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June 2018: Audit Survey Report – Assessment of state agencies’ complaints management systems
The Audit Survey Report documents the progress made by 13 key state government departments in developing their complaint management systems (CMS).
The report identified some improvements as well as some deficiencies in the CMS. Three recommendations were made: the renewal of the DPC Circular PC039 – Complaint Management in the South Australian Public Sector (including adherence to the Australian Standard on complaint management), improved complaint management and access for disadvantaged and vulnerable people and the development of departmental Strategic Planning goals to deliver service improvements linked to complaints.
May 2018: ISG Audit Report – Assessing State Government Agencies’ Implementation of the Information Sharing Guidelines for Promoting Safety and Wellbeing
The ISG Audit Report represents a year long investigation into seven state government agencies’ efforts to deliver on a direction by State Cabinet regarding a key policy initiative aimed at protecting some of our most vulnerable citizens. The Information Sharing Guidelines for Promoting Safety and Wellbeing (ISG) defines a process for agencies to share information where there are current or anticipated threats to safety and wellbeing. The aim is that by agencies sharing information and working together at the first sign of risk, harm can be prevented.
The audit found agencies within the scope of the audit had failed to follow the direction issued by State Cabinet to implement the ISG, with the Department for Correctional Services efforts being “entirely inadequate”. The report makes a number of recommendations for improvement and sets timeframes for agencies Chief Executives to report back to the Ombudsman on progress.
June 2017: Report to the Minister for Local Government
This report is regarding the implementation of the Ombudsman’s recommendations from ‘Right of Review’ – An audit of Local Government Internal Review of Council Decisions Procedures.
November 2016: An audit of the Department for Education and Child Development’s education related complaint handling practices
The audit found that the complaint handling procedures at the second (central) level was competent and efficient having regard to the increasing volume of complaints received and resolved. On the other hand, complaint handling at the first (school or education) site level was deficient in both practice and application and required improvement. Those improvements can be made by implementing training of senior staff and developing local practices and reporting, so as to alleviate the demand and pressure experienced by the second level of complaint handling by the Education Complaints Unit (ECU).
I made five recommendations for improvement, commensurate to my findings.
November 2016: Right of Review – An audit of Local Government Internal Review of Council Decisions Procedures
This audit report documents my findings and recommendations relevant to the operation of the internal review of decisions provisions in the Local Government Act 1999.
The section 270 internal review of decision process is an important mechanism for the resolution of disputes and complaints about decisions made by councils. As such, the review process is an essential complaint handling tool for local government and for the management of complaints made to my Office.
The audit examines some of the key issues for councils in delivering a fair internal review of decision process. It also explores how councils can use internal reviews to drive administrative improvement and service excellence.
The final report makes seven recommendations to all 68 councils in South Australia. I have asked them for a response to these recommendations by 31 March 2017.
November 2014: An audit of state government agencies’ complaint handling
This report examines the systems and processes in place for South Australian government agencies to respond to complaints from the public and makes recommendations for improvement.
May 2014: An audit of state goverment agencies’ implementation of the Freedom of Information Act 1991 (SA)
This audit provides an overview of how 12 state government departments are managing their responsibilities under the FOI Act, focussing on the 2012-13 financial year. It also draws on the Ombudsman’s experience as a review body under the Act and makes a number of recommendations for reform.
April 2014: Recommendations Implementation Report for In the Public Eye – an audit of the use of confidentiality provisions of the Local Government Act 1999 in South Australian councils.
June 2013: Putting it right
A report on the implementation of the Ombudsman’s recommendations by agencies for the period 1 July 2009 to 31 March 2013.
Putting it right report attachment – Ombudsman SA/Agency file references
January 2013: Councils – Valuing Complaints – an audit of complaint handling in South Australian councils – Audit recommendations survey
As a follow-up to the 2011 audit on the complaints management systems in local government the Ombudsman sought feedback from all South Australian councils. The focus of the survey was on evidence of implementation of the nine recommendations from the final audit report which relate directly to council business. Participation in the survey closed on 28 February 2013.
November 2012: Councils – An audit of the use of meeting confidentiality provisions of the Local Government Act 1999 in South Australian Councils
Following complaints – that councils were improperly making important and sensitive decisions at meetings behind closed doors – the Ombudsman decided to conduct an audit of selected councils in South Australia. This report outlines his findings and makes recommendations for change.
June 2012: Department for Correctional Services – An audit of prisoner complaint handling in the South Australian Department for Correctional Services
Almost one third of all complaints to the Ombudsman are made by prisoners and their families against the Department for Correctional Services. This audit assesses prisoner complaint handling practices against recognised national and international standards, and includes perspectives and proposals designed to improve complaint handling practices. It also makes a number of recommendations for administrative reform.
November 2011: Valuing complaints – An audit of complaint handling in South Australian councils
This report outlines a range of opportunities and initiatives designed to improve complaint handling practices in local government. It also makes a number of recommendations for policy and legislative reform.