Ombudsman submission to the Review of Police Oversight

01 Jul 2015

On 24 June the Ombudsman provided a submission to Mr Andrew Tink for his Review of Police Oversight in NSW.

Our submission responds to the requirement for Mr Tink to provide advice about ‘options for a single civilian oversight model for police in NSW’. We examine the principles underpinning the current model and how it works in practice. We recommend that any proposed changes should be informed by a proper understanding of the benefits and risks associated with such a change. Our submission highlights the urgent need for new laws to remedy significant gaps in the current arrangements for oversighting police investigations into critical incidents and also explains the need to update complaint handling provisions in the Police Act 1990.

Call for submissions

14 May 2015

We invite you to contribute to our current review about police compliance with the requirement that they state their name and place of duty when exercising certain powers, such as search and arrest.

Oversight of the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 Annual Report 2013-2014

07 May 2015

The Ombudsman tabled his office’s third annual report under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 today. The report provides a snapshot of the disclosures made and handled by public authorities this year. It also outlines the work of our office in monitoring the way in which public interest disclosures are being dealt with through our interactions with public authorities, the complaints we handle and the audits we conduct.

The report discusses the growing awareness of the PID Act and the protections it affords for reporters. Despite this, there are challenges and barriers which impede effective internal reporting, which we have explored in this report, such as the management of people involved in the process, and their workplaces, to minimise the disruption and conflict that can result from reporting.

Deputy Ombudsman (Aboriginal Programs)

19 Jan 2015

Danny Lester began his term as the Deputy Ombudsman (Aboriginal Programs) on 7 October 2014. His initial focus is the strategic and operational planning for the new function.

We will work with key Government agencies, Aboriginal communities, the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and other stakeholders to ensure that services and programs for Aboriginal people are making a difference. We have established a community visitation schedule to reach out to the communities to listen, learn and seek feedback. These visits will commence from 10 November 2014.

Deputy Ombudsman Forum

19 Jan 2015

On 3 & 4 November we hosted the second Deputy Ombudsman Forum for 2014. Nine deputies from Ombudsman offices around Australia and New Zealand exchanged information about the work of their respective jurisdiction, and discussed a range of issues common to ombudsman offices, including the development of complaint handling framework and model complaint handling policy.

Meeting of the Disability Commissioners

19 Jan 2015

In October, Steve Kinmond our Deputy Ombudsman and Community and Disability Services Commissioner and our Director Systemic Reviews attended a meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Disability Commissioners in Wellington, New Zealand. This meeting is held regularly across Australia and New Zealand and gives Disability Commissioners from each jurisdiction the opportunity to meet, share experiences and discuss important issues in the disability sector. This is particularly relevant at this time as the Commissioners will be discussing work to develop and implement effective safeguards for people with disabilities in the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and ways to improve access to mainstream services.

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