18   Office of the Ombudsman

Agency Outline

The Office of the Ombudsman operates under the Ombudsman Act 1978 and is responsible for enquiry and investigation into complaints regarding the administrative actions of Tasmanian government agencies, local councils and a range of other public authorities. The Ombudsman seeks to resolve individual grievances and address systemic issues arising from administrative matters in the public sector. Through independent, objective and impartial investigations, the Ombudsman promotes fairness and equity and aims to bring about improvements in the quality and standard of public administration.

The Ombudsman also has a number of other responsibilities, including being the Health Complaints Commissioner under the Health Complaints Act 1995, the Energy Ombudsman under the Energy Ombudsman Act 1998 and providing administrative support for the Mental Health and Prison Official Visitor Schemes. The Ombudsman is appointed as the Coordinator of the Official Visitors Scheme (Corrections Act 1997) and is the Principal Official Visitor (Mental Health Act 2013).

The Ombudsman also undertakes additional responsibilities implementing the Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act), the Personal Information Protection Act 2004, the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2002 and investigating complaints, as well as holding an ex officio position on the Board of the Integrity Commission under the Integrity Commission Act 2009.

This chapter provides financial information about the Outputs to be delivered by the Office in 2015‑16 and the Forward Estimates period (2016‑17 to 2018‑19). Further information about the Office of the Ombudsman is provided at www.ombudsman.tas.gov.au.

Key Deliverables

The key deliverables for the Office of the Ombudsman include:

·       undertaking planning work for the implementation of a Tasmanian Custodial Inspector;

·       continuing to work to minimise the number of cases in the Office which are older than one year;

·       continuing to work at maximising the percentage of health complaints assessed within 45 and 90 days of receipt;

·       developing protocols for the appropriate assessment and classification of complaints;

·       developing systems and processes for the more effective and timely resolution of complaints under the Ombudsman Act and requests under the RTI Act; and

·       continuing to provide high quality training in relation to the administration of the RTI Act.

Output Information

The individual Output of the Office of the Ombudsman is provided under:

·       Output Group 1 – The Office of the Ombudsman.

Table 18.1 provides an Output Group Expense Summary for the Office of the Ombudsman.

Table 18.1:        Output Group Expense Summary

 

2014-15)

 

Budget)

2015-16)

 

Budget)

2016-17)

Forward)

Estimate)

2017-18)

Forward)

Estimate)

2018-19)

Forward)

Estimate)

 

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Output Group 1 - The Office of the Ombudsman

 

 

 

 

 

1.1   Decisions on Complaints Referred to the

Ombudsman and Health Complaints

Commissioner and Right to Information1

 2 846)

 2 880)

 2 689)

 2 729)

 2 763)

 

 2 846)

 2 880)

 2 689)

 2 729)

 2 763)

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

 2 846)

 2 880)

 2 689)

 2 729)

 2 763)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

1.   The increase in 2015‑16 reflects funding allocated for implementation planning for a Tasmanian Custodial Inspector of $150 000.

Output Group 1:   The Office of the Ombudsman

1.1 Decisions on Complaints Referred to the Ombudsman and Health   Complaints Commissioner and Right to Information

This Output provides for the independent and impartial resolution of complaints and the investigation of systemic issues relating to public administration, health care and energy services.


 

Table 18.2:        Performance Information ‑ Output Group 1

Performance Measure

Unit of Measure

2012-13

Actual

2013-14

Actual

2014-15

Target

2015-16

Target

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enquiries Finalised - Ombudsman, Health Complaints and Energy Ombudsman1

Number

1 292

1 300

1 500

1 620

Complaints Finalised - Ombudsman, Health Complaints and Energy Ombudsman1

Number

1 691

1 583

1 500

1 620

Average Cost per Resolved Case - Ombudsman, Health Complaints and Energy Ombudsman2

$

856

941

882

611

Cases Finalised per FTE

Number

149

164

179

229

Complaints to Ombudsman, Health Complaints and Energy Ombudsman Resolved in Less Than Three Months

%

82

84

85

85

Health Complaints Assessed Within Statutory Period of 45 days3

%

48

52

50

50

Health Complaints Assessed Within the Extended Statutory Period of 90 days3

%

78

80

80

80

Health Complaints - Early resolution under Section 25A of the Act4

%

na

11

10

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

1.   The Office expects the number of enquires and complaints finalised to increase by approximately eight per cent in 2015‑16 as a result of an investigation officer position being filled.

2.   'Case' includes both enquiries and complaints managed by the Office.

3.   This period includes time waiting for responses from health providers and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

4.   This measure was introduced in 2013‑14 and reflects an increased focus on early resolution powers.

 


 

Detailed Budget Statements

Table 18.3:        Statement of Comprehensive Income

 

2014-15)

 

Budget)

2015-16)

 

Budget)

2016-17)

Forward)

Estimate)

2017-18)

Forward)

Estimate)

2018-19)

Forward)

Estimate)

 

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue and other income from transactions

 

 

 

 

 

Appropriation revenue - recurrent1

 2 057)

 2 149)

 1 969)

 2 008)

 2 042)

Other revenue from government

  62)

  61)

....)

....)

....)

