Page 815 - Week 02 - Thursday, 10 March 2011

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Public service—feedback and complaints
(Question No 1410)

Mrs Dunne asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 15 February 2011:

(1) In relation to the Department of Justice and Community Safety Half Yearly Performance Report 2010-11, Output 1.5, Protection of Rights, what priority does the Human Rights Commission give to dealing with complaints compared to other activities such as preparing ad hoc self-initiated opinions or advice on matters of interest, undertaking inquiries and projects or conducting community education programs.

(2) What is the estimated percentage of full-time equivalent staffing hours spent on concluding complaints.

(3) What are the three projects that remain uncompleted as at 31 December 2010 under Accountability Indicator (b), Human Rights Commission is respected as an agent of rights protection and service.

(4) When will those projects referred to in part (3) be completed.

(5) Why must the client satisfaction measure for public advocacy services be reported only annually rather than progressively in the half yearly report, when there would be a continuing turnover of clients.

(6) Why must the percentage of public guardianship clients requiring intensive decision making be reported only annually, when there would be a continuing turnover of such clients and when similar figures are published on an on-going basis for the percentage of public advocacy clients requiring individual or systemic advocacy.

(7) Why did the percentage of public advocacy clients needing individual or systemic advocacy exceed the target by 220%.

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The Human Rights Commission (Commission) comprises three Commissioners, each with responsibility for unique statutory functions, including considering complaints pursuant to the Human Rights Commission Act 2005 and/or the Discrimination Act 1991. As complaints to the Commission are generally driven by concerns held by external individuals or agencies, and complaints handling is one of the Commission’s Accountability Measures, the Commission continues to give complaint handling activities the highest priority.

All work undertaken by the Commission is in accordance with its statutory functions. Opinions or advice are prepared only in accordance with these functions and as resources permit. Additionally, the Human Rights Commissioner provides human rights legal policy advice to the Attorney-General and Chief Minister, often on request.

(2) As at 31 December 2010, the Commission employed 21.05 FTE staff, of which 15.45 FTE undertook some degree of complaint handling activities. (The figure of 15.45 includes three FTE Commissioners.)

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