What powers of investigation do we have?

During an investigation, we have powers under the Public Guardian Act 2014 to:

  • require people to produce records and accounts
  • gain access to any relevant information such as medical files
  • cross examine witnesses
  • issue a written notice ordering a person who has been uncooperative to attend at a stated time and place, give information, answer questions and produce documents
  • execute a warrant to remove an adult who is at immediate risk of harm
  • suspend an attorney’s power. Where a power of attorney is suspended, the Public Guardian is automatically appointed under legislation as attorney for personal and health matters for up to three months and the Public Trustee is appointed as financial administrator. This three-month period provides time for a report to be prepared for QCAT to make a decision about appointing a guardian and/or administrator.

The purpose of an investigation is to identify the vulnerable person’s level of risk and action needed to best protect them. We will gather evidence to determine whether the allegations can be substantiated on the balance of probabilities.