CAIN Update – 31 March 2016

Items of interest for the Complaints, Accountability, Integrity Network

Prison health services

Investigation into the Prison Health Service at Darwin Correctional Centre
Investigation into complaints about problems in accessing health services and delays at the Prison Health Service (PHS) at the Darwin Correctional Centre, which appear to have had a detrimental impact on the medical treatment received by the complainants. This is consistent with the large proportion of complaints received by the Commission about the PHS, which raise similar concerns about • the management of medical request forms; • triage processes; • waiting periods; • communication with patients; • access to specialist medical services; and • medical follow-up and recall systems. Complaints also raised specific issues of access to women's healthcare.
NT Health and Community Services Complaints Commission, February 2016

Privilege against self-incrimination

R v Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commissioner [2016] HCA 8
High Court decision - Investigation by Victorian Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) into allegations of assault and human rights violations by officers of Victoria Police – Where appellants were police officers suspected of involvement in alleged assault – Where appellants summoned to give evidence at public examination – Whether power to hold examination under Pt 6 of IBAC Act exercisable in relation to persons who have not been, but may be, charged with offence relating to subject matter of examination – privilege against self-incrimination.
High Court of Australia, 10 March 2016

Gifts and Benefits

An own motion investigation into policies, practices and procedures relating to receiving and declaring of gifts and benefits in the Tasmanian State Service
"Appropriate management of offers of gifts and benefits is essential to maintaining the actual and perceived integrity of the Tasmanian State Service. Through this investigation, the Commission has identified a concerning complacency among agencies about this issue. Almost without exception, the Commission's request for gifts and benefits policies and records triggered a flurry of activity within agencies. Many agencies advised that they had a new gifts policy – or were in the process of drafting one. Some agencies took several months to locate and send the requested information to the Commission. Another matter of concern was the lack of understanding of the relationship between gifts and conflicts of interest. None of the agency policies explained this relationship satisfactorily – indeed, only two of the policies explained it at all. Even where an agency's policy did provide some explanation of conflicts of interest, the gifts that had been approved by the agency demonstrated either a failure to understand the policy, or a failure to apply it."
Tasmanian Integrity Commission, September 2015


Use of interpreters fact sheet
A brief fact sheet on best practice principles for use of interpreters.

Local government

Good Governance Guide: Local governments
A brief guide on good governance in the local government sector.
Governance Institute of Australia, 2015

Stakeholder engagement

Good Governance Guide: Stakeholder engagement (public sector)
A brief guide on the benefits of stakeholder engagement, identification of stakeholders and essential elements of stakeholder engagement.
Governance Institute of Australia, 2015

Upcoming events

Australia and New Zealand Ombudsman Association biennial conference, May 2016, Melbourne
ANZOA's biennial conferences are an important source of continuing professional development for Ombudsmen and their staff. Each conference also provides a space where Ombudsmen - and those in government, regulation, industry, academia and the consumer sector, who are interested in the institution of Ombudsman - can discuss and reflect on current issues and challenges in the evolution of the Ombudsman role.

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