Possible investigation outcomes

An investigation’s outcomes depends on the evidence collected and the investigators’ findings. Actions also depend on the situation and severity of the abuse. There are several possible outcomes.

  • If there was no formal decision maker for the adult and decisions are required, an application could be made to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) to have a guardian and/or administrator appointed. QCAT may appoint a family member or friend of the adult or, if there is no suitable person available, the Public Guardian may be appointed as guardian for relevant personal, healthcare and non-financial legal decisions and/or the Public Trustee may be appointed as administrator for financial decisions.
  • If our investigation establishes that an existing formal decision maker (either under an Enduring Power of Attorney or a guardianship/administration order from QCAT) was acting in an inappropriate or inadequate fashion, an application may be made to QCAT seeking alternative decision-making arrangements for the adult. In those cases where the adult had an attorney under an Enduring Power of Attorney, the Public Guardian might have already suspended the powers of the existing attorney.
  • A decision may be made for the Public Guardian to supervise an attorney, guardian or administrator for a reasonable period of time, or ask a financial administrator or attorney to present a management plan for approval.
  • An informal resolution may be determined, mostly when an attorney simply may be unaware of their responsibilities and is inadvertently acting in an inappropriate manner or if there is family conflict and the adult’s needs aren’t being put first. This will generally involve informing/advising an involved party, and highlighting their responsibilities.
  • The Public Guardian may provide formal advice to an attorney in relation to particular actions. The attorney may choose to follow the advice or apply to QCAT to seek directions about the advice.

We also may take no action. For example, when our investigation does not find evidence of abuse, neglect or exploitation. An investigation will be discontinued if there is no reasonable information to suggest the adult lacks the capacity to make their own decisions about the issue being considered.