Annual Report 2004-2005 Ombudsman 27th Report
Tabled paper 283
Tabled papers for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled By Claire Martin
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.
_________________________________________________________ Ombudsmans Annual Report 2004/05 40 Appendix A CASE STUDIES NT AGENCIES 1. Not a one-off after all! Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET) This office received several complaints from parents of children attending a school holiday program. During the program, children had been directed by carers to mop up urine and, in misunderstanding that direction, also cleaned up excrement in the toilet. Preliminary inquiries commenced into this matter pursuant to section 17A(1) of the Ombudsman (Northern Territory) Act. Those enquiries involved assisting the school to coordinate a response directly with the parents involved. Judging from the report to this office from the school council it was assessed that the schools principal had acted promptly and appropriately at the time at an individual level, to deal with this incident. Apologies were offered by the school and an outline of changes proposed by the school was given. In lodging their complaints, these parents also expressed their concern that this type of incident does not occur again. The Program itself has regrettably since closed. However, this office was concerned that this was now the second such incident at a school in the Northern Territory. A similar matter was dealt with by this office earlier in 2003. Regrettably the facts were very similar. At that stage, the Department said it had reservations about this offices proposed recommendation about that matter, being that the department make it clear to all Principals that any similar action by teaching staff would not be tolerated and the individual concerned would be appropriately disciplined; on the basis that the matter was one-off. The department after this second incident, acknowledged that it was now appropriate to issue a directive to Principals via General Managers that children are not under any circumstances to be directed to clean up human waste. It also updated its formal policies to that effect. 2. Ombudsman is an Office of Last Resort Department of Health & Community Services (DHACS) Dawn House The complainant approached this office to complain that an organisation known as Dawn House had acted beyond its charter or otherwise wrongly or unlawfully in that it had: