I first contacted the Public Guardian and Trustee (PGT) in the summer of 2014 to report that my mother had been removed from her home against her wish. They said that she was not on file and did nothing.
In 2015 when the PSW notes for care at Andrew’s suggested Mrs. Childs was frequently left in excrement, the PGT supported this information being struck from the record.
When neighbours filed affidavits that Mrs. Childs reported that she had been struck the PGT did not investigate and recommended the affidavits be struck as these issues had no bearing on guardianship.
As far as I can tell the PGT does not have an investigative capability as would be required to arrive at the truth of anything reported. Without investigative ability, resolution of issues is not possible – at least in the interests of the incapable person they are the final guardian for.
Since the Childs vs. Childs dispute, I have seen numerous other problems with the PGT.
- They appear to apply different standards when assessing property guardianship plans (family members must include a cash flow, banks do not need to include this),
- there are no standards of performance (number of days from submission) regarding evaluating submitted plans,
- they take multiple roles acting as parties during settlement and friends of the court at hearings.
The above occurs as there appears to be little regulation and definition (as also happens with Section 3) in the Act. This should be addressed before any additional roles are added to the PGT.
For instance, the PGT’s role when Section 3 is appointed in ill-defined. Should they oversee Section 3, acting as capable individual in terms of the Rules of professional conduct, legal actions are based on the incapable person’s instructions etc. And to do this should the PGT be able to demand answers of Section 3 that would otherwise be protected by lawyer-client privilege.
And when Section 3 is hired should the PGT have a duty to ensure the Act is complied with by all parties? Seems reasonable – but it doesn’t happen now.