Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT
Tabled paper 934
Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
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23 My Office makes every effort to ensure that complainants get a fair go in their dealings with government. However, we do not represent complainants or provide legal advice to them. The Office assesses and investigates complaints impartially. In doing so, we attempt to resolve individual complaints and identify broader problem areas, particularly systemic issues, and push for improvements in those areas. SCOPE OF POWERS Of course, while independent, the Ombudsman is bound to comply with the law and act within the boundaries set by the Ombudsman Act. The powers of the Ombudsman relate to the administrative actions of public authorities and police conduct. Within those boundaries, members of the public can rest assured that the Office of the Ombudsman will consider, and where appropriate, independently investigate complaints and allegations relating to administrative actions and improper conduct of public sector officers with fairness and integrity. IDENTIFYING AND PRIORITISING ISSUES The Office of the Ombudsman identifies issues or potential issues of concern by a range of methods including analysis of complaints received, monitoring parliamentary debates, media reports and developments in other jurisdictions, and community and stakeholder engagement. The Office must act within the resources available to it and accordingly must make decisions on the priority given and resources allocated to its various statutory functions, including investigation of particular complaints. The overall guide to allocation of resources and priority within the Office is what best serves the public interest, bearing in mind the objects and provisions of the Ombudsman Act. Factors used to assess the significance of issues and the priority that should be afforded to issues include: Potential harm involved Death of a person Physical harm to a person Loss of liberty Loss, dislocation or disruption of residence Financial or asset damage or loss Loss of a benefit or financial hardship Mental stress or harm Harm to animals or the environment Denial of human or statutory rights, unfair treatment Damage to reputation Annoyance, inconvenience, disruption Harm to the public generally or a community or community group
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