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Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT



Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT

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Tabled paper 934


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






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19 CHAPTER 3 WHAT WE DO AND HOW WE DO IT The Ombudsman Act provides that our job is to: (a) give people a timely, effective, efficient, independent, impartial and fair way of investigating, and dealing with complaints about, administrative actions of public authorities and conduct of police officers; and (b) improve the quality of decision-making and administrative practices in public authorities. To do our job, we adopt a broad range of strategies: Approaches enquiries and complaints The bulk of our effort is spent in dealing with approaches to the Office. We received 2,304 approaches in 2017/18 and finalised 2,293 (including a number carried over from the previous year). In dealing with approaches, we emphasise speedy and informal resolution of issues, with agencies as far as possible taking responsibility for resolution of matters involving them. Police conduct complaints A total of 545 of the approaches we received in 2017/18 were about Police conduct. Complaints about Police conduct have their own statutory framework set out in the Ombudsman Act. While the emphasis remains on speedy and informal resolution of less serious matters, more serious matters are subject to comprehensive investigation and reporting. In these cases, investigations are usually carried out by the Police Standards Command under Ombudsman supervision. Major investigations Complex investigations involve major commitment of resources and usually involve systemic issues. These may be initiated by a complaint or on the Ombudsmans own initiative. They may be finalised by a report to the Chief Minister for tabling in Parliament. We finalised two major investigation reports for tabling in 2017/18 (see Chapter 4). Quality improvement Working with agencies and stakeholders in a co-operative manner outside the formal investigation process and facilitating exchange of information between agencies about initiatives and developments in public administration. This includes training and presentations to public sector bodies and officers (Chapter 5). Stakeholder and community engagement Other issues can be raised, clarified and resolved in the course of or as a result of stakeholder meetings, presentations and public discussions or through provision of information and links to information, for example, on the Ombudsman website. Statutory auditing and investigation In relation to surveillance devices, telecommunications interception and controlled operations powers of law enforcement agencies, we have statutory obligations to audit/investigate and report on certain functions. Reports on surveillance devices and controlled operations powers are tabled on a regular basis and are available on our website.