The perceived “concerning weak” enforcement practices of both the Department of Water and Environment Regulation (DWER) and the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, WA (DMIRS) remain a matter of parliamentary discussion and media scrutiny. The implementation timeframe of each agency to take action to meet audit recommendations varies from first quarter 2023 to December 2023, meaning businesses can expect to start experiencing those regulators increasing compliance and enforcement action, including their scrutiny and propensity for prosecution of alleged infractions. With this in mind, it is timely for businesses to consider:
Whether they have adequate policies and procedures in place for management of “dawn raids”.
Their policies and procedures for internal investigations and whether those provide the maximum possible protection by legal professional privilege.
How they might respond if they receive a notice for production of documents, answering of questions or attendance at an interview.
This article provides some short guidance about dawn raids. See our short guidance about internal investigations and notices for document production and interviews.