The maintenance of the integrity and fairness of the Racing Industry is paramount to ensuring the confidence and support of the public and participants who support the Industry. In an industry dependant upon the public wagering upon the outcome of races, it is imperative that racing is conducted upon a level playing field and that the outcome of these races is determined through honest means.
The importance of ensuring the confidence of participants and supporters is recognised by the RWWA Act, by providing for a Committee, aptly named the Integrity Assurance Committee, which have the primary oversight for all matters relating to Stewards, drug testing, licensing and handicapping.
Through the provision of extensive and secure sample collection and drug testing procedures, along with the investigative and judicial powers exercised through the Stewards and Investigators, RWWA takes a pro-active approach to maintaining the highest levels of integrity in the Racing Industry.
Paramount in the regulation, control and supervision of Racing are the RWWA Stewards, who are based at the three codes of racing. There are a total of 40 Stewards, which includes both fulltime, Deputy and Casual Stewards, across the three codes.
By virtue of the relevant Rules of racing, the Stewards are imbued with wide-ranging powers in order for them to properly control and regulate their respective racing codes. It is the Stewards' task to ensure that the Rules of Racing are adhered to, and to investigate, determine and where necessary, penalise any breaches of the Rules. The Stewards are responsible for the conduct of race meetings throughout the State in addition to the conduct of all persons registered in varying capacities in the various racing codes.
Vital in ensuring the confidence of industry participants and industry supporters, are the drug testing procedures established by the Stewards of the three codes. These procedures are based upon the highest levels of security to ensure the integrity of samples taken, and thus the confidence of the industry. Through a vigilant and extensive approach to drug testing, combined with serious consequences for positive results, the Stewards are able to actively ensure that racing is conducted fairly and manifestly so. In so doing, the Stewards ensure that the confidence of supporters is maintained.
Mr Denis Borovica, General Manager Racing Integrity, has the responsibility of overseeing all Stewards' operations across the three codes, including management of the Primary Stewards Inquiries and Appeals. He reports directly to the Integrity Assurance Committee. He also has the responsibilities of the Registrar/Deputy Registrar for all three codes of racing and is the primary point of reference for all integrity related licensing and registration matters. This includes oversight of all Lead Regulator responsibilities associated with Public Syndication of race horses.
Mr Brad Lewis - Thoroughbreds, Mr William Delaney - Harness and Mr Carlos Martins - Greyhounds, are the Chairmen of Stewards of their respective codes and with the assistance of their deputies and Stipendiary Stewards, are responsible for the control and regulation of their codes.
The RWWA Act provides for the establishment of an Integrity Assurance Committee (IAC) within RWWA, whose function will be to have primary oversight for such matters as Stewards, drug testing, licensing, handicapping, Racing Rules, etc.
As the name implies, the IAC assures that the regulation and control of the Racing industry is maintained to a level that ensures the confidence of participants and supporters.
Section 48 of the Act empowers the Board to determine the qualifications and disqualifications for membership of this committee and, in doing so, is to have particular regard to the need to minimise conflicts of interest such as might arise from a person's:
Through the establishment of a Committee consisting of persons who meet strict criteria that remove the possibility of conflicts of interest arising, or even the perception of such, the Board has ensured the integrity and proper regulation of the racing industry.
The IAC is comprised of Board Member Mr Jim Freemantle as the Chairman of this Committee, in addition to Board Members Mr Jeff Ovens and Dr Lianne Cretney-Barnes. The Committee meets regularly, to consider, determine and action all matters within its scope of responsibility.
Legislation was enacted in 1990 to establish a single independent appeals tribunal to determine appeals from penalties imposed in the three racing codes. The Department of Racing and Gaming provides staffing and resources.
The tribunal comprises a chairperson (a legal practitioner of at least seven years standing) and two persons selected from a panel of members (who are qualified to be magistrates), appointed by the Minister. The Chairman of the Tribunal is Mr Dan Mossenson.
Any person adversely affected by a decision of the Stewards or Board, has a right of appeal to this Tribunal and such rights should be exercised within fourteen (14) days from the giving of the decision.
A person wishing to exercise their right of appeal must obtain, complete and lodge the appropriate Notice of Appeal document with the Registrar of the Tribunal which includes payment of the prescribed fee. Upon lodgment, the Registrar determines and advises a date and time of hearing, which are commonly conducted in an available Court room at the Supreme Court of WA.
A person may choose to represent themselves in the proceedings before the Tribunal, or can be represented by counsel, qualified or otherwise.
Decisions of the Tribunal are delivered in writing and are binding upon all parties.
Whilst the Stewards of RWWA are empowered by the Rules of Racing to investigate matters arising from, or associated with, the conduct of racing, these powers mutatis mutandis are also bestowed upon the Principal RWWA Investigator Mr Phil O'Reilly and RWWA Investigator Mr Geoff Johnson.
The investigators specialise in conducting all aspects of investigative work in the course of gathering evidence which may be used at a Stewards Inquiry, should one arise. The Investigators report to the Chairman of Stewards and conduct such investigations utilising a variety of approaches and methods, dependant upon the nature of the investigation. Like the Stewards, they are also ideal persons to contact should someone wish to raise any concerns with respect to matters of integrity and control of racing.
In addition to their investigative duties, the Investigators also oversee security matters relating to competitors and the conduct of race meetings and testing of Jockeys and Drivers.