Annual Report 2017-2018 OmbudsmanNT
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.
52 Examples Police had seized a large sum of cash as part of a raid in a community. It had not been returned to the complainant even after a decision was made that no charges would be laid. Following intervention from our Office, Police returned the cash to the community at the direction of the complainant. An Aboriginal community resident complained that Council rangers attended his house and destroyed his dog without consultation or following procedures. When contacted by our Office, the chief executive of the Council advised that, after making internal inquiries into the circumstances and having some concerns, he would engage an independent investigator. The investigation report recommended strengthening of the Councils animal management policy and procedures. The Council undertook to implement the recommendations. A tertiary student who had completed 200 of 240 credit points in a course was excluded on the basis of unsatisfactory progress. He had appealed the decision without success. My Office contacted the complaints management unit of the institution. Following an initial explanation, we raised a number of follow-up queries about the process. On recognising possible issues with the way the matter had been handled, the institution reconsidered its position and removed the exclusion. It advised that a study plan would be developed with the student and that it was reviewing its procedures to identify potential enhancements. (It should be noted that tertiary institutions have detailed processes in place for review of academic decisions. Students should always follow those processes in the first instance. Our Office does not reassess academic decisions. We are concerned with whether the administrative actions of the institution are in accordance with established procedures and are fair and reasonable.) On reporting her passport missing, the complainant was advised that it had been handed in to Police but had since been returned to the Consulate. The complainant was annoyed that police had not contacted her but had waited two months, then sent it off to the Consulate. It was established that not all usual address checks had been conducted because it was assumed that the passport belonged to a tourist who would have left the Territory. The complainant was given an apology and advised that an instruction would be given to all front counter staff regarding name checking. A local businessman with several residential and commercial buildings had continuing problems with invoicing for water and electricity supply. Our Office referred the complainant to a senior officer in the provider who apologised to the complainant. The issues were then resolved to his satisfaction. A complainant advised that since the previous year she had been attempting to have a camera that was seized by Police returned to her. She had provided proof of ownership to Police but said she had been informed that these matters can take some time and she needed to be patient. She advised that she had been patient for some months until she needed to return to New Zealand. She said that she was back in Darwin visiting but would be flying out the next day. Police were contacted and although they were not able to release the camera before she flew out, posted the camera to her in New Zealand before the end of the week.