Today the Commonwealth Ombudsman Michael Manthorpe released a report, Did they do what they said they would? Reviewing our recommendations, on the implementation of recommendations made in a number of earlier public investigation reports.

The report contains the results of the Office’s investigation to follow-up on recommendations made in seven investigation reports published by the Office over a two year period from July 2017 to June 2019.

‘We looked at what actions had been taken to implement the recommendations, to answer the question ‘Did they do what they said they would?’ said Mr Manthorpe.

‘Making enduring improvement in public administration is often painstaking and far from glamorous’, said Mr Manthorpe. ‘My recommendations typically focus on the nuts and bolts of program delivery. Yet these nuts and bolts matter, going as they do to the success or otherwise of countless day to day interactions between members of the public and government. Often these interactions impact upon vulnerable people in serious ways’.

A total of 61 recommendations were made across a broad range of issues including the administration of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, assessment of Australian citizenship applications, detention of Australian citizens, health insurance policy changes and decision-making at the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

‘I am pleased to report that all agencies have made significant progress toward implementing these recommendations’, said Mr Manthorpe. ‘Of the 55 recommendations accepted, 54 have either been fully or partially implemented.’

‘I would like to thank all agencies and organisations involved for their cooperation with my Office throughout this project. It is to their credit that, for the most part, they did do what they said they would.’

The report is in addition to separate reports published by the Office over recent years which followed up recommendations in earlier reports about agencies including Centrelink, Australia Post and the Australian Federal Police.