Review process for Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement Contractors Voluntary Exit Grants Program
A request for a review should be submitted in writing within three months from the date the department advise decision to the applicant. All reviews will be undertaken as promptly as possible and will not exceed a 30 working day timeframe, from assignment of review officer. If the 30 working day period is unable to be met, the applicant will be advised in writing as early as possible of the delay, be provided reasons for the delay and a new expected decision date advised. Program staff should advise Deputy Secretary within three working days of receipt of request for review.
1) Request for review received from applicant.
2) Applicants will be sent an acknowledgement letter/email by the department within 10 working days of the receipt of an application.
3) Program staff enter request for review onto register.
4) Program staff advice Deputy Secretary of the review request via internal minute and forward the applicant’s file.
5) Deputy Secretary assigns officer(s) who were not involved in the original investigation of the complaint, to conduct review and appoints Assistant Secretary to determine any action to be undertaken following the review.
6) Review officer(s) investigates the claims of the applicant against:
a) IGACEP guidelines;
b) Original documentation submitted in application;
c) Advisory panel’s assessment report and supporting documentation – any independent financial advice provided; and
d) Delegate’s decision
• If the review is on eligibility, and a previously ineligible application is deemed eligible, then the review officer must consider the merit of the application.
• If the process that determined ineligibility is put into question by the review of eligibility, then a review on eligibility of all previously determined ineligible applications will be carried out.
• If the review is on merit, the review officer must determine whether the unsuccessful application should be ranked highly enough to be offered funding under the program given that not all eligible applicants received grants.
7) Findings of the review are set out in a report, recommending any remedial action, if necessary, that should be undertaken as required.
8) Report is provided to an independent Assistant Secretary, for consideration and decision on appropriate action, along with letter to applicant to be signed by that Assistant Secretary setting out the outcome of the review process.
9) The applicant is advised, in writing, of the outcomes of the review. The applicant is also advised that if they are not satisfied with the outcomes of the review, they can request one further review of the decision at First Assistant Secretary/Deputy Secretary/Secretary level.
10) All documentation for the review process is maintained on the applicant’s file. Templates for decision recording on eligibility and merit criteria are at Attachment A and Attachment B.
11) The option for an external review by the Commonwealth Ombudsman also exists for the applicant as detailed in the program guidelines and on the department’s website.
All officers involved in the review process should follow the department’s complaints handling guidance in accordance with the Ombudsman’s Better Practice guide to complaints handling.