Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Ombudsman’s Office Workload Doubles


Ombudsman’s Office Workload Doubles

Date: September 27, 2012

The Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem says the Office of the Ombudsman continues to be under acute pressure as it grapples with an increasing number of complaints.

The Office ended the 2011/2012 year with 10,636 complaints and other contacts received, up 22% on the previous year. Cases on hand at any time have grown from an average of 800 to over 1700.

She says that the Office has worked vigorously on streamlining its processes to cope with the workload – developing better and smarter ways to manage its work and, as a consequence, has improved its throughput by 13%.

However, Dame Beverley says there is an increasing demand for the Ombudsmen’s help.

“There’s more work coming through than we can get out the other end of the process.

“There is significant pressure on staff and regretfully we are missing targets for timeliness in responding to some people asking for help.

“That means that there are some cases we just do not have the resources to deal with immediately. We don’t have the funding to hire the staff required to deal with the workload. However, we do keep the cases under review so we can move swiftly if they become urgent.”

Dame Beverley says the Office’s role, which is to ensure people are treated fairly in New Zealand, must not be compromised by underfunding.

“Despite the pressure, increased efficiency means that a number of major investigations were able to be progressed last year including prisoner health services, bullying in schools and decision making by Immigration New Zealand around Pacific residence quotas,” says Dame Beverley.

“But the bottom line is that complaints have not decreased. We need to maintain people’s faith in the office that we are there to help and can help - both by investigating individual grievances and also identifying areas where agencies can improve the quality of their administrative processes and decision making to provide fair, just and transparent delivery of services.”

The Office received a small budget increase last year and while that was welcomed, Dame Beverley says it was only about a third of what was required to manage the growth in complaints.

“The increase was not sufficient for us to recruit the staff we need to deal with the growing workload,” she says.

The full report can be found on www.ombudsman.parliament.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014.

During his visit, President Xi Jinping met with Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, and held talks with Prime Minister John Key. The leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of common interest. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Airport Security Breach: CAA Fines Minister

Minister Brownlee has been issued an infringement notice and is required to pay a $2000 infringement fine for breaching Civil Aviation Rule 19.357(b), which states no person may be in an airport security area without an appropriate identity card or document. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news