

N

National Advocacy Training Programme, 10

National Business Improvement Practice Group, 17, 106

National Disability Strategy, 128

National Executive Officers’ Meeting, 21

National Health and Safety Committee, 103

National Judicial College of Australia, 39

National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, 70, 71

national practice group model, 15, 92 see also practice groups

national security offences, 73

National Security Programme, 7

National Victim Training, 53

New South Wales Crime Commission informer, 77

New Zealand, extradition arrangements with, 66

‘no Bill’ applications, 88

non-ongoing staff, 118

Note Printing Australia Pty Ltd, 45

notifiable incidents, 187

O

Office of the CDPP see Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Office of the Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, 73

office locations of CDPP, inside back cover

offshore gas rig fatalities, 71

offshore tax evasion, 43

Ombudsman, 134

online resources, 38–9

Partner Agency Portal, 10, 38, 107, 115

Onyebuchi, Emmanuel Onyekachi, 84–5

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Foreign Bribery Report, 45

organisation structure, 95

Organised Crime and Counter-Terrorism Practice Group, 72–83

organised crime work, 73, 74

Osborne, Raymond, 44

outcome

outcome statement, ii, 14

resources for outcome, 192

overview, 14–21

P

Parliamentary committees

scrutiny by, 134

submissions to, 45–6, 51

Parliamentary Roundtable on Human Trafficking, 50

partner agencies, 9, 15, 67–8, 101

satisfaction with CDPP services, 8, 25, 26, 107–8

specialist agencies, 67–8

stakeholder engagement, 36–7, 42–3, 50, 60, 73, 74, 79–80

working with, 36–9

see also referring agencies

Partner Agency Portal, 10, 38, 107, 115

passport offences, 49

Pavleka, Andrea, 48, 58, 96, 99

Pedley, Mark, 7, 94, 96

people smuggling offences, 49

performance, 24–34

2015–16 at a glance, iii–iv

annual performance statements, 24–6

Director’s review, 6–10

measurement methodology, 25

prosecution performance indicators, 29–34

prosecution statistics, 27–8

reporting, 104

performance management, 92

performance pay, 125

phoenix fraud, 43

planning

corporate plan, 8, 104

fraud control, 105

and reporting, 104

risk management, 104–5

policy engagement and law reform, 45–6, 51, 60, 70, 74–5, 80

Porte, David Ferdinand, 86–7

portfolio membership, 14

Practice Group Conference, 74

Practice Group Instructions, 70

Practice Group Leaders, 36

practice groups, 16, 36–7, 40, 47

Commercial, Financial and Corruption, 36, 41–3

Human Exploitation and Border Protection, 48–56

Illegal Imports and Exports, 36, 58–63

International Assistance and Specialist Agencies, 64–71

lead practice groups, 36, 80

national practice group model, 15, 92

Organised Crime and Counter-Terrorism, 72–83

Revenue and Benefits Fraud, 36

pre-brief advice, 37

precursor drugs see drug offences

privacy, 128

Privacy Act 1988, 64, 128

Privacy Commissioner, 128

private prosecutions, 34, 88, 89

proceeds of crime

orders and forfeitures, 69

recoveries, 47, 68, 69

Proceeds of Crime Act 1987, 69, 77

Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, 47, 68–9, 70

procurement, 133, 134

Productivity Commission Intellectual Property Arrangements Inquiry, 70

Project Board, 104, 107

Project Management Framework, 107

Project Wickenby, 43, 44

prosecution appeals against sentence, 28, 29, 30, 84–8

Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth, 8, 18–19, 20, 84, 104

two-stage test, 18–19, 25, 26

prosecution services, 17, 36–9, 109

prosecutions

case studies, 54–6, 82–3

