- Nov 2010: Department of Human Services, Child Support Agency: Unreasonable Customer Conduct and ‘Write Only’ policy, November 2010—14|2010
Unreasonable or difficult behaviour should not mean inadequate service from government agencies. The report examines the Child Support Agency’s ‘write only’ policy which restricts certain customers to written contact only, as a result of ‘unreasonable behaviour’, which might include threats or abuse or unnecessary persistence. The Commonwealth Ombudsman urges all agencies to develop a consistent approach in managing unreasonable customer conduct.
- Sept 2010: — Falling through the cracks—Centrelink, DEEWR and FaHSCIA: Engaging with customers with a mental illness in the social security system - 13|2010
The Ombudsman’s report, Falling through the cracks examines the difficulties people with a mental illness have when they interact with our social security system. In particular it examines interactions with Centrelink, DEEWR and FaHCSIA. It makes 11 recommendations to improve policy and procedures.
- Sep 2010: Australian Taxation Office: Resolving Tax File Number compromise - 12|2010
Commonwealth Ombudsman; Taxation Ombudsman:
The Ombudsman’s report expresses concerns about how the Australian Tax Office has handled complaints about compromised Tax File Numbers (TFNs). It examines eight case studies where taxpayers’ TFNs had been compromised or incorrectly linked to another person’s TFN
- Aug 2010: Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Centrelink: Review rights for Income managed people in the Northern Territory - 10|2010
The report concerns an investigation into a failure to provide rights of review to the Social Security Appeals Tribunal (SSAT) and Administrative Appeals Tribunal for individuals subject to Income Management as part of the government’s intervention in the Northern Territory. It was prompted by a complaint from a husband and wife who sought exemption from the scheme and were unable to access rights of review.
- Aug 2010: Child Support Agency, Department of Human Services: Investigation of a parent’s ‘capacity to pay’ - 11|2010
The report looks into the CSA’s power to go beyond a parent’s taxable income to assess child support obligations. The CSA does this through its ‘Capacity to pay’ (CTP) investigations which typically target parents who are self-employed or run a business through a corporate structure. The even-handedness of Child Support Agency (CSA) investigations into whether parents are paying and receiving the right amount, according to this report must target both the paying and receiving parents in a fair and even handed manner.
- June 2010: Fair Work Ombudsman: exercise of coercive information-gathering powers - 09|2010
The Commonwealth Ombudsman’s office has an interest in the exercise of powers that can have an impact on the rights of the public, and the Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman has certain powers that allow it to obtain information and documents when investigating employers or employees for compliance with the Fair Work Act 2009. We reviewed the Fair Work Ombudsman’s internal processes for use of its coercive information-gathering powers during an investigation, the outcomes of which are discussed in this report.
- June 2010: Australia Post and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Passports lost in the mail - 08|2010
Commonwealth Ombudsman; Postal Industry:
Following an increase in complaints about passports going missing in the post, the Ombudsman decided to investigate how Australia Post deals with complaints about lost passports, what postal services were used by passport holders and the compensation arrangements available. This report sets out the Ombudsman’s findings and the recommendations made to Australia Post and DFAT to reduce the risks associated with sending passports through the post.
- May 2010: Centrelink and Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions: Review of circumstances leading to a fraud conviction - 07|2010
The report concerns the investigation of a complaint by a Disability Support Pension applicant who was convicted of fraud on the basis of her failure to declare earnings.
- Apr 2010: Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research: Administration of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) vehicle scheme - 05|2010
Report on the Ombudsman’s investigation into DIISR’s administration of the LPG vehicle scheme, which provides grants to vehicle owners to encourage using LPG as an alternative transport fuel.
- Mar 2010: Comcare and Department of Finance and Deregulation: Discretionary payments of compensation - 04|2010
Report on the Ombudsman’s investigation into Comcare’s miscalculation of workers compensation payments to two individuals and the lack of appropriate means to redress the subsequent shortfall.
- Mar 2010: Australia Post: ‘Safe Drop’ program—a review of the first year - 03|2010
Commonwealth Ombudsman; Postal Industry:
The Postal Industry Ombudsman reviewed Australia Post’s ‘safe drop’ program for parcel delivery and discusses the observations and findings in this report
- Feb 2010: Australian Taxation Office: Use of ‘access without notice’ powers - 02|2010
This report discusses the observations and findings of the Ombudsman’s own motion investigation into the ATO’s exercise of its powers to access premises without prior notice.
- Feb 2010: Australia Post: Determining levels of compensation for loss or damage of postal items - 01|2010
Australia Post has rejected a Postal Industry Ombudsman (PIO) recommendation to review the level of compensation payable to customers whose mail has been lost or damaged, even though the dollar figure is the same as it was 22 years ago.
- 2010 State of the Health Funds Report
Private Health Insurance:
Provides comparative information on the performance and service delivery of health funds
- Dec 2009: Department of Finance and Deregulation: Processing of an FOI application - 20|2009
This report deals with an investigation into a complaint from a journalist about the Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance) and their administration of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act).
- Dec 2009: Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry: Administration of various grant schemes - 19|2009
Between May and October 2008, the Ombudsman’s office received a number of complaints about three executive grant schemes: Murray-Darling Basin Irrigation Management Grant (IMG), Tobacco Grower Adjustment Assistance Package 2006 (TGAAP), and Exceptional Circumstances Exit Grant Package 2007 (Exit Grant). DAFF is responsible for developing the policy guidelines for these grant schemes.
- Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER): Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs asbestos surveys: Communication issues, December 2009
Commonwealth Ombudsman; Indigenous:
The Commonwealth Ombudsman’s office received two complaints about asbestos surveys, each from a different community. The first complaint was received in September 2008 and the second in March 2009. Both complaints expressed concerns about a lack of communication of the results of the asbestos surveys.
- Dec 2009: Australian Federal Police: Investigation of a complaint against a senior officer - 17|2009
This investigation was prompted by a review of a complaint against a senior officer in the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in which it was alleged that the officer misused their position in the AFP to send AFP officers to intervene on a relative’s behalf in a property dispute in the ACT.
- Nov 2009: Administration of the Economic Security Strategy Payment: An examination of the implementation, monitoring and review of the scheme - 16|2009
Report by the Ombudsman on the administration of the Economic Security Strategy Payment – an examination of the implementation, monitoring and review of the scheme.