Territory Stories

Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT



Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT

Other title

Tabled paper 934


Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT






Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




Tabled papers

File type




Copyright owner

See publication



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

98 13.2 Complaint Findings In the interests of complainants and the subject member, agreement is made with the Ombudsman to adopt a consistent approach to respective findings on a complaint. The broad categories agreed below are intended to operate in a flexible manner: (a) unresolved - Given differing versions, where the Ombudsman and PSC are unable to come to any conclusion about the allegation. This finding may be used in respect of allegations when the only available evidence is the complainant's version against that of the members or all witnesses provide a differing/inconsistent version; (b) no evidence to support the allegation - Based on the material, there is no evidence to support the allegation. This finding may apply to an allegation of minor assault (e.g. push/slap) and there is no medical evidence to support the allegation, there are no witnesses to the incident, there is no video evidence or other members present, to positively support the fact that it did or did not occur; (c) insufficient evidence to sustain the allegation - Based on the material there is some evidence to support the complainant, but it is insufficient to sustain the allegation. This may apply where there is some evidence to support the allegation but the quality of the evidence is unreliable, or taking into account other evidence (e.g. the medical evidence or the evidence of the police), the evidence as a whole is insufficient to sustain the allegation; (d) action / conduct was not found to be unreasonable given the circumstances - This finding may be used in cases where a member may have done something unusual or prima facie questionable, but the surrounding circumstances are such that it is inappropriate to make an adverse finding against the member; (e) the police action / decision was reasonable - This is a positive finding to the effect that the Ombudsman / PSC supports the action / decision by the police; (f) the allegation is sustained - Where there is sufficient evidence to sustain the allegation on the balance of probability; and (g) the allegation is found to be wilfully false - Where an investigation into a complaint against Police reveals that the allegation was wilfully false, that finding will be brought to the attention of the Ombudsman to consider a prosecution under the Act. Any criminal charges arising from a wilfully false allegation will be referred to the Commander, PSC for action. In order to facilitate a prompt finalisation of the complaint, a complaint finding is to include the recommended action(s) to be taken against the subject officer, if any. 14. Reviews by Ombudsman The Ombudsman may review files relating to investigations into complaints against Police howsoever made or reported. Where a request for a review is made by the Ombudsman, PSC will provide all records and materials relating to the particular matter and ensure that the Ombudsman has access to Police investigators with knowledge of the investigation. Requests for access to investigation files for review purposes should be in writing so as to provide an audit trail for all relevant documents. Where, as a result of a review, the Ombudsman requires further action on a complaint, that request will be made to the Commander, PSC in the first instance. 15. Confidentiality & Immunity Sections 114, 120, 122, 159 and 160 of the Act impose strict confidentiality and secrecy requirements and provide legal protections on persons involved in the Ombudsman complaint process. The use of information obtained in the course of, or for the purposes of making preliminary inquiries, conducting conciliation, undertaking a CRP or conducting an investigation, is restricted. Persons administering the Act cannot be compelled to give evidence or produce documents relating to the Ombudsmans statutory duties. This protection extends to inquiries or investigations being conducted by PSC pursuant to this Agreement.