Legal and Risk | Strengthen, Advance, Enhance
Books with questions

We all try our best to avoid mishaps, but even then things can go wrong despite our best efforts. Notifying adverse events as they occur is key when it comes managing insurance.

To get the benefit of the insurance cover the University purchases, the University must comply with an ongoing “duty of disclosure” to its insurers. This duty requires the University to notify the insurer of every known fact, circumstance or event (i.e. ‘notifiable event’) that may result in a claim as soon as it happens.

Notifiable events could be words in an email, a conversation, misrepresentation in a brochure, suspected fraud or threat of legal action.

Who needs to report?

It’s everyone’s responsibility under the University’s Insurance Policy to report notifiable events. This includes staff, students, titleholders, volunteers, visitors, contractors and Controlled Entities.

How do I report a Notifiable Event?

To report a notifiable event, complete the Notifiable Event Summary and Risk Assessment Form and email to the Legal and Risk Branch as soon as possible after it happens, and before the end of the policy year in which they occur. Anything not declared by 31 December when the insurance policy rolls over may not be covered.

What if I don’t report?

Failure to report a notifiable event to the insurer in a timely manner places the University at risk of not being covered by insurance that it has paid for, and may result in:

  • The University being under-insured or not insured for a specific activity
  • Denial of a future claim
  • Financial consequences for local areas as the University is forced to wear the loss

If in doubt – notify! It’s better to over-notify than miss one event and be uninsured in the event of a claim.

Information on notifiable events can be found on the Insurance website.

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New statutory working with children screening arrangements just got a little clearer and closer.

Prelude to a new regime

Two related pieces of legislation have recently progressed through the SA Parliament. In July 2017, the Children and Young People (Safety) Act 2017 (SA) was agreed. During November 2017, the Children’s Protection Law Reform (Transitional Arrangements) Bill was passed by the House of Assembly.

Although a firm date is still to be set, this legislative activity is a prelude to the commencement of the new screening arrangements. In particular, the Transitional Arrangements legislation clarifies what to expect as the new regime is implemented.

  • Existing DCSI working with children checks will continue to be valid for the remainder of the 3 year period for which they have been issued. Once those clearances have expired, the holder will need to apply for a working with children screening under the new scheme.
  • Anyone who has a criminal history screening only but is volunteering or working with children should apply for a DSCI screening as soon as possible – before the Child Safety (Prohibited Persons) Act 2016 (SA) commences. This Act sets a higher compliance threshold and an organisation cannot allow someone without a valid clearance to commence (or continue) working. A criminal history screening will not be valid once the new scheme commences (unless the activity is specifically exempted).
  • Accredited teachers will need to apply for a working with children check at the time of registration or renewal of registration. Teachers have been exempt under the current rules, so this is a new requirement. School of Education students should ensure their DCSI clearances are valid to cover the transition period and entry into the profession.
Screening status is now monitored

In addition to the legislative changes, the SA Department of Community and Social Inclusion (DCSI) now monitors relevant databases for new information that may change the clearance status of an individual. This includes information about:

  • Relevant criminal charges and court outcomes from SA Police (SAPOL),
  • Child protection notifications from the Department for Child Protection (DCP) and
  • Information on care concerns and incidents from DCP and the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion.

This now applies to anyone – employees and volunteers – with a child-related, disability, aged or vulnerable persons clearance issued by DCSI. The object is to ensure the ongoing integrity of existing and future clearances. In the event of status change, DCSI will notify the individual and the organisation which requested the clearance.

See our previous blogs about the impact of the working with children check on the University and delays in implementing the new screening regime.

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Meeting with contractors

Contractors might be working for themselves or a private company, but if they are performing contract work for the University then they are a public officer under the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012 (SA).

The Commissioner, Hon Bruce Lander QC, will explain the mandatory reporting obligations that apply to contractors at the upcoming event ICAC Awareness for Contractors.

The session will be valuable for contractors and anyone who engages contractors to perform work for the University.

Event Details:

ICAC Awareness for Contractors
Monday, 4 December 2017
Time: 9:30 – 11am
Location: Adelaide Pavilion (Cnr South Terrace and Peacock Road, Adelaide)

You can register to attend on the event webpage.

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From 1 January 2018, a revised National Code under the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 will come into effect. The code sets standards that govern the provision of education to international students holding a student visa by Australian registered providers.

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Barr Smith Library, The University of Adelaide

The Statutes Amendment (Universities) Act 2016 (SA) was recently passed by South Australian Parliament and comes into effect today. The purpose of the Act is to improve the governance arrangements for the University of Adelaide and Flinders University.

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Did you know that over 200 State and Federal Acts specifically apply to the University? But don’t worry, no-one at the University is expected to know all of these laws! The University has a Framework to proactively support staff and other personnel to more confidently manage their compliance obligations and support their decision-making. The trick […]

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Academic behind bars

The experience of Emeritus Professor John Roth from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, USA is a cautionary tale for all academic researchers about the limits of academic freedom in a world troubled by threats of nuclear proliferation, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Professor Roth was sentenced to 4 years prison for not observing […]

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Keyboard, phone and pen on desk

The tone of your communications is the tone of the record you are creating. We all know that record-keeping is an important and non-discretionary obligation. Proper recording of University activities is important because it promotes Understanding of decisions by showing what, when, how, who and why something was done, determined or implemented Transparency and rigour […]

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South Australian public officers are invited to attend a general awareness session hosted by the Commissioner, the Hon Bruce Lander QC. The next session has been scheduled for: Thursday 17th August 9:30-10:30am Theatrette, 55 Currie Street, Adelaide, SA You can register here.

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Woman on laptop

Unless you curate your profile carefully, your online presence may reflect on the institution you work for as well. Social media is a powerful tool that allows us to express our identity through what we “like” and the campaigns and issues we support. But being connected can blur a line between what’s personal and what’s […]

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