AUTHORISED VISITOR

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					AUTHORISED VISITOR
FACT SHEET NUMBER 17

What is an Authorised Visitor?
The NSW Trustee and Guardian Act 2009 Section 123 allows the NSW Trustee and
Guardian to appoint an Authorised Visitor to visit and report on the needs of a client.

An Authorised Visitor is a social worker, psychologist, medical practitioner,
occupational therapist or similar professional who is experienced in providing
services to people with decision making disabilities. These professionals must not
only be qualified but also be working with people with disabilities to be eligible to be
appointed.

NSW Trustee and Guardian (NSWTG) has a panel of appropriate qualified and
experienced professionals from which the NSW Trustee and Guardian appoints
Authorised Visitors.

Why is an Authorised Visitor appointed?
The appointment of an Authorised Visitor occurs to assist in planning and decision-
making for the client. It also assists NSWTG in its role of directing and authorising
private managers.

Independence
The Authorised Visitor is independent of NSWTG. This enables them to be free to
make whatever recommendations are necessary and to report on any area of
concern.

When is an Authorised Visitor appointed?
When considering whether to appoint an Authorised Visitor NSWTG will consider a
number of factors including:
   whether sufficient client funds are available
   the suitability of the information which exists about the person, their disability,
   aspirations and needs in order to formulate a client plan or to make a significant
   decision
   conflicting advice being received about the person and their needs
   recent significant changes in the person’s health, social, legal or financial
   circumstances (e.g., receipt of compensation payment or an inheritance, a new
   debt or obligation such as notification of a new dependent, or a change of
   accommodation)
   the need to obtain the client’s and significant others’ views
   issues of abuse, neglect or exploitation that need to be monitored or investigated
   a significant estate whilst the client has unmet needs.


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NSW Trustee and Guardian


Page 2 of 4 – Authorised Visitor


    there having been a major change, either significant increase or decrease, in a
    client's spending
    the availability of adequate professional reports regarding a client’s
    circumstances
    significant conflict in a matter, where the conflict issues present major barriers to
    or prevent the implementation of a client plan or significant decision.

Objectives
The objectives of an Authorised Visitor are to provide the NSWTG with:
   a comprehensive assessment of the client’s living environment, quality of life,
   social interactions, health status and needs
   an understanding of the client and where relevant their family’s views about
   management of their estate, their needs and wishes and any particular decision
   under consideration
   a professional opinion on which NSWTG staff can base decisions or to inform
   Private Management Branch officers in their role of authorising and directing
   Managers
   recommendations which address unmet needs, enhance quality of life, within
   available financial resources, and identify any issues for individual advocacy.

Functions
The key functions of an Authorised Visitor are:
   to provide an independent reporting function to the NSWTG in the decision
   making functions as a financial manager and in the role of directing and
   authorising the work of private managers
   to inform substitute decision making in respect of financial management so
   decisions are consistent with client need and lifestyle enhancements within
   available resources
   to provide but not to implement recommendations i.e. an Authorised Visitor is not
   a referral agent, case manager or service provider. The implementation of the
   recommendations will be undertaken by relevant NSWTG staff or forwarded on to
   private managers for their consideration
   to assist the NSWTG in it’s role of monitoring the client’s circumstances and any
   changes.

Validity of Appointment
A person is appointed as an Authorised Visitor on a case by case basis depending
on the needs of the client, the person’s expertise, the service/assistance required
and geographical location. Status as an Authorised Visitor is only valid for the
duration of the assigned order for a particular client. A copy of the order for each
appointment will be provided to the Authorised Visitor and should be available for
viewing by the client, their family and anyone else the Authorised Visitor seeks
information from.

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The order provides the Authorised Visitor with authority to receive information about
the client and their estate, visit the client, and to collect information about the client’s
circumstances as it relates to the management of their estate. This information is
confidential and only for the Authorised Visitor’s use in preparing the report.

Limit of authority
An Authorised Visitor does not have the authority to request nursing homes, boarding
houses or other operators to provide items for clients from the client’s funds. The
client’s needs should be clearly indicated in the Authorised Visitor’s reports. NSWTG
will follow up those needs. This will reduce any confusion in relation to the Authorised
Visitor’s role and the role of NSWTG staff.

AV fee structure
The fee paid for the Authorised Visitor’s service (excluding travel costs and time)
includes time taken to:
    peruse documents sent as the referral to the Authorised Visitor
    set up the interview
    undertake telephone consultations and negotiations pre and post interview
    visit and interview the client.
    undertake other face to face discussions e.g. with DON, family members and
    others
    write the report, and
    other administration costs incurred by the Authorised Visitor, e.g. postage.

Fees

Fee for Visit and Report
The fee for visits and report writing is $80.00 an hour. There is a limit on standard
reports of 6 hours, ie $480 plus GST if applicable, without prior authorisation from the
Assistant Director, Disability Services.

The time spent on the assessment and completion of reports reflects the varying
complexity in some NSWTG clients’ situations e.g. brain injury matters, complex aged
care matters, situations where significant conflict exists. Consequently, Authorised
Visitor fees may vary according to the circumstances of the client and the tasks
involved in reviewing and reporting on a situation.

Other expenses
Additional expenses may be claimed over and above, or instead, of those mentioned
above where applicable e.g.,:
(a) economy class air fares
(b) hire cars
(c) excessive STD phone calls is decided by Manager, Disability Services
(d) overnight expenses and meal allowances (Premier’s Department travelling and
     meal allowance rate)
(e) taxi fares to/from airports.
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These expenses must be approved by Assistant Director, Disability Services, before
commencement of the visit.

Unsuccessful visits
Authorised Visitors may charge $80.00 plus applicable travel costs (see above), if a
previously arranged visit was not able to occur due to a client or family member’s lack
of availability.

Travel
Travel costs recompense Authorised Visitors for the use of their private motor vehicles
and covers mileage and motor vehicle depreciation. The Public Sector Management
Office’s (Premier’s Department Circular No. 2001-35) Motor Vehicle Allowance
Schedule guidelines for the use of private motor vehicles are used to determine rates
of payment.

The payment for travel is 67 cents per kilometre travelled when the Authorised Visitor
uses their own private vehicle.

Authorised Visitors are reimbursed for travel time excluding the first and last 30
minutes of a journey at a rate of $40.00 an hour.

Questions, complaints and feedback
The Authorised Visitor function is managed by the Disability Services Branch at
NSWTG.

Any questions, feedback or complaints about Authorised Visitors should be directed to
the Assistant Director, Disability Services Branch or Manager, Disability Services
Branch.




This document has been prepared by the Department of Justice and Attorney General for general information purposes. While every care
has been taken in relation to its accuracy, no warranty is given or implied. Further, recipients should obtain their own independent advice
before making any decisions that rely on this information.                                                                    12/09



                                                       NSW Trustee and Guardian
                                                          160 Marsden Street
                                                           Locked Bag 5115
                                                        Parramatta NSW 2124

      Phone: (02) 8688 2600             Facsimile: (02) 8688 9783     Toll Free: 1300 360 466                     TTY: 1800 882 889
                                                  Email: opcmail@opc.nsw.gov.au

				
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