Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT
Tabled paper 934
Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
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48 HOW APPROACHES ARE MADE The Office offers a range of options for contact. In 2017/18, close to two thirds of enquirers made initial contact with the Office by telephone. This compared with 18% of people who utilised either e-mail or the Offices online web form. SOURCES OF APPROACH Establishing the demographic make-up of people who approach the Office is difficult. People who make a brief phone call or contact us using e-mail, the online complaint form or facsimile may not provide an address that shows the region where they live. The statistics by region shown below therefore exclude a large number of unknowns.7 Region % Darwin 47 Palmerston/Litchfield 18 Alice Springs/Central 16 Katherine 9 Top End Rural 6 Barkly 2 East Arnhem 1 For similar reasons, it can be difficult to establish in the course of dealing with an approach whether an enquirer identifies as Indigenous. My Office considers it important to obtain such information to help us establish any gaps in service provision and ways to improve our service. We have therefore developed a demographic information script for our staff to explain to enquirers why obtaining information of this type is important and ask questions about region, Indigenous status and how they found out about the Office. The script and questions have also been incorporated into our complaints form. However, as we stress to enquirers, it remains a matter of their personal choice whether they wish to answer any or all of these questions. In 2017/18, 17% of enquirers identified or were identifiable as Indigenous. However, over half of enquirers did not identify a background at all. Of those whose background was identifiable, 46% were Indigenous. That being the case, these statistics are at best broadly instructive rather than definitive. 7 The figures also exclude prisoners at correctional centres. Manner of approach % Telephone 65 e-mail 12 Referred by police 12 Online form 6 In person 3 Letter 2 Indigenous 46% (17% of total) Not Indigenous 54% (19% of total)Unidentifiable 64% Identifiable 36% Complainants Identifying as Indigenous