21    Office of the Ombudsman

Agency Outline

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:

·       Energy Ombudsman under the Energy Ombudsman Act 1998;

·       Coordinator of the Official Visitors Scheme under the Corrections Act 1997;

·       Principal Official Visitor under the Mental Health Act 2013;

·       providing administrative support for the Mental Health and Prison Official Visitors Programs; and

·       implementing the Right to Information Act 2009, the Personal Information Protection Act 2004 and the Public Interest Disclosures Act 2002.

The Health Complaints Commissioner operates under the Health Complaints Act 1995 and is responsible for promoting and protecting health rights, resolving complaints between health care users and providers and seeking improvements in the delivery of health services in Tasmania. The Commissioner achieves this through the conciliation, investigation and assessment of complaints, encouraging parties to resolve complaints between themselves and assisting providers to develop procedures to resolve complaints.

The Custodial Inspector is appointed by the Governor of Tasmania under the Custodial Inspector Act 2016 to provide independent, proactive, preventative and systemic oversight of custodial centres. The focus of the Inspector is on systemic issues relating to the management, control and security of the State’s prisons and youth detention centre and the care and welfare of prisoners and detainees.

This chapter provides financial information about the Outputs to be delivered by the Office of the Ombudsman in 2022‑23 and over the Forward Estimates (2023‑24 to 2025‑26). Further information about the Office is provided at www.ombudsman.tas.gov.au and www.healthcomplaints.tas.gov.au.


 

Key Deliverables

Table 21.1 provides a summary of the Budget and Forward Estimates allocations for key deliverables within the Office.

Table 21.1:       Key Deliverables Statement

 

2022‑23

 

Budget

2023‑24

Forward

Estimate

2024‑25

Forward

Estimate

2025‑26

Forward

Estimate

 

$'000

$'000

$'000

$'000

 

 

 

 

 

Health Complaints Commissioner Funding ‑ Patient rights and public safety

307

307

307

307

Scoping of OPCAT business operation requirements

344

....

....

....

 

 

 

 

 

Health Complaints Commissioner Funding ‑ Patient rights and public safety

Complaint resolution is a major function of the office of the Health Complaints Commissioner, which seeks to resolve complaints collaboratively between the parties. This initiative provides for the appointment of an additional Senior Investigation Officer and a Complaint Resolution Officer to improve the Office’s ability to respond to enquiries and resolve complaints.

Scoping of OPCAT business operation requirements

The Custodial Inspector is Tasmania’s National Preventative Measure under the OPCAT Implementation Act 2021, appointed to monitor all places where people are deprived of their liberty, in order to prevent torture and other ill treatment. This initiative provides capacity for additional resourcing and consultancy services to scope the requirements for Tasmania’s compliance with obligations under the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.


 

Output Information

Outputs of the Office of the Ombudsman are provided under the following Output Groups:

·       Output Group 1 ‑ The Office of the Ombudsman.

Table 21.2 provides an Output Group Expense Summary for the Office.

Table 21.2:       Output Group Expense Summary

 

2021‑22 

2022‑23 

2023‑24 

2024‑25 

2025‑26 

 

 

 

Forward 

Forward 

Forward 

 

Budget 

Budget 

Estimate 

Estimate 

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

3 945 

5 190 

4 825 

4 900 

4 986 

 

3 945 

5 190 

4 825 

4 900 

4 986 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

3 945 

5 190 

4 825 

4 900 

4 986 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

1.    The increase in this Output reflects additional expenditure for 2022‑23 Budget initiatives.

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 21.3:       Performance Information ‑ Output Group 1

Performance Measure1

Unit of

 Measure

2019‑20 Actual

2020‑21 Actual

2021‑22 Target

2022‑23 Target

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enquiries Finalised ‑ Ombudsman, Health Complaints and Energy Ombudsman2,3

Number

1 685

1 848

1 816

1 906

Complaints Finalised ‑ Ombudsman, Health Complaints and Energy Ombudsman2,4

Number

1 223

1 375

1 781

1 870

Cases Finalised per FTE5,6

Number

156

184

245

186

Complaints to Ombudsman, Health Complaints and Energy Ombudsman Resolved in Less Than Three Months2,4

%

 

 

80

 

 

79

 

 

80

 

 

80

Health Complaints Assessed Within Statutory Period of 45 days7

%

 

82

 

79

 

80

 

80

Health Complaints Assessed Within the Extended Statutory Period of 90 days7

%

 

91

 

88

 

90

 

90

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

1.    The number of Right to Information applications and the average time to complete RTI decisions is not included in the performance information.

