CAIN Update – 12 March 2018

Items of interest for the Complaints, Accountability, Integrity Network

Police – Taser use – Management of conduct issues

Taser use and Management of NT Police conduct issues

The report examines the benefits and risks of Taser use by NT Police in the context of a particular incident involving the tasering of a 12 year old child. It discusses the current state of the literature on Taser use, NT Police rules regarding Taser use and the circumstances of the particular case. It supports the finding of the NT Police investigator that an officer breached rules made by the NT Police in relation to Taser use. It examines options available for action by NT Police in relation to management of police conduct issues and discusses potential future directions, as well as the action taken by NT Police in relation to the specific incident.
NT Ombudsman, December 2017

Complaints Management

Making complaints work for everyone

"The report focuses on the impact of complaints on staff who have been complained about. Whilst organisations are increasingly more likely to describe themselves as 'learning organisations', research suggests that being subject to a complaint can have an adverse impact on the individual involved and can limit, rather than promote, learning. The overriding message that has emerged from this report is that organisations need to actively support their staff through complaints processes and engage staff in positive and purposeful activities to manage and learn from complaints. Getting this right will encourage staff, help drive improvement in services and promote learning."
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, December 2017


Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme has commenced

Commonwealth Government agencies and the various organisations required to secure personal information under the Commonwealth Privacy Act 1988 now have data breach notification and assessment obligations under the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme.
Office of Australian Information Commissioner, webpage

Standard of proof

Health & Community Services Complaints Commissioner – Mistake of law in assessing complaint

A medical professional complained that the Commissioner determined to take no further action in respect of his complaint concerning a social worker, whom he alleged had attempted to procure an unlawful abortion for a patient and had unlawfully directed or incited him to facilitate the procedure. The Ombudsman decided that the Commissioner's determination to take no further action was based in part on a mistake of law regarding the applicable standard of proof. The Commissioner had applied the criminal standard of proof as the complaint involved allegations of criminal conduct. The Ombudsman declined to set aside the determination of the Commissioner on the basis that he was not satisfied that the Commissioner would have reached a different determination had the Commissioner not misdirected himself.
South Australian Ombudsman, January 2018

Sample compliance and enforcement policy

2018 ACCC Compliance and Enforcement Policy and Priorities

This 8 page policy sets out the rationale for ACCC decision-making and its priorities for compliance and enforcement. It provides a detailed public explanation of the bases on which the ACCC will make decisions about the exercise of these functions.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, February 2018

Support for carers

Investigation into the financial support provided to kinship carers

The Ombudsman investigated financial support provided by the Department of Health and Human Services to kinship carers. The Ombudsman recommended that the Department:

  • give kinship carers and foster carers the same payments
  • make decisions that give children in kinship care the best support
  • give kinship carers clear information about payments
  • make decisions in a reasonable time
  • contact kinship carers in a reasonable time.
Victorian Ombudsman, December 2017

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