During 2019-20 the Public Trustee continued to provide financial and administrative services to the people of South Australia.

The following tables reflect outcomes and performance on each of the services in addition to achievements against the Public Trustee Strategic Plan.

Agency contribution to whole of Government objectives

Key ObjectiveAgency’s contribution
Better Services
  • Exceeded CPI targets over the medium to long term for customer investments.
  • Improved the timeliness and efficiency of payment processes for customer accounts by using BPAY.
  • Consolidated two shop fronts into one refurbished modern and secure shop, designed to cater for the needs of all Public Trustee customers.
  • Used modified new service delivery model within Personal Estates to triage customer enquiries, prioritise and manage timely responses to adapt to the COVID-19 environment.

Agency specific objectives and performance

The following table provides an overview of what has been achieved.

Key objectivesAgency's achievements
  • Continued the staff wellbeing program.
  • Continued the staff recognition program.
  • Initiated weekly workforce planning meetings to apply resources to address priorities.
  • Created a structured leadership program tailored to Public Trustee Leaders.
  • Continued to focus on employee engagement via pulse surveys.
  • Created an ‘Experience Your Role’ Initiative that allows executive first-hand experience of operational roles.
  • Continued inter-branch forums to exchange information and discuss ideas.
Continuous Business Improvement
  • Continued the ongoing review of policies.
  • Developed a real estate tracking system to provide oversight of the status and progress of property sales.
  • Introduced product/procedural training forums for staff.
  • Prepared Will and Powers of Attorney via phone appointments with the postal exchange of documents.
  • Developed a plan to transition from the existing PeopleSoft CRM system to a new CRM system.
Customer Experience
  • Conducted 2019-20 annual customer satisfaction survey.
  • Initiated the Customer Experience Committee to improve interactions with customers.
Governance & Financial Sustainability
  • Achieved Charter and Performance targets.
  • Addressed all ICAC recommendations.
  • Successfully worked with DPTI to increase the efficiency of floor space utilisation and improve customer service facilities on the ground floor of 211 Victoria Square Adelaide.
  • Reviewed delegations for operational effectiveness.

Agency specific programs

Will and Power of Attorney drafting services were provided for all eligible South Australians who nominated the Public Trustee as their executor, attorney or substitute attorney.

Activity Indicators2019-202018-19
New Wills270538
Revised Wills7001 012
New & revised Power of Attorney documents163378
Effectiveness/Efficiency Indicators2019-202018-19
Customer satisfaction rating out of 5 with Will making services4.804.74
Wills customers who would recommend the Public Trustee94%92%

*Lower new and revised Wills numbers are representative of new eligibility requirements introduced 1 July 2020. The numbers include processing of bookings made prior to the changes and honoured through until 30 September 2020.

The Public Trustee acts as executor of an estate where named executor in the Will, or as administrator when a person dies intestate (without a Will).

The Public Trustee manages court-awarded trusts, trusts established by a Will and trusts under deed for minors, as well as perpetual charitable and scholarship trusts.

Activity Indicators2019-202018-19
Administration of new estates470518
Administration of new trusts134128
Finalised deceased estates573728
Finalised trusts180204
Effectiveness/Efficiency Indicators                  2019-202018-19
Customer satisfaction rating out of 5 with deceased estate administration services3.763.68
Deceased estate administration customers who would recommend the Public Trustee57%51%
Customer satisfaction rating out of 5 with trust administration services3.923.33

The Public Trustee can be appointed legally responsible for making all, or some, of a person’s financial and legal decisions where that person has lost capacity.

Activity Indicators             2019-202018-19
Appointed administrator or manager of financial and legal affairs – new customers466467
Active financial administrations as at 30 June4 6214 552
Effectiveness/Efficiency Indicators                  2019-202018-19
Customer satisfaction rating out of 5 by customers and their representatives3.633.52

The Public Trustee is required annually to examine and report on activities of private financial administrators and managers appointed by SACAT and the courts.

Activity Indicators              2019-202018-19
Review of financial statements of private administrators, managers and executors2 3532 010
Matters referred to SACAT for non-compliance with reporting requirements274190
Information sessions held for newly appointed administrators to explain their responsibilities1015
Effectiveness/Efficiency Indicators                  2019-202018-19
Feedback from information sessionsExcellent/very goodExcellent/very good

The Public Trustee may be appointed by a Court to act as ‘Next friend’ for customers unable to conduct their own legal proceedings.

Activity Indicators              2019-202018-19
Appointed as litigation guardian – new customers3630
Matters on hand at 30 June9497
Effectiveness/Efficiency Indicators                              
Customer satisfaction data not collected due to small sample size

Performance management and development systems

Performance management and development systemPerformance
Performance Management is captured using the ELMO Performance Management System. Public Trustee aims for a compliance rate of 100% of all active staff having Performance Reviews during the year. *91.4% of all staff as at 30 June 2020 are recorded as having had at least one performance management review in 2019-20.

*This figure reflects all staff, excluding those on long term paid leave who may not have had a performance review in the 6-12 month period.

Work health, safety and return to work programs

Program name Performance
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) All staff have access to a confidential Employee Assistance Program, offering a counselling service to support and assist staff with both professional and personal issues.
AGD Health and Safety Committee The Public Trustee has manager and employee representation on this committee, which provides a consultative forum to support and continuously improve work, health, safety and wellbeing systems and practices.
Work health and safety inspections As part of the commitment to the safety of employees, six-monthly inspections are conducted to identify any hazards or risks with corrective action taken as needed.
The Public Trustee Health & Safety Committee The Public Trustee Health and Safety Committee provides a proactive consultative forum for continuous improvement to Public Trustee work health, safety and injury management.
The Public Trustee Staff Culture & Wellbeing Initiatives Staff are encouraged to participate in a range of social and wellbeing initiatives. As part of this, the Public Trustee staff raise funds to give back to the community through specially selected local charities and organisations.

Work health and safety and return to work performance statistics for the Public Trustee are included in the Attorney-General’s Department Annual Report.

Executive employment in the agency

Executive classificationNumber of executives

Data for previous years is available at: https://data.sa.gov.au/data/organization/attorney-general-s-dept

The Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment has a workforce information page that provides further information on the breakdown of executive gender, salary and tenure by agency.

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