Coroners conducting inquests or inquiries into deaths, fires or explosions may make recommendations relating to public health and safety or other matters that arise during the course of an inquest or inquiry.This Memorandum sets out the process for responding to coronial recommendations directed at Ministers and NSW government agencies. The purpose of the Memorandum is to ensure that there is a consistent process across government for responding to coronial recommendations, and that there is increased accountability and transparency in responding to such recommendations.
When a coroner makes a recommendation at an inquest or inquiry, the coroner will forward a copy of the recommendation to:the State Coronerany person to whom, or body to which, a recommendation is directed;the Minister who administers the legislation, or who is responsible for the person or body to which a recommendation relates; and the Attorney General. A Minister or NSW government agency which receives a coronial recommendation should within 21 days:acknowledge receipt of the recommendation; or if the recommendation relates to issues which are the responsibility of another Minister or agency, refer the recommendation to the appropriate Minister or agency, and inform the coroner, State Coroner and the Attorney General of the referral.
A Minister or NSW government agency which receives a coronial recommendation referred by another Minister or agency should acknowledge receipt of the recommendation to the referring Minister or agency, the State Coroner and the Attorney General.Within six months of receiving a coronial recommendation, a Minister or NSW government agency should write to the Attorney General outlining any action being taken to implement the recommendation. If it is not proposed to implement a recommendation, reasons should be given (e.g. the recommendation will not achieve the intended outcome; the outcome can be achieved in another way; the recommendation is impractical to implement having regard to the cost and potential benefits; there are other considerations that make implementation of the recommendation not feasible).
Ministers and agencies are encouraged to provide updates to the Attorney General on any further action taken to implement recommendations following their initial advice.In accordance with the usual process, if the proposed Government response to a coronial recommendation involves significant change to Government policy, impacts on more than one portfolio, or has budgetary implications, a Minister should bring forward a Cabinet Minute. Any cross-portfolio issues should be subject to consultation with relevant Ministers.The Attorney General will maintain a record of all coronial recommendations made, together with the responses received from Ministers and NSW government agencies. The Attorney General will arrange for a report to be posted on his Department's website, in June and December of each year, summarising coronial recommendations made and the responses received from Ministers and NSW government agencies. The Attorney General will also send a copy of the report to the State Coroner for information.State Owned Corporations are encouraged to adopt the provisions of this Memorandum.