Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT
Tabled paper 934
Tabled Papers for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
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49 HOW APPROACHES ARE DEALT WITH Approaches to the Ombudsman NT can be dealt with in a number of ways. Ombudsman matters The Ombudsman NT deals with complaints about NT government agencies, local government councils and the conduct of NT Police. Complaints against Police have special rules regarding their conduct and approaches of this type are discussed in Chapter 7. For other matters, the Ombudsman may make preliminary enquiries of a public authority to establish whether the Office is authorised to investigate a complaint and whether the action should be investigated. Ombudsman matters may be resolved informally or a formal investigation may be undertaken. The Office may decline to deal with a complaint for a variety of reasons, including that the complaint is trivial, frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith, that the complainant does not have a sufficient interest, that investigation is unnecessary or unjustified, or that the action complained of has been or will be investigated by another complaints entity. Giving the agency a chance to resolve the complaint Our Office maintains the view (strongly supported under the Act) that the relevant agency should be given the opportunity to resolve a complaint in the first instance. For this reason, complainants who come to our office without first addressing their concerns with the relevant agency will be assisted by our staff in making contact with the agency. This often involves our staff contacting the agency by phone and providing a letter or email that simply outlines the complainants concerns. The process works well and is appreciated by both the agency involved and the complainant. If the agency is unable to resolve the complaint, the complainant can return to our Office for further assistance. Referrals to another complaints entity There are a number of other NT Government complaints entities that deal with specific issues. In some cases, they have exclusive jurisdiction to deal with complaints of that type while in others there may be shared jurisdiction. The Ombudsman NT may refer inquiries of this kind to another entity (section 32 of the Ombudsman Act). Dealt with as Description Ombudsman matters Approach within jurisdiction and dealt with by our Office. Agency referral If the complainant has not previously raised the issue with the agency, our Office will in almost all cases refer the complainant back to the agency to give it a chance to resolve the issue. Complaint entity referral There are other complaints and review bodies that deal with specific issues. Our Office may formally refer a matter to one of those bodies. Outside jurisdiction Enquirer advised our Office has no jurisdiction. Referred or provided with contact details for another complaints body (government or private sector) if possible.
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