Australian and New Zealand Ombudsman Association


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The Ombudsman | March 2018

Checks and balances - the Ombudsman's role

Casting an eye to our horizons

Independent review

Under scrutiny - the operation of infringements notices provisions

Reportable conduct scheme for employment-based child protection

Small steps towards a big goal

Supporting Queenslanders in remote communities

Gaining local knowledge helps to understand and resolve disputes

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earlier issues   June 2017 | December 2016 | June 2016 | December 2015 | March 2015



Australia: Resolving complaints to the Ombudsman early
Victorian Ombudsman - July 2018

Ombudsman Deborah Glass says about 40,000 Victorians contacted her office each year with complaints about government bodies. While her office is well known for its investigations, Ms Glass says most complaints could be resolved informally, taking less time and resources than an investigation.


Australia: Investigation into the actions and decisions of DVA in relation to Mr A

Commonwealth Ombudsman – July 2018

Commonwealth Ombudsman Michael Manthorpe has released a report on the investigation of the actions and decisions of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) in relation to a complaint made by a veteran with over 30 years of service to Australia, and the difficulties he faced in accessing his correct entitlements … Mr Manthorpe emphasises that the negative impact of Mr A’s dealings with DVA cannot be overstated. As well as considerable financial pressures, his health has suffered and his relationships have been strained. ‘There are currently around 300,000 veterans who access benefits and payments through DVA. They rely on efficient and effective administration to ensure they receive regular payments and entitlements as well as access to essential health services. They put their trust in the hands of the Commonwealth and have every right to expect that the Commonwealth will, in turn, provide best practice service’ Mr Manthorpe says.

media release and link to report


Australia: Resolving complaints to the Ombudsman early
Victorian Ombudsman - July 2018

Ombudsman Deborah Glass has tabled in the Victorian Parliament her second biennial report on the implementation of her investigations’ recommendations. Her report covers the 125 recommendations she made to state and local government bodies between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2018. Ms Glass said her 14 public reports over the two years covered a wide range of issues and agencies, in some cases exposing poor behaviour, with wider lessons for the public sector.  “The strongest theme emerging from my reports is one of social justice for the most marginalised in our society, and the impact on all of us when it is not realised,” Ms Glass said.


New Zealand: Auckland Council’s processing of a request for official information

Office of the Ombudsman – July 2018

Investigation of an Ombudsmen Act (OA) complaint by Radio New Zealand (RNZ) about the way in which Auckland Council processed its request for information under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA). The Chief Ombudsman formed the opinion that the Council’s processing of RNZ’s LGOIMA request was unreasonable and, in some respects, appears to have been contrary to law.



Australia: Failure to amend record of gender

Ombudsman South Australia – June 2018

As a result of an investigation, the Ombudsman has formed the view that the Department for

Correctional Services failed to amend a transgender prisoner’s gender on its records, and to

identify her at all times by her chosen name.

media release


New Zealand: Ombudsman’s Office to take role in monitoring private aged care facilities/court cells

Office of the Ombudsman – June 2018

The Office of the Ombudsman will soon be monitoring the treatment of patients in privately run aged care facilities and detainees in court cells, which amounts to a major expansion of the Office's work and mandate.

full story


Australia: Affordability Report

Energy and Water Ombudsman (Victoria) – June 2018

Providing up-to-date information on affordability case data


Australia: CAIN Update

Northern Territory Ombudsman – June 2018

Items of interest for the Complaints, Accountability, Integrity Network


Australia: Bupa Health Insurance Hospital Policy Changes

Commonwealth Ombudsman – June 2018

Commonwealth Ombudsman Michael Manthorpe has released a report into Bupa Health Insurance (Bupa) Hospital Policy Changes, which were announced in February 2018. Some changes affect consumers holding basic and mid-level hospital policies from 1 July 2018, while changes to its medical gap scheme affect all Bupa hospital policyholders from 1 August 2018. In March 2018 the Minister for Health, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP sought the views of the Commonwealth Ombudsman on the impact on consumers of Bupa’s announced changes.

media release and link to report


Australia: EWON Expanded Jurisdiction Final Report
Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW June 2018

EWON engaged KPMG to support the development of revised funding and membership models, and present an assessment of options associated with the expansion in EWON’s jurisdiction – namely the requirement that exempt networks and retailers will be required to become members of EWON.
final report


Australia: An assessment of state agencies’ complaints management systems

Ombudsman South Australia – June 2018

This report documents the progress made by 13 key state government departments in developing their complaint management systems (CMS). It identifies some improvements as well as some deficiencies in the CMS.  Three recommendations were made: the renewal of the DPC Circular PC039 – Complaint Management in the South Australian Public Sector (including adherence to the Australian Standard on complaint management), improved complaint management and access for disadvantaged and vulnerable people, and the development of departmental Strategic Planning goals to deliver service improvements linked to complaints.



Australia: Investigation into child sex offender’s involvement with Puffing Billy and other railway bodies

Victorian Ombudsman - June 2018

People in positions of authority at Puffing Billy and other Victorian railway groups protected the reputation of their organisations at the expense of children who were sexually abused, the Victorian Ombudsman has found ... Ombudsman Deborah Glass says the failures of people in authority were monumental.



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