Other revenue2

  654)

  671)

  671)

  671)

  671)

Total revenue and other income from transactions

 2 773)

 2 881)

 2 640)

 2 679)

 2 713)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expenses from transactions

 

 

 

 

 

Employee benefits1

 2 155)

 2 208)

 2 011)

 2 045)

 2 074)

Depreciation and amortisation

  19)

  10)

  10)

  11)

  11)

Supplies and consumables

  591)

  579)

  583)

  586)

  589)

Other expenses

  81)

  83)

  85)

  87)

  89)

Total expenses from transactions

 2 846)

 2 880)

 2 689)

 2 729)

 2 763)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net result from transactions (net operating balance)

(73)

  1)

(49)

(50)

(50)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net result

(73)

  1)

(49)

(50)

(50)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comprehensive result

(73)

  1)

(49)

(50)

(50)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

1.   The increase in Appropriation revenue - recurrent and Employee benefits in 2015‑16 reflects funding allocated for implementation planning for a Tasmanian Custodial Inspector of $150 000.

2.   Other revenue primarily comprises payments of membership fees and complaint levy fees by Energy Entities for the Ombudsman's responsibilities under the Energy Ombudsman Act.

 


 

Table 18.4:        Revenue from Appropriation by Output

 

2014-15)

 

Budget)

2015-16)

 

Budget)

2016-17)

Forward)

Estimate)

2017-18)

Forward)

Estimate)

2018-19)

Forward)

Estimate)

 

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Output Group 1 - The Office of the Ombudsman

 

 

 

 

 

1.1   Decisions on Complaints Referred to the

Ombudsman and Health Complaints

Commissioner and Right to Information1

 2 057)

 2 149)

 1 969)

 2 008)

 2 042)

 

 2 057)

 2 149)

 1 969)

 2 008)

 2 042)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Office of the Ombudsman

 

 

 

 

 

Total Recurrent Services

 2 057)

 2 149)

 1 969)

 2 008)

 2 042)

 

 2 057)

 2 149)

 1 969)

 2 008)

 2 042)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appropriation Carried Forward

  62)

  61)

....)

....)

....)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Revenue from Appropriation

 2 119)

 2 210)

 1 969)

 2 008)

 2 042)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Controlled Revenue from Appropriation1

 2 119)

 2 210)

 1 969)

 2 008)

 2 042)

 

 2 119)

 2 210)

 1 969)

 2 008)

 2 042)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

1.   The increase in 2015‑16 reflects funding allocated for implementation planning for a Tasmanian Custodial Inspector of $150 000.

 


 

Table 18.5:        Statement of Financial Position as at 30 June

 

2015)

 

Budget)

2016)

 

Budget)

2017)

Forward)

Estimate)

2018)

Forward)

Estimate)

2019)

Forward)

Estimate)

 

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assets

 

 

 

 

 

Financial assets

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and deposits1

  124)

  256)

  234)

  212)

  190)

Receivables

  3)

  1)

  1)

  1)

  1)

 

  127)

  257)

  235)

  213)

  191)

Non-financial assets

 

 

 

 

 

Property, plant and equipment

  39)

  32)

  25)

  18)

  11)

Intangibles

  22)

  18)

  15)

  11)

  7)

 

  61)

  50)

  40)

  29)

  18)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

  188)

  307)

  275)

  242)

  209)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liabilities

 

 

 

 

 

Payables

  10)

  2)

  2)

  2)

  2)

Employee benefits1

  472)

  344)

  361)

  378)

  395)

Total liabilities

  482)

  346)

  363)

  380)

  397)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net assets (liabilities)

(294)

(39)

(88)

(138)

(188)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equity

 

 

 

 

 

Accumulated funds

(294)

(39)

(88)

(138)

(188)

Total equity

(294)

(39)

(88)

(138)

(188)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

1.   The increase in Cash and deposits and the decrease in Employee benefits in 2016 reflects revised estimates based on the 30 June 2014 actuals.

 


 

Table 18.6:        Statement of Cash Flows

 

2014-15)

 

Budget)

2015-16)

 

Budget)

2016-17)

Forward)

Estimate)

2017-18)

Forward)

Estimate)

2018-19)

Forward)

Estimate)

 

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

$'000)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from operating activities

 

 

 

 

 

Cash inflows

 

 

 

 

 

Appropriation receipts - recurrent1

 2 057)

 2 149)

 1 969)

 2 008)

 2 042)

Other cash receipts

  654)

  671)

  671)

  671)

  671)

 Total cash inflows

 2 711)

 2 820)

 2 640)

 2 679)

 2 713)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash outflows

 

 

 

 

 

Employee benefits1

(1 923)

(2 002)

(1 775)

(1 806)

(1 833)

Superannuation

(215)

(238)

(219)

(222)

(224)

Supplies and consumables

(591)

(579)

(583)

(586)

(589)

Other cash payments

(81)

(83)

(85)

(87)

(89)

Total cash outflows

(2 810)

(2 902)

(2 662)

(2 701)

(2 735)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net cash from (used by) operating activities

(99)

(82)

(22)

(22)

(22)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents held

(99)

(82)

(22)

(22)

(22)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and deposits at the beginning of the reporting period

  223)

  338)

  256)

  234)

  212)

Cash and deposits at the end of the reporting period

  124)

  256)

  234)

  212)

  190)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

1.   The increase in Appropriation receipts - recurrent and Employee benefits in 2015-16 reflects funding allocated for implementation planning for a Tasmanian Custodial Inspector of $150 000.