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 48 That the Registrar upon request that the investigation be reviewed, refused to review the matter and declared the matter closed without providing any avenue for recourse; The manner in which the PALG, and later the Registrar, handled and treated the complaint. Extensive inquiries were conducted with the parent agency the Department of Justice - within the context of these issues, and it was invited to comment on a number of preliminary opinions reached by this office. Following this process, this office prepared a final report which, in short, found: It appeared that the PALG had not considered or sought all of the relevant information before making its finding in relation to the complaint against the property agent; Concerns that the process of inquiry adopted in this particular instance did not appear to provide the complainant or the property agent with a reasonable level of transparency, fairness and accountability; That the Registrars decision to close the matter was inappropriate in the circumstances. Indeed, the complainant had a statutory right to lodge his grievance with the Agents Licensing Board for consideration under section 68(3) of the Agents Licensing Act and should have been informed of this by the Registrar. The complaint handling process followed in this particular instance appeared unsatisfactory in that the PALG did not advise the complainant: (a) the role of the PALG, the Registrar, and the ALB in the complaint handling process, and the implications of any findings; (b) that the Registrar would not be applying for disciplinary action to be taken against the agent by the ALB; (c) of the complainants right to lodge a complaint with the ALB in his own name; (d) the correct format for lodging an application for disciplinary action against a licensed agent under the Act. Importantly, as a result of the inquiries conducted by this office, the Department wrote to the complainant advising, among other things, that the Registrar would treat his complaint about the licensed real estate agent as an application to the ALB (under section 68(3) of the Agents Licensing Act). This approach appeared to be reasonable in the circumstances and was the appropriate avenue to resolve the concerns raised about the conduct of the licensed real estate agent. Given the outcome achieved, this office did not propose taking any further action regarding the complainants specific issues of concern. Moreover, the Department advised this office that it had since implemented formal complaint, disciplinary application and hearing procedures. It was observed that these procedures were intended to assist the PALG and the ALB in receiving and dealing with
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