Insufficient action to implement strip search safeguards for children and young people in detention

13 May 2022

A report of the NSW Ombudsman, Paul Miller, has been tabled in Parliament today (Strip searches in youth detention: a follow-up report under section 27 of the Ombudsman Act 1974) calling on the Government to explain why it has not implemented his recommendations to enact safeguards for the strip searching of children and young people by prison officers.

The Ombudsman’s jurisdiction to investigate when there are related court proceedings

04 May 2022

The report relates to a provision of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Amendment (Family is Culture) Bill 2022, which proposes an amendment to the Ombudsman Act. The amendment concerns the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction to investigate complaints in circumstances where there may be related court proceedings. The Bill is currently before the Legislative Assembly, having previously passed the Legislative Council.

Greater transparency needed for NSW Government’s use of machine technology in decision-making

29 Nov 2021

NSW Ombudsman Paul Miller has called for greater visibility of the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and other machine technology by NSW Government agencies.

In a report tabled in Parliament this morning, the Ombudsman has cautioned agencies that using machine technology in ways that do not accord with standards of lawfulness, transparency, fairness and accountability, could lead to findings of maladministration or potentially unlawful conduct.

Wrong conduct and potential systemic issues in procurement of a contractor to fill a senior executive role

19 Oct 2021

The NSW Ombudsman has made findings of wrong conduct by the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) in procuring the services of a contractor to ‘act in’ a vacant senior executive role for a period of around 11 months.

The findings, made under section 26 of the Ombudsman Act, include that the department acted unreasonably by treating the initial contract (and an extension a few months later) as ‘emergency procurements’, and that it had acted contrary to law by not notifying them to the NSW Procurement Board.

Major overhaul of whistleblower protection laws in NSW

19 Oct 2021

In a report tabled in Parliament today, the NSW Ombudsman has welcomed the introduction of a bill that re-writes the State’s whistleblower-protection laws.

“The willingness of public officials to come forward and report wrongdoing when they see it is essential to maintaining integrity and public confidence,” the Ombudsman, Paul Miller said. “The current law is overly technical and complex. It requires the public official to navigate a legal minefield.”

Falling infant and child mortality rates not equal across NSW

23 Aug 2021

The Biennial report of the deaths of children in New South Wales: 2018 and 2019, incorporating reviewable deaths of children, tabled in Parliament by NSW Ombudsman Paul Miller, details how, over the 15-year period from 2005 to 2019, for infants aged less than 1, mortality rate declined by 30%. For children aged 1 to 17 years, the rate declined by 26%.