compliance with prosecutions test, 19–20, 25, 26

convictions resulting, 25, 26–30

disclosure obligations, 39

engagement with partner agencies, 38

ex officio indictments, 89

performance indicators, 29–30

policy see Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth

private, 34, 88, 89

Project Wickenby, 43, 44

significant cases, 9, 43–5, 47, 53, 62, 71, 76–7, 81

statistics, 27–34

use of material obtained by compulsory powers, 46

pseudoephedrine importation, 77

psychological harm, 56, 126, 188

Public Governance, Accountability and Performance Act 2013, 7, 105

public interest disclosure, 105

Public Service Act 1999, 118

section 24(1) determination, 125

purchasing, 133, 134

Q

The Queen v Graham ( 2016), 9

R

R v Allan, 84

R v de Leeuw, 86–7

R v Duong, 85

R v Hamdi Alqudsi, 9, 76

R v McCarthy, 46

R v McCoole, 9, 53

R v Onyebuchi, 84–5

R v Porte, 86–7

R v Saleh, 86

R v Seller, 46

R v Steven Hui Xiao, 9, 47

R v Watson, 54–6, 85

R v Yuan, 85–6

Reconciliation Action Plan, 127–8

records management, 115

referring agencies, 15, 33–4

specialist agencies, 67–8

top referring agencies, 41, 48, 58, 64, 72, 78

see also partner agencies

Rehabilitation Management System, 187–8

remuneration, 124

performance pay, 125

reporting arrangements, 104

Reserve Bank of Australia, 45

resources for outcome, 194

‘revenge porn’, 51

Revenue and Benefits Fraud Practice Group, 36

revenue fraud, 79

risk management, 104–5

role and functions, i–ii, 14–17

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, 51

S

Saleh, Adam, 86

Scerba, Michael, 71

Search Warrants Manual, 38–9

section 24(1) determinations, 125

Securency International Pty Ltd, 45

security of the Commonwealth, 73

Senate committees and inquiries, submissions to, 45–6

Senior Executive Service officers

diversity groups, 127

employment arrangements, 125

female participation, 127, 128

ratio of SES to total employees, 118

remuneration, 124

statistics, 120–1, 123

senior executives, 94–9

Senior Officials’ Committee on people smuggling crew prosecutions, 50

sentencing database, 39

Serious Financial Crime Taskforce, 7, 10, 43

slavery offences, 49

small business participation in procurement, 134

snapshot of CDPP, i–iv

social justice and equity, 20

social media use in crime, 54

Sok (heroin smuggler), 47

specialist agencies, partnerships with, 67–8

staff

average staffing level, 122

census (survey), 125

diversity groups, 127–8

employment arrangements, 124–5

female staff, 123, 127, 128

induction program, 8

leadership development, 8, 110–13

recruitment, 74

statistics, 118, 120–3

training, 10, 53, 105, 107, 110–13

wellbeing checks for those at risk of psychological harm, 56, 126, 188

work health and safety, 103, 126, 187–8

workforce planning, 119

stakeholder engagement, 36–7, 42–3, 50, 60, 73, 74, 79–80

engagement strategy, 109, 114

satisfaction survey, 8, 25, 26, 107–8

stakeholders, 101 see also partner agencies; referring agencies

Standen, Mark, 77

state and territory Directors of Public Prosecutions, 21

Statement on Prosecution Disclosure, 39

statutory powers of Director, exercise of, 88–9

Stena Drilling Australia Pty Ltd, 71

Strachans (firm), 44

Strategic Risk Register and Management Plan, 104–5

strategic themes, 15

summary prosecutions, 27–30

superannuation orders, 69

Surveillance Devices Manual, 38–9

Syria armed conflict, 74, 76

T

taking over private prosecutions, 88, 89

tax fraud, 42, 44, 79, 81 see also financial crime

Telecommunications Interception and Stored Communications Warrants Manual, 38–9

telecommunications offences, 49

terrorism offences, 73–4 see also counter-terrorism work

