Royal Commission releases implementation report

1 June 2015

The Royal Commission has released a report that assesses the extent to which recommendations from previous, relevant inquiries have been implemented.

Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said the report, prepared by the Parenting Research Centre, assesses the implementation of 288 recommendations from 67 inquiries. It also highlights factors that contributed to, or were barriers to, successful implementation based on consultation with public servants and other key stakeholders.

“The report found that the 64% of recommendations were implemented either partially (16%) or in full (48%). Twenty-one percent were rated as not implemented.

“It found that establishing processes and structures that support implementation, strong leadership and stakeholder engagement contributed to the successful implementation of recommendations.

“On the other hand, it found that resource and structural constraints and organisational culture were major factors that prevented the implementation of recommendations.

“The report reinforces the importance of meaningful consultation with stakeholders to ensure that recommendations are implemented effectively.

“The Royal Commission has held a number of roundtables and private meetings with key groups and government jurisdictions to ensure that their views and expertise are captured. We are also learning from survivors directly through private sessions and from survivor advocacy groups through our public and private consultations,” Mr Reed said.

Please note that the findings in this report were based on data received between September 2013 and February 2014. It is acknowledged that governments may have taken further action since these dates to implement recommendations.

Read the report.

About the report

Implementation of recommendations arising from previous inquiries of relevance to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Key findings include:

Extent to which recommendations were implemented

  • Sixty-four percent of recommendations were rated as implemented either in full (48%) or partially (16%). Twenty-one percent were rated as not implemented, and the implementation status of 14% could not be determined.

Factors that contributed to the implementation of recommendations

  • Establishing processes and structures to facilitate implementation.

  • Strong leadership and stakeholder engagement.

  • An accountability framework and monitoring process.

Barriers to Implementation of recommendations

  • Practical constraints such as budgetary constraints, a lack of human resources or existing workloads, and time constraints.

  • Organisational culture was seen as having a powerful influence on reform, including resistance to change, lack of collaboration, and a struggle to maintain a child focus.

  • Structural constraints have a significant impact on the implementation of recommendations. National reform can be affected by cross-jurisdictional differences and the length of time taken to pass national laws. Effecting change across non-government organisations with no centralised authority was also seen as a barrier to implementation.

  • Recommendations that are narrow or prescriptive, or that focus on activity rather than outcome, can have the unintended consequence of failing to address the real drivers of a problem and bring about systemic change. Over-regulation can foster a culture of compliance rather than change.

Strategies to address barriers to implementation

  • Consultation with stakeholders before recommendations are handed down, and articulating the ‘vision’ of the reforms to gain support

  • Developing recommendations that focus on outcomes, are evidence-based, are realistic and feasible, and are tailored to different jurisdictions and agencies

  • Taking resourcing implications into account.

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