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 Program 1.8: Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

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Major achievements

Terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse were developed jointly by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Attorney-General's Department and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

The Governor-General issued Letters Patent appointing six Royal Commissioners to investigate where systems have failed to protect children, and make recommendations on how to improve laws, policies and practices to prevent and better respond to child sexual abuse in institutions. While responsibility for the Royal Commission falls under the ambit of the department's responsibilities, in fact it operates independently under the direction of the Royal Commissioners.

The Office of the Royal Commission was established in Sydney and commenced operations publicly at its first sitting in Melbourne in April 2013. A specialist call centre service was opened to collect information from people who wished to register their interest or provide information to the Royal Commission. A total of 2796 calls were made to the service during the reporting period.

Due to the nature of the inquiry, the Royal Commission is holding private sessions allowing participants to tell their story to one or two Commissioners in a less formal setting than a hearing. The Commission undertook just under 100 private sessions in Sydney and Brisbane during the reporting period.

The Commission released its first Issues Paper on Working with Children Check and will commence further public hearings in the second half of 2013. As at 30 June 2013, the Royal Commission has employed 86 staff, including Commissioners, Australian Public Service (APS) employees and employees seconded from Commonwealth and state government agencies.

Performance results

Table 2.20: Performance results, Program 1.8
Key performance indicators
The Commission will prepare an interim report by no later than 30 June 2014

The full report is expected to be finalised at the end of 2015

The Office of the Royal Commission has commenced operations and is on track to complete its interim report by 30 June 2014.
The Commission will operate using terms of reference which have been included in the Letters Patent

The Royal Commission is operating in accordance with the Letters Patent.


Table 2.21: Administered items, Program 1.8
Administered items
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Office of the Royal Commission was appropriated $37.3m in operating funding in the 2012–13 Additional Estimates process. Due to the complexity of the initial start-up phase of the Royal Commission, $6.3m was transferred for use in 2013-14, leaving an available balance of $31.0m.
Budget Price: $30.997 million
Actual Price: $13.463 million

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