Reportable Incidents (Part 3C of the Ombudsman Act 1974)
Since 3 December 2014, FACS provided and FACS funded providers of supported group accommodation for people with disabiliy in NSW are required to report all serious incidents of abuse or neglect of people living in their accommodation to the NSW Ombudsman. FACS funded providers of centre based day programs must also report incidents in relation to people with disability living in supported group accommodation to the NSW Ombudsman. This requirement applies even where the funded provider of the day program does not provide supported group accommodation.
Reports are required within 30 days of becoming aware a reportable incident has occurred.
As well as providing an initial notification to the Ombudsman of a reportable incident, service providers also need to report to the Ombudsman once an investigation into the incident is completed and the provider has determined its risk management response to prevent such an incident from recurring.
The purpose of the Disability Reportable Incidents Scheme is to ensure, wherever possible, people with disability living in supported group accommodation and using centre-based day programs can live free from abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Types of reportable incidents
There are four types of reportable incidents which must be reported to the Ombudsman:
- Employee-to-client incidents of sexual assault, sexual misconduct, assault, fraud, ill-treatment or neglect
- Client-to-client incidents of sexual and physical assault (causing serious injury or involving the use of a weapon), or that form a pattern of abuse
- Contravention of an AVO taken out to protect a person with disability
- Serious, unexplained injury of a person with disability.
NSW Ombudsman’s response
The NSW Ombudsman will:
- consider whether an investigation into a reportable incident has been properly conducted, and whether appropriate risk management action has been taken arising from the incident
- keep under scrutiny the systems that FACS operated and funded providers have for preventing, handling and responding to reportable incidents in supported group accommodation