The South Australian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (SACAT), under s28 of the Guardianship & Administration Act 1993, can direct the Office of the Public Advocate to investigate the circumstances of a person who is believed to have a mental incapacity and is at risk in some way.
Process of Investigation
Individuals who have concerns about a mentally incapacitated person's circumstances may lodge an application to the Tribunal outlining the issues and the Tribunal will then decide whether an investigation is warranted. The following steps are usually followed.
- South Australian Civil and Administrtive Tribunal (SACAT) writes to the Office of the Public Advocate setting out what is to be investigated
- Matter is allocated to an advocate/ guardian to conduct investigation
- Advocate/ guardian contacts relevant parties who can provide information relevant to the investigation and may seek additional written reports to assist the Tribunal (this part may take some weeks to complete)
- Advocate/guardian prepares a report and forwards to SACAT (the report forms one part of the evidence before the Tribunal)
- Individuals who wish to read the the report or obtain a copy will need to contact SACAT who will consider the request
- The Board will set a hearing at which time interested parties can attend and comment on the matters before the Tribunal including the report prepared by the OPA