These decisions show the types of issues we deal with and what the Ombudsman expects of agencies, including recommendations for administrative improvement.

Department for Correctional Services (2019/09754)
(PDF, 725.9 KB)

The Ombudsman conducted an own initiative investigation of the Department for Correctional Services, and its management of applications made by prisoners under the Freedom of Information Act 1991 (the FOI Act) between 2018 and 2020. The investigation concerned the department’s management of FOI applications in their early stages, and its communication with applicants for that purpose. The Ombudsman also considered the department’s internal mail processes, and the availability of FOI advice for prisoners.

The Ombudsman concluded that seven administrative errors had occurred, particularly in regard to:

  • delay
  • how the department assisted and communicated with applicants, in accordance with the FOI Act

and made five recommendations.

Burnside Council (2019/09057) (PDF, 328.0 KB)After an investigation, the Ombudsman concluded that Cr Harvey Jones of the Burnside Council had committed misconduct by disclosing confidential information on two occasions. The Ombudsman recommended that Cr Jones be reprimanded.
Department of Human Services (2019/03083) (PDF, 617.6 KB)

Following the 2017/2018 annual report of Principal Community Visitor for the South Australian Community Visitor Scheme, the Ombudsman conducted an own initiative investigation of the Department for Human Services, and issues relating to its care of a Disability Services Client. The Ombudsman concluded that administrative error had occurred on a number of occasions, and recommendations were made to address the errors identified.

The Ombudsman’s report formed part of tendered evidence for Public Hearing 14 of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. The report has been redacted and de-identified.

Kangaroo Island Council (2020/04017)No summary available.
Kangaroo Island Council (2019/06227) (PDF, 501.9 KB)

The Ombudsman investigated the Kangaroo Island Council in relation to its handling of its response to the Environmental Impact Statement concerning the development of a new deep-sea port. The Ombudsman investigated whether it was wrong for the council’s informal gathering of 7 May 2019 to be held in confidence, and whether a decision was made at the informal gathering, contrary to law. The Ombudsman found no error in relation to these two issues.

The Ombudsman also investigated whether it was wrong for the council’s Special Council Meeting of 16 May 2019 to be held in confidence. At this council meeting, the council finalised its response to the Environmental Impact Statement. The Ombudsman found that the council had no appropriate basis to hold this meeting in confidence and thus had acted in a way that was wrong. The Ombudsman made one recommendation.

District Council of Grant (2019/09540)
(PDF, 326.0 KB)

A report was made to the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption and subsequently referred to my Office for investigation, alleging that Mayor Richard Sage, District Council of Grant (the council) had:

  • failed to declare a conflict of interest at two separate council meetings
  • disclosed confidential information in relation to a recruitment process for a new CEO
  • refused to commit to the council’s Charter of Expected Behaviours (the Behavioural Charter).

The Ombudsman formed the view that Mayor Sage’s conduct in failing to declare a conflict of interest at one of the council meetings, and refusing to commit to the Behavioural Charter, amounted to misconduct in public administration.