Reports by the Auditor-General, parliamentary committees or Commonwealth Ombudsman

No reports were made by the Auditor-General or by a committee of either house of parliament regarding the operations of the agency in the reporting period.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman tabled his annual report under section 13(1) of the Building and Construction Industry (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Act 2016 for the period 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, in November 2017.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman tabled two quarterly reports under section 65(6) of the BCIIP Act for the periods 1 July 2016 to 31 March 2017 and 1 April 2017 to 30 June 2017, in March 2018.

Section 119A of the BCIIP Act requires that a review be conducted into the operations of the BCIIP Act. This review commenced during the reporting period but no report has yet been tabled in the parliament, as required under section 119A(3).

Judicial decisions, and decisions of administrative tribunals or the Information Commissioner

In the reporting period, the operations of the agency have not been affected by decisions of the judiciary, administrative tribunals or Australian Information Commissioner. Further, no decisions made by these bodies are likely to have a significant effect on the operations of the agency.

In August 2016, the CFMEU commenced litigation against the former Director of the Fair Work Building Inspectorate, Mr Nigel Hadgkiss, and the Commonwealth; proceedings were finalised in the reporting period. This decision is reported at Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union v. Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate [2017] FCA 1166. The Federal Court found that the former Director:

... contravened s 503(1) of the Fair Work Act 2009 when, on 19 December 2013, he directed staff ... that no changes were to be made to ... educational material concerning right of entry under Pt 3-4 of the FW [Fair Work] Act, in circumstances where a reasonable person, with the knowledge of the respondent [the Director], could reasonably be expected to have foreseen that that action would lead to the impression being given, by the continued availability of the educational material on the FWBC website, that an employer or occupier was authorised to give a union official exercising a right of entry a reasonable request which had to be followed by the union official, about the room or areas they may use on the site for holding discussions or interviews with employees, when such a thing was not so authorised.

The court imposed a pecuniary penalty of $8,500 on the former Director and ordered that the penalty be paid to the CFMEU. The case against the Commonwealth was discontinued on 8 September 2017.

Capability reviews

No capability reviews of the entity were released during the reporting period.

Freedom of information

Entities subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) are required to publish information to the public as part of the information publication scheme (IPS). This requirement is in Part II of the FOI Act and has replaced the former requirement to publish a section 8 statement in an annual report. Each agency must display on its website a plan showing what information it publishes in accordance with the IPS requirements.

The ABCC has published an agency plan that describes how the ABCC proposes to implement and administer the IPS. The agency plan is available on the ABCC website at https://www.abcc.gov.au/about/freedom-information.

The ABCC received 22 freedom of information requests during the reporting period.