Territory Stories

Annual Report 2004-2005 Ombudsman 27th Report



Annual Report 2004-2005 Ombudsman 27th Report

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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.




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___________________________________________________________ Ombudsmans Annual Report 2004/05 45 received. DCIS advised that, on discovering the applicants application on the following Monday (following the weekend) it immediately contacted the source agency from where the vacancy had originated as to whether it was prepared to accept the late application. That agency decided not to accept a late application (as it would be unfair to all the other applicants) and the complainant was advised of this. However, the applicant rightly contended that in lodging his application before the nominated closing time, it was not a late application. Further inquiries by DCIS failed to determine what had happened to the application, other than that it might have been overlooked. DCIS advised this office that nothing more could be done for the complainant and it could not reverse the situation. However, in order to avoid a recurrence of this type of situation, DCIS advised that it had already taken steps and amended its recruitment procedures by implementing a receipting system whereby future applicants would be issued with a receipt for any application being hand delivered. A copy of this procedure was provided to this office. The explanation and details of the remedial action taken by DCIS was accepted. Prior to concluding the matter, it was also noted that DCIS had not provided the complainant with a full explanation of the outcome of its inquiries. This office was of the view that the complainant was at least entitled to an explanation and in the circumstances, an apology. The matter was discussed with a senior officer of DCIS and appropriate recommendations made to improve and strengthen aspects of DCIS recruitment procedures, particularly in the areas of receiving on-line applications, informing applicants of the date and time in lodging applications on line and providing information about late applications. It was also recommended that DCIS write a letter of apology to the complainant. DCIS agreed to the recommendations and wrote a letter of apology to the applicant. 7. Out of Sight! Not Out of Mind! Department of Infrastructure Planning & Environment (DIPE)- Building Advisory Services (BAS) In late November 2002, the complainant in this matter, a resident in a rural area, contacted this office to complain that there was an unsecured demountable located at a property adjoining his own, and that Building Advisory Services (BAS) would do nothing about it. The complainant e-mailed photographs of the demountable which showed a large structure sitting on a foundation comprised of stacks of timber pallets. It looked precarious to say the least. The complainant said that he had been trying for months to get BAS to do something about it but to no avail. He said he was concerned for his familys safety because of the impending cyclone season. The complainant also said that there were many non-compliant structures in the area but he could not get BAS to do anything. He also complained about the complaint handling processes of BAS. This office undertook preliminary inquiries in the matter through BAS who advised that they had issued statutory notices to the building owner under the Building Act, but that they could not do anything further as the structure was not ruinous and dangerous. BAS also advised that the matter had been sent to their legal department as the owner had not complied with the notices. This office queried whether BAS could use powers under s121

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