Page 2485 - Week 06 - Thursday, 10 May 2012

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The Ombudsman is also in the process developing a methodology for a regular inspections program, covering the broad range of conditions and services available at and via ACT Corrective Services.

8. Culture of denial and defensiveness

a.) The ACT Government has a number of different complaint handling systems and, based on the complaints we receive, it appears that some of these systems are more effective than others. The Ombudsman is working with Directorates (starting with the Directorates where the majority of our complaints arise) to improve complaint handling. We acknowledge that it takes times to achieve substantial cultural change and, given some of the challenges with service delivery in the ACT, we understand that this process will ongoing.

b.) This is not a question for the Ombudsman.

c.) Effective complaint handling is important in improving government administration. The Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Better Practice Guide to Complaint is a useful tool in reviewing or establishing a complaint handling system. Implementing, reviewing or ‘refreshing’ complaint handling systems is an important way to create a more responsive and transparent organisation.

Another useful tool for creating responsive and transparent organisations is the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s publication, Lesson for public administration (Ten Lessons). The lessons set out in this publication include:

heed the limitations of information technology systems

guard against erroneous assumptions

control administrative drift

remove unnecessary obstacles to the prudent exchange of information

promote effective communication within your agency.

The Ombudsman will continue to engage with ACT Government agencies at all levels to facilitate better understanding of the role and function of the office. In addition to regular stakeholder meetings with Directorate heads and agency staff, the Ombudsman will be holding an ACT government agency forum later this year.

d.) The Ombudsman does not have any direct knowledge about the impact of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1994 on agencies’ culture. The Ombudsman intends to submit a response to the ACT Government’s Exposure Draft of the Public Interest Disclosure Bill 2011.

ACTION bus service—capacity issues
(Question No 2102)

Ms Bresnan asked the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, upon notice, on 20 March 2012:

(1) In relation to ACTION buses, what peak hour capacity issues has the Government identified on (a) blue and (b) red rapid routes.

(2) Which other ACTION routes has the Government identified as having capacity issues.

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