The Commissioner’s formal investigative and review process will take place when there are reasonable grounds to believe that a breach of compliance has occurred. This staged investigative approach will ensure that the Commissioner’s response is commensurate with the seriousness of breaches identified. Each stage allows opportunities for stakeholders to provide evidence of compliance to prevent proceeding to the next stage of investigations. For more information on each step, please go to the relevant FAQs page for Agencies or Suppliers.
How does the Commissioner identify a non-compliance breach of the Local Jobs First Policy?
The Commissioner may proceed with an investigation into non-compliance of the Local Jobs First Policy where the Commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe non-compliance has occurred or when a complaint has been brought to the attention of the Commissioner through written evidence pertaining to a non-compliance of the Local Jobs First policy.
Review of Suspected Non-Compliance Breach
The Commissioner will review the available evidence and either:
- proceed with an investigation or
- determine that the evidence provided is insufficient to justify an investigation.
In determining the best course of action, the Commissioner will consider the level of risks to be addressed, the degree of non-compliance caused or likely to be caused and willingness to engage.
The investigation process
If the Commissioner decides to proceed with an investigation, he may do so through a combination of the following approaches.
Requests for information from agencies
If the Commissioner believes on reasonable grounds that an agency has information or a document that is relevant to the performance of his/her functions, the Commissioner may request in writing that the agency provide the specified information or documents.
Should the Commissioner determine that information provided through a Request for Information from Agencies is sufficient to make a decision, the agency will be notified of the decision and next steps required.
Information Notice from contractors
The Commissioner may issue an information notice in writing to a contractor requiring them to do any of the following within the period and in the manner specified in the information notice:
- give to the Commissioner specified information
- produce to the Commissioner any document specified in the information notice
- make copies of any specified document and produce the copies to the Commissioner.
Once the Commissioner determines that information provided through an Information Notice is sufficient to make a decision, the contractor will be notified of the decision and next steps.
The Commissioner may issue a compliance notice in writing to a person if the Commissioner reasonably believes that the person has failed to comply with:
- an information notice; or
- the Local Jobs First Policy; or
- a Local Industry Development Plan.
The recipient will be required to comply with the compliance notice and provide the Commissioner with written response confirming or disputing the notice. If the recipient disputes the notice, it is at the discretion of the Commissioner to confirm or withdraw the notice.
If the Commissioner has not received a response to a compliance notice from the contractor within the specified days or the contractor has failed to comply with the notice within the period specified, the Commissioner may determine that they have failed to comply with the information notice, Local Jobs First Policy or with a Local Industry Development Plan.
If the Commissioner makes a determination, the Commissioner may:
- recommend to the Minister that the Minister issue an Adverse Publicity Notice, and
- advise the contractor and the appropriate agency of the determination and the recommendation that the Minister issue an Adverse Publicity Notice.
The contractor will be provided the opportunity to respond to the recommendation within 7 days from the date of issue. The Minister of Industry and Innovation will determine whether to publish the Adverse Publicity Notice.
Recommendation an agency seeks an injunction or other enforcement action
The Commissioner may recommend an agency seeks an injunction or other enforcement action if a person is failing to comply or has failed to comply with the Local Jobs First Policy or a Local Industry Development Plan, the Commissioner may make a recommendation to the appropriate agency that the agency seeks compliance with the Local Jobs First Policy or the Local Industry Development Plan by:
- applying to a court of competent jurisdiction for an injunction; or
- taking enforcement action available under an applicable contract.
Notifying correspondent of the outcome of an investigation
The Local Jobs First Commissioner may respond to a complainant who has provided evidence on instances of non-compliance with the Local Jobs First Policy of the outcome of any investigations undertaken within a reasonable timeframe.
The Commissioner may request an agency to conduct an audit in relation to:
- Compliance by a person or agency with the Local Jobs First Policy; or
- Compliance by a person with a Local Industry Development Plan, and
- to provide to the Commissioner a report on the Audit.
The Commissioner may impose Terms of Reference or other requirements in relation to an audit conducted by an agency.
The audit findings are required to be communicated back to the Commissioner who will work with agencies to ensure that corrective action and non-compliance issues are resolved by agencies.