The South Australian Ombudsman’s 2021-22 Annual Report was tabled in parliament today.
The Ombudsman, Mr Wayne Lines, reported that for the first time in the office’s history, his office received over 5,000 complaints about state and local government, of which 4,948 were responded to during 2021-22. The sharp, 32% increase is attributed to two main reasons –
Amendments to the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 2012 and Ombudsman Act 1972 in October 2021 led to 4 times the volume of misconduct and maladministration complaints received by the office, with 281 complaints and reports received.
The office received a surge in complaints due to the COVID-19 emergency, with 864 COVID-related complaints received in 2021-22, compared with 186 in 2020-21, and 55 in 2019-20. This increase was largely the result of the border closures in mid-2021 when thousands of South Australians were stranded interstate.
The Ombudsman issued 23 final investigation reports and made 33 recommendations to agencies.
The office also saw another record number of requests for the Ombudsman to review agency determinations under the Freedom of Information Act 1991, with 378 applications received, an increase of 5% on 2020-21.
For more information, please contact Ombudsman SA on (08) 8226 8699.