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

 

Ombudsman’s Office working faster

Ombudsman’s Office working faster, despite increasing workload

Date 20 October 2016


The Office of the Ombudsman’s workload has again increased this past year, but the office is resolving complaints faster, and in greater numbers, than the previous year.

In his Annual Report, tabled in Parliament today, Chief Ombudsman Judge Peter Boshier says the office is already making great strides in its efforts to be more timely, agile and responsive.

The Ombudsman received 12,595 complaints and other work in the 2015-16 year, four percent more than the previous year, and the second highest number ever received in one year.

“Despite the volume of work increasing, we completed seven percent more work than last year, and finished the year with 11 percent less work on hand than at the same time last year,” he says.

Overall, the Ombudsman closed 178 more complaints than were received, meaning the office is starting to make “significant inroads” into the backlog of complaints.

“Another new target is to work towards seven out of 10 of the complaints we receive being resolved with three months, and no case accepted by this office should remain outstanding beyond 12 months,” Judge Boshier says.

Results in this year’s Annual Report are already reflecting those efforts for more timely resolution, with 58 percent of all complaints resolved within three months, and 85 percent within 12 months.

Since starting as Chief Ombudsman last December, Judge Boshier’s focus has been on making change to enable best possible service from the Ombudsman, in line with the roadmap for future improvement set down by his predecessor Dame Beverley Wakem.

“From a visit to Australia at the start of the year, I learnt our Australian counterparts had faced similar challenges of growing workloads creating backlogs of work. They had changed the way they worked to achieve very quick front-end assessment, and ensure that really hard cases that need considerable work receive this but in a timely fashion.”

Judge Boshier says the Ombudsman plays a key role in ensuring good government and fair outcomes for New Zealanders through independent oversight.

“In order to fulfil that role to the highest possible standard, we have to work electronically to keep our work moving, and we must work according to timeframes that are modern, and geared to promptness and efficiency.”

In this year’s Annual Report, Judge Boshier also signals his intention to investigate the treatment of prisoners with high mental health needs.

“We have becoming increasingly concerned at the inadequacy of appropriate facilities, especially for prisoners with high mental health needs. It is an issue I intend to pursue in the coming year with the relevant government agencies.

“I am also concerned about the vulnerability of those detained in privately run dementia units, and who presently appear to have no independent oversight in the same way that publicly funded institutional patients have. This anomaly is worthy of careful discussion,” he says.

[ends]

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Crowdsale And Crowdfunding Campaign: Help Create The Future Of Independent News

Two weeks to go! The Scoop 3.0 plan aims to create NZ’s first community-owned, distributed news and media intelligence ecosystem in 2019. We believe this ScoopPro media monetisation approach can be scaled and spread globally to support local and independent news efforts in regional New Zealand and around the world.

Scoop is an ecosystem, it would not exist without those who contribute to it, read it and rely on it for professional media purposes. Generous past support from this ecosystem has enabled us to come this far in developing our business model. Support our PledgeMe Campaign>>

 

14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>

ALSO:

Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>

ALSO:

Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>

ALSO:

"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels