Can OPG force someone to answer questions?
Yes, section 25 of the Public Guardian Act 2014 gives the Public Guardian the power to require a witness to appear at a Tribunal and answer questions and produce documents. Penalties apply for non-compliance.
Why can’t OPG investigate when a person has capacity but their attorney for financial matters is acting inappropriately?
If a person has capacity, their views and wishes must be respected. Matters such as these should be referred to appropriate agencies such as the Seniors Legal and Support Service or the Queensland Police Service.
I’ve got a feeling that someone isn’t treating an adult properly. Is that enough for OPG to investigate?
No. You need to provide us with details about what you have observed that constitutes abuse or mistreatment.
I suspect an attorney (or private guardian) isn’t performing their role properly. Who can I ask for advice about taking protective action for an adult without decision-making capacity?
If you suspect an attorney or private guardians isn’t performing their role properly, you can contact the OPG’s guardians for advice on putting protection measures in place.
Can I make an anonymous referral to OPG?
Yes, you can remain anonymous but you must complete a referral form (although you can choose to not provide your details in the form). However if you do choose to remain anonymous you won’t be notified about the outcome of the investigation.
How long should it take to conduct an investigation?
Depending on the complexity of the case, investigations can take many months, sometimes years. We will always complete an investigation as quickly as we can, but we must always prioritise our investigations to protect the rights of our vulnerable clients.
For active/ongoing investigations
If an investigation is underway, can an attorney remove someone from hospital?
Yes. Whilst an investigation is underway the attorney retains their role and responsibilities as OPG are only investigating the concerns raised and are not appointed for the adult (other than in the scenario where the Public Guardian has suspended an attorney). However; if the removal of the adult from hospital is not appropriate to their circumstances you should speak with hospital staff and contact the OPG investigator and advise them of the change in circumstances.
My sister asked me if I reported her to the OPG. Would the OPG have told her this? How do you protect my wish to remain anonymous?
It is not considered in the public interest to release that information. However, as part of our investigations we may need to contact people in an adult’s life, and this may lead people to make assumptions.
For closed investigations
Can you give me information about a closed case?
Unless you are the appointed attorney. Guardian or administrator for the adult we generally can’t give you this information. You would have to make a Right to Information request by contacting the OPG Right to Information and Privacy Manager on 1300 653 187 or by using our online form.
OPG conducted an investigation and applied to QCAT for an interim order for an administrator to be appointed. The case closed two years ago but one of the people involved is now charged with fraud. Can police request a statement from an OPG investigator?
Yes, OPG would provide police with a statement regarding the OPG investigation.