training

delivered by CDPP, 60, 73

for staff, 10, 53, 105, 107, 110–13

Treasury, 46

treaties and conventions, 65–6

V

victims and witnesses, 9–10, 20, 51–2, 56

Victims of Crime Policy, 20

Victoria Police, 54

visa and migration offences, 49

visiting delegations see international engagement

W

war crimes, 73

Watson, Daniel, 54–6, 85

website, 10, 115

address, 2, inside back cover

Wellsprings Financial Services Pty Ltd, 81

Wickenby, 43, 44

William, Ezzat, 83–4

Witness Assistance Service, 9–10, 20, 51, 52–3, 56

Woods, Thomas, 62

Woods Grain Pty Ltd, 62

work health and safety, 103, 126, 187–8

fatalities on offshore gas rig, 71

workers’ compensation, 188

workforce planning, 119

workplace diversity, 127–8

X

X7 v Australian Crime Commission & Another [2013] HCA 29; 248 CLR 92, 46

Xiao, Hui (Steven), 9, 44, 47

Y

Yuan, Ziyi, 85–6

Z

Zaky, Ezzat, 82–3

Our offices

GENERAL INQUIRIES

T: 02 6206 5666
E: inquiries@cdpp.gov.au

Canberra

4 Marcus Clarke Street,
CANBERRA CITY ACT 2601
T: 02 6206 5666
E: inquiries@cdpp.gov.au

Sydney

Level 10, 175 Liverpool Street,
SYDNEY NSW 2000
T: 02 9321 1100
E: sydney@cdpp.gov.au

Melbourne

Level 16, 460 Lonsdale Street, MELBOURNE VIC 3000
T: 03 9605 4333
E: melbourne@cdpp.gov.au

Brisbane

Level 19, 15 Adelaide Street,
BRISBANE QLD 4000
T: 07 3224 9444
E: brisbane@cdpp.gov.au

Perth

Level 1, 226 Adelaide Terrace,
PERTH WA 6000
T: 08 9264 7264
E: perth@cdpp.gov.au

Adelaide

12th Floor, 211 Victoria Square,
ADELAIDE SA 5000
T: 08 8238 2600
E: adelaide@cdpp.gov.au

Hobart

8th Floor, 188 Collins Street,
HOBART TAS 7000
T: 03 6238 8100
E: hobart@cdpp.gov.au

Darwin

9th Floor, 9–11 Cavenagh Street,
DARWIN NT 0800
T: 08 8980 8700
E: darwin@cdpp.gov.au

Townsville
Level 3, 61–73 Sturt Street,
TOWNSVILLE QLD 4810
T: 07 4772 7177
E: townsville@cdpp.gov.au

Cairns

Level 12, Cairns Corporate Tower,
15 Lake Street,
CAIRNS QLD 4870
T: 07 4031 3105
E: cairns@cdpp.gov.au

GENERAL INFORMATION

More details are on our website at www.cdpp.gov.au including:

  • Prosecution Policy of the Commonwealth
  • Strategic Directions and Corporate Plan
  • Portfolio Budget Statements.

The CDPP provides independent prosecution services that contribute to a fair, safe and just Australia where Commonwealth laws are respected, offenders are brought to justice and potential offenders are deterred.

www.cdpp.gov.au

Footers:

  1. From 1 July 2016, the Australian Crime Commission and CrimTrac merged to form the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.
  2. Lee v R [2014] HCA 20; (2014) 253 CLR 455.
  3. X7 v Australian Crime Commission & Another [2013] HCA 29; 248 CLR 92.
  4. R v Seller; R v McCarthy [2013] NSWCCA 42.
  5. On 1 September 2016, Hamdi Alqudsi was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment with a non-parole period of six years for assisting seven men in their efforts to travel to Syria in order to join the armed conflict taking place there.
  6. R v Allan (22 June 2016) (Appeal Court judgment not available at the time of this report).
  7. R v Onyebuchi [2016] QCA 143 (7 June 2016).
  8. R v DUONG [2015] VSCA 255 (17 September 2015).
  9. R v Watson [2016] VSCA 73 (20 April 2016).
  10. R v Yuan [2015] NSWCCA 198 (31 July 2015).
  11. R v Saleh [2015] NSWCCA 299 (4 December 2015).
  12. R v PORTE [2015] NSWCCA 174 (2 July 2015).
  13. R v Leeuw [2015] NSWCCA 183 (10 July 2015).
  14. The maturity level is based on Comcover’s Benchmarking Program that assesses an agency’s level of risk maturity. The six levels are: Fundamental, Developed, Systematic, Integrated, Advanced and Optimal.