Giving Evidence and Producing Documents to a Court, Commission, Tribunal or Inquiry

Version Number

2.1

Implementation Date

22/05/2014

Scope

Department-wide

Purpose

​Describes the procedure on how employees of the Department of Education, Training and Employment give evidence or produce documents to a Court, Commission, Tribunal or Inquiry.​​

Overview

​An employee of the Department of Education, Training and Employment may be compelled by a Court, Commission, Tribunal or Inquiry to give evidence, to produce documents or to give evidence and produce documents in their official capacity. This can be in the form of a Subpoena or a Notice. Employees may be required or directed by the Director-General to give evidence, to produce documents or both without a Subpoena or Notice being served.

Responsibilities

​If an employee has been directed by a Court, Commission, Tribunal or Inquiry to give evidence, produce documents, or both in their official capacity, or where the employee has been directed by the Director-General to give evidence, to produce documents, or both, the employee must:

  • appear at court on the date/s specified and testify truthfully concerning matters within their own knowledge or field of expertise;
  • take documents to the Court, Commission, Tribunal, or Inquiry if specified, and if advised by officers of the Legal and Administrative Law Branch to do so;
  • refer to the Legal and Administrative Law Branch any request from a solicitor to discuss evidence or to make a personal statement outside the Court, Commission, Tribunal or Inquiry;
  • advise the Legal and Administrative Law Branch of any special requirements to assist with giving evidence to a Court, Commission, Tribunal or Inquiry (e.g., translation services or wheelchair access).

Employees are required to apply for leave (either special leave without pay, recreation leave, time off in lieu of overtime, or accrued hours) if they are served a Subpoena or Notice to give evidence to a Court in relation to a matter unrelated to their employment (e.g. as witness to a motor vehicle accident or in divorce proceedings).

Process

​An employee who receives a direction by a Court, Commission, Tribunal or Inquiry to give evidence or produce documents, or both, in their official capacity must:

  • provide a copy of the Subpoena or Notice to the Legal and Administrative Law branch on receipt;
  • ensure that no departmental documents are produced to a Court, Commission, Tribunal or Inquiry unless a Subpoena or Notice has been served on the Director-General of Education, Training and Employment and they are authorised to produce the documents;
  • advise the Legal and Administrative Law branch whether conduct money has been received;
  • provide conduct money (when received) to the Legal and Administrative Law Branch;
  • if the employee is required to travel in order to comply with the Subpoena or Notice, complete and lodge a Travel Expense Claim Form (DETE employees only) with attached receipts for reimbursement of expenses, or for a travel allowance, if the requirements of attendance at a Court, Commission, Tribunal or Inquiry are consistent with the guidelines for payment of such an allowance.
    (Note: Travel costs are to be funded by the employee’s work unit as the Legal and Administrative Law Branch do not hold funds for this.)

Where an employee is served with a Subpoena or Notice to give evidence in a private capacity:

  • apply for special leave without pay, recreational leave, time off in lieu of overtime, or accrued hours;
  • ensure they do not use any departmental resources.

An employee who is served with a Subpoena or Notice in their official capacity may also receive conduct money as a requirement of the Subpoena or Notice. If this is the case, the employee must contact the Legal and Administrative Law branch for advice as to how the conduct is to be dealt with by the employee.

The Director-General may require or direct an employee to give evidence, produce documents or to give evidence and produce documents in their official capacity. A subpoena or Notice will not necessarily be served if there is a request or direction given by the Director-General. If the employee is requested or directed to give evidence, the Department will continue to pay the employee’s salary while attending a Court, Commission, Tribunal, or Inquiry and will reimburse reasonable costs incurred by the employee in meeting their obligations. 

Documents generated in the course of employment are the property of the Department of Education, Training and Employment and not that of an individual employee. Although a Subpoena or Notice served on an employee might include an order for production of documents, departmental documents can be produced only if a Subpoena or Notice is addressed to the Director-General of the Department of Education, Training and Employment.

Should another government agency request that an employee of the department appear as a witness, the Legal and Administrative Law Branch will advise whether a Subpoena or Notice is required.

An employee who is served with a Subpoena or Notice by the State of Queensland, another State, or the Commonwealth to give evidence other than in an official capacity as an employee are nevertheless regarded as being on official duty. As to an employee’s entitlements in this situation see Court Attendance and Jury Service Directive 13/10​.

An obligation under a Subpoena or Notice does not include providing evidence or information to any party to an action before or after the Court, Commission, Tribunal or Inquiry. Legal representatives do not have the right to use an employee as a source of information for any purpose before, or after, the employee has given evidence. The obligation only relates to giving evidence or producing documents to the Court, Commission, Tribunal, or Inquiry on the terms set out in the Subpoena or Notice.

Online Resources

​Not applicable.

Review Date

1/06/2014
Attribution CC BY
​Not applicable.