SA Police to refund $1 million in fees to firms

Fines to remain but related cash collected over past three years to be returned

SA Police to refund $1 million in fees to firms
Fees cash is being returned by South Australia Police


More than $1 million in vehicle-owning company fees will flow out of South Australian Government coffers after an internal audit by South Australia Police (Sapol).

The 3,373 companies were subject to a $300 fee applied when they failed to nominate a driver when an expiation notice was issued for an unregistered or uninsured vehicle. 

This was despite the fee having been withdrawn after a legislative change three years ago. 

All of the expiations between July 1, 2011, and January 14, 2014, related to vehicles detected by road safety cameras.

"The error was discovered following an internal Sapol audit," director of business services Denis Patriarca says.

"We sought clarification regarding the changes to legislation and this has led to a refund."

"The refund does not invalidate the expiation and no fines will be withdrawn because of this issue.

"We certainly regret the time it has taken to finalise this matter, however a range of IT changes and audit investigations to facilitate the refunds were required."

Corporate fee remains for red light and speeding offences detected by road safety cameras and where a driver is not nominated by the company.

The fee is applied because demerit points cannot be deducted when no driver is nominated.

However, the corporate fee is no longer applied to unregistered and uninsured matters as there are no demerit points for these offences, police say.

Any unpaid notices that have been passed to the Fines Enforcement and Recovery Office will be amended and have the corporate fee removed and a refund provided or arrangements will be made to credit to other fines. 

Companies will receive a letter explaining how the fee return will apply to their circumstances this week.

Sapol’s fines systems have had better years.

In March, a review identified that a faulty software upgrade placed an incorrect offence code and descriptor on 2,854 expiations.

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