CAIN Update – 31 March 2017

Items of interest for the Complaints, Accountability, Integrity Network


What to do if you are not happy with a government service: Easy read

An example of an easy read guide for potential complainants, utilising simple language and visual images. Content is UK specific but might provide food for thought if developing a similar document in an NT context.

UK Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, March 2017

Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

A question of restraint: Care and management for prisoners considered to be at risk of suicide and self-harm: observations and findings from OPCAT inspectors

In 2017, Australia is likely to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT). In New Zealand, the Ombudsman has been designated a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM) in terms of OPCAT under NZ legislation. The report illustrates the work entailed in fulfilling the requirements of OPCAT. It details observations and findings relating to prisoners who have been considered at risk of suicide and self-harm, who are managed in At-Risk Units (ARUs) in New Zealand prisons; and focuses on the comprehensive inspections of five prison sites.

New Zealand Chief Ombudsman National Preventive Mechanism, March 2017


Operation Liverpool: An investigation into the conduct of two officers of Bendigo Health

IBAC investigated allegations that an officer of Bendigo Health engaged in corrupt conduct including collusion with Bendigo Health contractors for his personal benefit, and the theft of property. The investigation then expanded due to allegations made regarding the conduct of another officer, including that he used Bendigo Health employees to undertake works on two of his wife's properties without payment and on Bendigo Health time. There were also corrupt conduct allegations around the second officer claiming living away from home allowance while living in properties owned by his wife. IBAC's investigation found the first officer took Bendigo Health property and materials without proper authorisation, and circumvented the usual procurement controls in place at Bendigo Health for the benefit of himself and certain contractors. The first officer was charged and subsequently pleaded guilty to seven charges of theft, one charge of obtaining property by deception, and one charge of attempting to obtain financial advantage by deception. The investigation also found that on a number of occasions the second officer engaged in conduct contrary to the Victorian Public Sector Code of Conduct and Bendigo Health's stated organisational values. IBAC also identified organisational and systemic corruption vulnerabilities at Bendigo Health that facilitated this conduct.

Victorian Independent broad-based anti-corruption Commission, March 2017

Investigation into allegations of improper conduct by officers at the Mount Buller and Mount Stirling Resort Management Board

The investigation focuses on the use of public funds by some of the senior management and board of the popular tourist resort of Mt Buller and Mt Stirling. The Resort sits on Crown land and is managed on behalf of the Minister for the benefit of the state – the people of Victoria. In this investigation, the Ombudsman identified more than $30,000 worth of public funds being used for such things as international family travel and the entertainment of the CEO's friends. The privileged access to the snowfield's accommodation also enjoyed by the Resort's staff and board was used for the entertainment of friends, family and associates.

Victorian Ombudsman, March 2017

Evaluation and evidence-based decision making

Fostering Integrity: Report on the implementation of Speak up in the Tasmanian public sector

Speak up is a ten-year Tasmanian Integrity Commission plan for cultural change relating to integrity that has been rolling out to Tasmanian public authorities since September 2014. As an increasing number of public authorities adopt the campaign, 'speaking up' is intended to become embedded into workplace culture as a continuing part of working life in the public sector. This is an independent evaluation report on the program. Employees of participating authorities reported that the program is already having positive outcomes. Three-quarters of those surveyed said the program was needed, while more than half reported that the program had led to an immediate and constructive impact on their attitude to workplace conduct and ethics.

Motlow D, University of Tasmania, January 2017

Top 10 resources on the use of evidence

Blog suggesting Top 10 guides to improving the quality, design and methods for effective evidence use.

Peter O'Neill, Alliance for Useful Evidence, February 2017

Administrative action

Investigation into the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages' handling of a complaint

The investigation related to twin baby boys, one of whom tragically died at just over four months. His mother, Ms X, complained that the Registry had been unreasonably tardy in providing birth certificates for Twin A and his brother Twin B, and had similarly delayed providing the family with a death certificate for Twin A after he passed away. Ms X was also unhappy with the Registry for failing to provide her with adequate reasons for its decision to refuse to remove the wording 'deceased' from a copy of Twin A's birth certificate, when it had previously done so.

Victorian Ombudsman, January 2017

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