WCC e-Bulletin No 52: February 2013
Registrar's Interim Guideline
Requests to Issue Directions for Production Prior to Teleconference
Rule 13.3 of the Workers Compensation Commission Rules 2011 (2011 Rules) provides that a party to proceedings may apply to an Arbitrator to issue directions for production of documents. The first opportunity for this to occur is at the initial teleconference.
Following the introduction of the Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Act 2012, the Commission received a substantial increase in disputes lodged, which has resulted in delays in the time to initial teleconference. To minimise further delays, this guideline sets out an interim procedure for issuing a direction for production before the initial teleconference, either with the consent of the other party or in the absence of opposition by the other party.
POWER TO ISSUE DIRECTION TO PRODUCE
Section 357 of the Workplace Injury Management and Workers Compensation Act 1998 (1998 Act) provides that the Commission may direct any person (whether or not the person is a party to the proceedings) to produce documents or furnish information to the Commission.
Part 13 of the 2011 Rules sets out the procedure to be followed in connection with issuing directions for production.
Practice Direction No 7 sets out the practice and procedure of the Commission regarding the operation of Part 13 of the 2011 Rules.
REQUEST TO ISSUE DIRECTION FOR PRODUCTION PRIOR TO TELECONFERENCE
The party requesting the issue of a direction for production pursuant to this guideline must first seek the consent of the other party. A letter should be sent to the other party advising the name of the producer, the documents to be produced, and the requirement to raise any objection within 14 days.
The requesting party may apply to the Registrar to issue the direction for production if the other party consents or if the other party does not oppose the issue of the direction within 14 days of being notified by the requesting party.
An application to issue a direction for production prior to the initial teleconference must be made in writing to the Registrar at least six weeks prior to the scheduled teleconference.
The application must include the following information:
- The matter number and party details;
- The teleconference date;
- The name of the producer;
- Confirmation of the other party’s consent or the failure of the other party to oppose issuing the direction.
The application must attach the engrossed Direction for Production (Form 8), completed in accordance with the ‘Guide to completing Form 8’.
Where the Commission declines to issue a direction for production, the parties will be advised in writing by the Registrar.
A contested request to issue a direction for production may be determined at the initial teleconference. Alternatively, to avoid unnecessary delay, a contested direction for production may be listed before the Registrar for determination.
SERVICE OF DIRECTION FOR PRODUCTION, INCLUDING SERVICE OUTSIDE THE STATE OF NEW SOUTH WALES
The requesting party must serve the direction for production on the producer and the other party no later than seven days before the date for production specified in the direction.
A direction for production to be served outside the State of New South Wales must comply with the requirements of the Service and Execution of Process Act 1992, including completion of a Form 8A and SEPA Notice.
This guideline is effective to 30 August 2013.