The internal review process
The IRU will contact all affected parties and provide the opportunity to respond to any new information provided by the applicant that affects the internal decision under review.
Acknowledgement of application
An internal review application is acknowledged within 2 business days of receipt of the application.
The acknowledgement is usually sent by email and contains important information about the review process.
You are given 3 business days from the date of acknowledgement to provide all the information you wish to submit to support your application.
The affected party will be advised of the application and may be provided with a copy of the review application and any supporting evidentiary documents you provide.
Assessment of your application
Once an application is acknowledged and processed, it will in most cases be allocated to a case officer.
The IRU case officer will:
- conduct a more detailed assessment and review
- advise you if an internal review cannot be conducted, including the reasons why.
The internal review application will be assessed by the case officer to make sure that:
- a decision has been made by the QBCC (the original decision)
- the original decision is a reviewable decision under legislation
- the application for internal review was lodged with the QBCC within 28 calendar days after the applicant was given notice of the original decision or otherwise becomes aware of the original decision
- the internal review application was made by an affected person, or their authorised agent
- there are no other issues which prevent the internal review of the decision or decisions (e.g. such as an application for administrative review by QCAT about the same matter by the applicant).
Reviewing material and gathering evidence
It is up to all affected parties to provide information that may assist the internal review's case officer and decision maker.
The internal review process is a merits review and will involve consideration of:
- all relevant documentation and photographs contained in the original case file
- any new and relevant information / submissions obtained, including from the applicant and any other affected parties
- the facts and circumstances against relevant legislation, regulation, policies and procedures including how to exercise discretion (if any)
- procedural fairness to affected parties if the original decision is changed.
An internal review does not ordinarily involve a repeat of the initial investigation process, and may rely on previous information gathered where that information is either uncontested by the affected parties or is accepted by the review decision maker to be reliable.
The IRU will contact all affected parties and provide the opportunity to respond to any new information provided by the applicant that affects the decision under review.
If necessary, this process may include:
- a site inspection, with all affected parties invited to attend
- professional advice (for example, from an engineer)
- consideration of information from the original decision maker about the reasons for their decision and any information they took into account
- providing information which has been obtained from one affected party to another affected party, and giving that party an opportunity to respond.
If an application is made outside the 28 calendar day period, a further assessment will be done to determine if the application will be accepted out of time or not.
The case officer will consider one or more factors, including (but not limited to):
- the length of the delay, being the amount of time between when the 28 days expired and when you made your application
- your reasons for the delay and whether you have provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate these reasons
- the relevance of your reasons for delay (ie. the reasons provided should be directly relevant to explaining the delay)
- the merits of the application for internal review, including if you have provided persuasive evidence or new evidence demonstrating that the original decision may be incorrect
- whether accepting your late application will result in prejudice to other parties or the QBCC.
If the application is not accepted out of time:
- you cannot request a review of the decision not to accept your late application in QCAT, but may request a review by the Queensland Ombudsman.
- you can make an out of time application to QCAT about the original decision.
Time frames for internal review
Ordinarily, an internal review is completed within 28 calendar days of the application being received by the QBCC's Internal Review Unit (IRU).
In the event that an internal review cannot be completed within 28 calendar days:
- the IRU will consider if an extension is necessary to finalise the review
- if an extension is determined to be necessary, the IRU will contact the applicant to request consent for an extension of time
- if the applicant does not consent to an extension of time, the original decision by the QBCC will not be changed, and the internal review will not be completed
- if the applicant consents to the extension of time, the IRU will be required to meet the new agreed date for completion of the review, or request consent for additional extensions of time.
More than one time extension could be necessary due to the complex nature of some cases. However, an extension of time is considered the exception rather than the rule and it is rare that the internal review will exceed the 28 day period.
Outcome of an internal review
The review decision will be made by a review decision maker at the same level as, or more senior to, the original decision-maker. The internal review decision maker is independent of the original decision.
The internal review decision maker will make a new decision that replaces the original decision made by QBCC, this decision may be the same or different from the original decision which, depending on the decision under review include actions being taken as a result to:
- issue a new direction, for example, for a contractor to rectify and an additional period of time being provided for the contractor to complete the works
- issue a licence, cancel a licence or place or remove a condition on a licence
- accept or decline an insurance claim, wholly or partially
- take particular action, if any, as a result of a certifier's conduct.
The Internal Review Unit will advise the applicant and all parties affected by the internal review decision of the outcome by mail and/or email.
The internal review decision will replace the original decision and can only be changed through a review in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).