Annual Report 2004-2005 Ombudsman 27th Report
Tabled paper 283
Tabled papers for 10th Assembly 2005 - 2008; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled By Claire Martin
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_________________________________________________________ Ombudsmans Annual Report 2004/05 42 3. Hey, isnt that you? Northern Territory Police, Fire & Emergency Services (PFES) The complainant, a builder who was in the process of tendering for works that were proposed for police premises, approached this Office to complain about the manner in which his details were being displayed by the Police. In this regard the complainant advised that as a part of the tendering process he and all the other potential tenders had been invited to view/inspect the normally secure areas of the police premises in order to assist them in preparing an accurate tender. However, during the inspection it had come to his attention that his details were being displayed by police in an area whereby all the builders who were present that day could see them. The complainant was concerned that the confidentiality of police records (specifically those that identified him as a person of interest) had been breached, and that this may have a detrimental impact on his business. The complainant's concern was put to the then Professional Responsibility Command (PRC) of Police who were asked to provide comment on the circumstances surrounding this matter. In responding, PRC recognised that there had been a 'breach of police confidentiality' however it had been due to unforeseen circumstances. Furthermore, PRC stated that in order to prevent a similar situation from reoccurring, a blind would 'be immediately installed' to cover the notice board (where the complainant s details had been on display) in future circumstances where the members of the public are required to visit the area in question. Additionally, PRC provided a brief summary of the protocols in place to prevent breaches in confidentiality when members of the public were required to attend the premises and on the face of it they did not appear to be unreasonable. To resolve this matter expeditiously this office facilitated a meeting between the Officer In Charge (OIC) of the relevant police unit and the complainant, with a view that the OIC could provide the complainant with an apology and advise him of the measures that are in place, or that would be put in place, to prevent a similar situation from occurring in the future. 4. Tender Process improved Department of Community Development, Sport & Cultural Affairs (DCDSCA) - Indigenous Housing Authority of the NT A building consultant made a complaint to this office being unsuccessful in three successive Indigenous housing tenders, despite being the lowest bidder. The decisions to award the contracts were taken by local Indigenous Community Housing Organisations. Preliminary inquiries were undertaken with the Department of Community Development, Sport & Cultural Affairs (DCDSCA) to find out about the reasons for the three decisions and the legislative and policy framework around Indigenous housing program delivery in the Northern Territory. The Ombudsman found that the former Department of Local Government should not have signed off on these contracts without receiving full justification for the decisions. At the time inquiries were initiated, DCDSCA had already recognised that problems existed and had been reviewing the program management arrangements. While no specific remedy was available to the complainant due to the time
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