CAIN Update - 27 July 2017

Items of interest for the Complaints, Accountability, Integrity Network

Good government

The Imperative of Good Governance: what communities deserve and expect

A speech on good governance in a local government context by one of the most experienced independent officers and administrative law experts in Australia.,-Acting-NSW-Ombudsman-Address-to-the-Local-Government-NSW-~-28-June-2017.pdf
Professor John McMillan, Acting NSW Ombudsman, June 2017

Complaint management

Valuing Complaints

Valuing Complaintsis a website for best practice in complaints handling. It provides a useful resource for agencies considering development or review of complaints handling procedures and practices. It contains information to help support improvement in public sector complaints handling, including: model complaints handling procedures for Scotland; implementation and compliance guidance; and best practice and training resources. It also provides resources to promote learning and improvement from complaints.
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Problem solving

How to problem solve - the ultimate problem

"Finding solutions is essential to moving forward. But that's easier said than done. Neuroscientist Robert Burton reckons our brains simply aren't up to the complexity of modern life.

[This podcast] looks at the problem of problem solving and some possible solutions."
ABC Future Tense podcast, June 2017

Integrity in public administration

Publicising allegations of corrupt conduct: Is it in the public interest?

This report discusses the extent to which it is in the public interest to publish allegations (as opposed to fidnings) of corrupt conduct. It looks at factors that favour disclosure: openness, transparency and accountability, and factors that weigh against disclosure: prejudice to investigations, premature damage to individual reputations and damage to public trust in government institutions. It makes a recommendation for a 'blackout' period for publication of allegations in the lead up to local government elections.
Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission, December 2016

Report on the Supply and Management of Schedule 8 Controlled Drugs at Certain Public Hospitals in Western Australia

The report "reveals disturbing gaps in the management and control of Schedule 8 drugs at public hospitals in WA, and highlights a number of risk areas, including:

- having after-hours access to the pharmacy safe;

- not reconciling supply by the pharmacy and receipt at a ward or unit;

- substandard practices around the use of requisition forms; and

- inadequate management of registers.

The report makes recommendations in 10 areas relating to the supply and management of Schedule 8 drugs to reduce the likelihood of serious misconduct and corruption occurring in WA public hospitals."
WA Corruption and Crime Commission, June 2017

Grants and subsidies

The Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme report

The Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme (PTSS) in Queensland provides travel and accommodation subsidies to patients required to travel more than 50km from their nearest hospital to attend specialist medical appointments. The Ombudsman's investigation found that despite Queensland Health (QH) conducting four reviews or audits of the PTSS since 2010, which identified problems and proposed solutions, it had failed to implement necessary reforms. The investigation found that the PTSS application process is overly burdensome and some patients reported significant delays in receiving financial reimbursement. As a result, some patients incurred considerable expense and sometimes financial hardship. The Ombudsman recommended that QH determine which of the issues and recommendations from its own reviews and audits are outstanding and develop a plan with a timeframe for implementation.
Queensland Ombudsman, June 2017

Extension of time limit

Lewis v CEO Housing

Consideration of whether NTCAT has power under section 44(1) of the Limitation Act to extend a limitation period prescribed by section 12(1) of that Act affecting an action brought in the tribunal's jurisdiction under the Residential Tenancies Act. The President determined that there was such a power but declined to make a decision on whether the power might extend to other circumstances, for example, an extension in the small claims jurisdiction. This may be of relevance in considering the alternative forums open to a person complaining about an issue.
Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal, [2017] NTCAT 23918 April 2017

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