Inquiries and investigations may be made or conducted into whether an organisation has complied with its own rules regarding finances, financial administration and financial reporting requirements. They also may be made into whether a civil penalty provision of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 has been breached.
On this page:
Most matters about non-compliance are resolved quickly once we get involved. However, a few matters may become the focus of a formal inquiry of investigation under Part 4 of Chapter 11 of the Registered Organisations Act. We do not publicise information about protected disclosure investigations.
The General Manager of the Fair Work Commission undertakes inquiries and investigations in accordance with the provisions of the legislation and the principles of procedural fairness. This includes:
- providing notice of proposed adverse findings to the relevant parties
- giving organisations an opportunity to respond before finalising the findings.
Inquiries and investigations are in addition to the routine examination of financial reports.
We appreciate voluntary cooperation during inquiries and investigations.
In an investigation, we may use compulsory information-gathering powers to perform a detailed examination of the facts.
Following an inquiry or investigation, the General Manager will decide whether further enforcement action is appropriate. In a limited number of cases involving serious non-compliance, we will take court action.
For more information about how we investigate and enforce possible non-compliance see our Compliance and Enforcement Policy.
Inquiries and investigations
Prior to 1 May 2017 the inquiries and investigations listed on this page were conducted by the General Manager of Fair Work Australia or the Fair Work Commission.
The Registered Organisations Commission undertook inquiries, investigation and litigation between 1 May 2017 to 5 March 2023.
From 6 March 2023 those duties were transferred back to the General Manager of the Fair Work Commission.
Federal Court proceedings
The General Manager can commence proceedings in the Federal Court when a registered organisation, its officers, employees and auditors don't comply with the Registered Organisations Act.
Summaries of court cases
We have a collection of summarised court cases to help you gain an understanding of the relevant provisions of the legislation. Use these to learn from cases that have been brought before the Federal and other courts.