Annual Report 2011 - 2012
Our office finalised 40,477 approaches and complaints, up from 38,957 last year. Of these, 23,317 were within jurisdiction, compared to 19,903 in 2010-11, a 16% increase.
We also published five formal reports across a diverse range of areas, from biosecurity to Income-Management decision making in remote Northern Territory Indigenous communities. The majority of our recommendations were accepted by agencies in full and commitments made in others. We prepared nine submissions to Parliamentary committees, including on language learning in Indigenous communities, cybercrime and immigration detention. And we made four submissions to government inquiries.
In 2011-12, the office took on a further three functions: oversighting the Fair Work Building and Construction's use of coercive examination powers; investigating complaints about aircraft noise arising from Super Hornets' operations at RAAF Base Amberley; and the role of Norfolk Island Ombudsman.
Annual Report 2010 - 2011
During 2010-11 the number of approaches and complaints to our office continued to grow, reaching almost 39,000, a four per cent increase on the previous year. Of these, 51 per cent were considered complaints within our jurisdiction. We investigated 4468 separate complaints during the year, roughly the same as last year.
We also published 13 formal reports across a diverse range of areas. Ninety per cent of our recommendations were accepted by agencies in full and a further nine per cent in part. We completed 37 inspections across 17 different agencies, at the Commonwealth and the state and territory levels. Our inspection work in relation to the use of certain covert and coercive powers continues to provide an important assurance to the Parliament.
Our responsibilities continue to expand. We gained the new function of Overseas Students Ombudsman in April 2011, and expect to soon become the Norfolk Island Ombudsman.
Annual Report 2009 - 2010
Nearly 38,000 approaches and complaints were received by the office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman for assistance during 2009-10, an 18% decrease from the previous year. The report explains that despite this decrease, there were still 4,489 complaints investigated, with remedies found for complainants in 71% of these cases. There was also an increase in the number of agencies about which the office received complaints, up 30 to 150 government agencies for 2009-10. The office continued its efforts to find solutions and fix problems in government administration, publishing 19 ‘own motion’ reports and providing submissions to 11 parliamentary inquiries or reviews. The report goes on to highlight the year as one of change and renewal, with the departure of the Ombudsman and both Deputy Ombudsmen to new government statutory appointments, and the commencement of Mr Allan Asher as the 8th Commonwealth Ombudsman in August 2010.
Annual Report 2008 - 2009
Two hundred years on from the creation of the first ombudsman in Sweden in 1809, the need for an independent ‘watchdog’ to safeguard citizens in their dealings with government is more relevant than ever, with almost 46,000 people contacting the Commonwealth Ombudsman during the past year.
Annual Report 2007 - 2008
Nearly 40,000 people contacted the office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman for assistance during 2007 - 08; a 20% increase on the previous year. This report highlights the importance attached by the Ombudsman’s office to providing an appropriate remedy to a complainant and draws out the themes in the year’s work by pointing to the broader lessons that a single complaint or problem can teach. The office conducted or initiated a record number of own motion investigations during the year.
Annual Report 2006 - 2007
This is the 30th annual report of the Commonwealth Ombudsman. A special theme of this report is the changes that have occurred in the office since it was established in July 1977.
Annual Report 2005 - 2006
This annual report contains many examples of the constant growth, adaptation and maturation of the office.
Annual Report 2004 - 2005
During the year we completed five own motion and major investigations, with all Ombudsman recommendations being accepted by agencies.
Annual Report 2003 - 2004
The Ombudsman's Office received increased funding to establish new roles, expand delivery of Ombudsman services in regional and remote areas, and improve oversight of surveillance devices.