CAIN Update - 11 March 2015

Items of interest for the Complaints, Accountability, Integrity Network

Justice system

Juries in Alice Springs

Discussion of challenges of securing indigenous representation on juries and implications of failing to do so, including NT Law Reform Committee report.
ABC Law Report podcast, 2014

Interpreters in the Justice System

Podcast on the challenges facing interpreters in courts and other situations and the potential for them to experience "vicarious trauma".
ABC Podcast, Feb 2015

Local government

Councils and complaints – A report on current practice and issues

An enquiry was launched by the Victorian Ombudsman in 2014 when staff in the office identified that one of the main causes of complaints against local councils was the way those councils dealt with complaints. All too often complaints were seen as a nuisance, or provoked a defensive, bureaucratic or unhelpful response. Yet complaints are one of the most valuable sources of data available to councils. They represent free feedback about services and, if used effectively, are a catalyst for service improvement. Good complaint handling increases confidence in public administration. On the other hand, mishandled complaints can carry a high potential cost – both financial and reputational.
Ombudsman Victoria, Feb 2015

Councils and complaints – A good practice guide

Local government practice guide developed as a result of the enquiry.
Ombudsman Victoria, Feb 2015


Investigation into Claims Made in Brochures Produced by Mr Colin Thompson

Report on investigation conducted on referral from Health Minister relating to brochures in which claims were made that a person could "take away the cause" of 93 "medically incurable ailments".
NT Health and Community Services Complaints Commission, 2014

Ombudsman and complaint schemes

The future of ombudsman schemes: drivers for change and strategic responses
Queen Margaret University, Scotland, July 2013

Future Directions for Ombudsman Offices – Four Trends, Two Reflections

Presentation. The author discusses challenges facing ombudsman offices in the next ten years. He draws on seven years' experience as Commonwealth Ombudsman, and four years' as Australian Information Commissioner. He takes a high level look at the future, noting four possible trends, and offering two reflections on current ombudsman challenges.
John McMillan, Australian Information Commissioner, April 2014

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