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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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54 The then prison policy on Medical Observations mainly provided guidance for prisoners requiring health care/monitoring under supervision of a health provider, and not under prison authorities. My Office recommended that: Prison staff should consult with medical staff to discuss operational limitations, risks and identify any other suitable options that may be taken, with the resulting decision documented and filed appropriately; Corrections amend its existing policy or develop a new policy to provide guidance for staff to follow when dealing with these particular types of requests. The Commissioner agreed and undertook to implement the recommendations. Review of the policy took some time but my Office continued to pursue the matter and a new Commissioners Directive was ultimately put in place. ENERGY AND WATER APPROACHES At the start of 2014/15, the energy functions previously undertaken solely by the Power and Water Corporation (PWC) were split over three bodies: Jacana Energy (Jacana) took responsibility for electricity retail in urban areas; Territory Generation Corporation took responsibility for electricity generation; PWC retained responsibility for power networks, water and sewerage services and remote operations. PWC continues to be involved in the resolution of a number of energy complaints even in urban areas because it is responsible for energy networks and distribution right up to the power box of individual consumers. So, for example, if a consumer claims there is an excessive electricity charge due to a faulty meter, PWC may well be required to become involved even if the direct relationship is between Jacana and the consumer. The total number of energy and water approaches for 2017/18 was 180. This was substantially higher than the 127 approaches in 2016/17, but more comparable to the total of 169 in 2015/16. This was comprised of 134 approaches recorded against Jacana Energy and 46 against PWC. In cases where a consumer has not already approached the provider, our Office will usually encourage them to initially make direct contact with the provider, with the option to recontact the Ombudsman if they remain dissatisfied with the providers response. Many approaches are resolved by the provider without further contact with our Office. The top issues raised in relation to Jacana and PWC in 2017/18 are set out in the tables that follow. A single complaint may raise a number of issues. The complainant may have received a large bill but be uncertain as to the precise cause. They may say they have not received adequate notice of the bill. They may say the size of the bill must be due to a faulty meter. They may say the provider has not been reasonable in making arrangements for repayment. They may say the provider has been too quick to disconnect. They may object to the payment of a reconnection fee. The figures below are based on an assessment of the primary complaint. They record issues raised, not sustained issues.