Page 3319 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 17 August 2011

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MRS DUNNE: Scrutiny report 40 contains the committee’s comments on 13 bills, 20 pieces of subordinate legislation, eight government responses and one private member’s response. The report was circulated to members when the Assembly was not sitting and I commend the report to the Assembly.

Public Accounts—Standing Committee

Report 17

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (10.10): I present the following report:

Public Accounts—Standing Committee—Report 17—Review of Auditor-General’s- Report No 7 of 2010: Management of Feedback and Complaints, dated 9 August 2011, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I move:

That the report be noted.

Complaints and feedback is obviously a very relevant topic and I note that standing on the notice paper today, item No 5, Ms Hunter has a motion basically on this subject. First-off, I would like, as usual, to thank the committee secretary, Dr Andrea Cullen, ably assisted, as always, by Lydia Chung. I thank my fellow committee members, Mr Hargreaves and Mr Smyth, who may both be talking on this because it is an important subject. Given that we are going to be talking more substantively about complaints and feedback when we discuss Ms Hunter’s motion, I will go briefly to recommendation 1:

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government develop and publish a whole-of-government policy for the management of feedback and complaints.

This is because feedback and complaints are important. Everyone has the right to expect decent service from the public service. Everyone has the right to expect that if things go wrong or are not what they expected or in some way the interaction was not successful from their point of view, something will happen and customers’ complaints will be dealt with appropriately.

Sitting here, we all know this because quite a few of the complaints end up in our inboxes, but they should not have to end up in our inboxes. The government should handle complaints properly. Apart from anything else, it is incredibly valuable feedback on what a government agency is doing right and what it is doing wrong and where the problems are with the public. It is one of the best methods of feedback that any business, government or non-government organisation can get. I think the fact that both the Auditor-General and now the public accounts committee—and shortly the Assembly and also, I must not forget, the Ombudsman—are talking about the same issue points out how important the issue is to the good running of government.

Having looked through Ms Hunter’s motion, I note that our recommendation 2 is basically identical to paragraph (2)(c) of her motion, except that we, of course, want

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