2.    The Office expects the number of enquiries and complaints finalised to increase by approximately five per cent in 2022‑23.

3.    The Enquiries Finalised figures include out of jurisdiction enquiries received by the Office.

4.    The Complaints Finalised figures include Public Interest Disclosure notifications.

5.    'Case' includes enquiries and complaints managed by the Office.

6.    FTEs include all investigation staff and corporate administration support. FTEs exclude Official Visitor and Custodial Inspectorate staff who do not manage cases.

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

 

 


 

Detailed Budget Statements

Table 21.4:       Statement of Comprehensive Income

 

2021‑22 

2022‑23 

2023‑24 

2024‑25 

2025‑26 

 

 

 

Forward 

Forward 

Forward 

 

Budget 

Budget 

Estimate 

Estimate 

Estimate 

 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue and other income

 

 

 

 

 

Appropriation revenue - operating1

3 246 

4 417 

4 219 

4 294 

4 380 

Other revenue from government

93 

167 

.... 

.... 

.... 

Other revenue2

557 

557 

557 

557 

557 

Total revenue

3 896 

5 141 

4 776 

4 851 

4 937 

Total income

3 896 

5 141 

4 776 

4 851 

4 937 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expenses

 

 

 

 

 

Employee benefits1

3 079 

4 007 

3 889 

3 947 

4 017 

Depreciation and amortisation

32 

32 

32 

32 

32 

Supplies and consumables1

739 

1 054 

805 

820 

833 

Other expenses

95 

97 

99 

101 

104 

Total expenses

3 945 

5 190 

4 825 

4 900 

4 986 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net result

(49)

(49)

(49)

(49)

(49)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comprehensive result

(49)

(49)

(49)

(49)

(49)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

1.    The increase in Appropriation revenue ‑ operating, Employee benefits and Supplies and consumables reflects additional funding and associated expenditure for 2022‑23 Budget initiatives.

2.    Other revenue relates to the Energy Ombudsman Complaint Levy applied to Tasmanian energy entities to fund the operations of the Energy Ombudsman.


3.     

Table 21.5:       Revenue from Appropriation by Output

 

2021‑22 

2022‑23 

2023‑24 

2024‑25 

2025‑26 

 

 

 

Forward 

Forward 

Forward 

 

Budget 

Budget 

Estimate 

Estimate 

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

3 246 

4 417 

4 219 

4 294 

4 380 

 

3 246 

4 417 

4 219 

4 294 

4 380 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Office of the Ombudsman

 

 

 

 

 

Total Operating Services

3 246 

4 417 

4 219 

4 294 

4 380 

 

3 246 

4 417 

4 219 

4 294 

4 380 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appropriation Rollover

93 

167 

.... 

.... 

.... 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Revenue from Appropriation

3 339 

4 584 

4 219 

4 294 

4 380 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Controlled Revenue from Appropriation

3 339 

4 584 

4 219 

4 294 

4 380 

 

3 339 

4 584 

4 219 

4 294 

4 380 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

1.    The increase in this Output reflects additional revenue from appropriation for 2022‑23 Budget initiatives.

Table 21.6:       Statement of Financial Position as at 30 June

 

2022 

2023 

2024 

2025 

2026 

 

 

 

Forward 

Forward 

Forward 

 

Budget 

Budget 

Estimate 

Estimate 

Estimate 

 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assets

 

 

 

 

 

Financial assets

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and deposits

324 

383 

383 

383 

383 

Receivables1

19 

48 

48 

48 

48 

 

343 

431 

431 

431 

431 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non‑financial assets

 

 

 

 

 

Other assets

406 

464 

432 

400 

368 

 

406 

464 

432 

400 

368 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total assets

749 

895 

863 

831 

799 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liabilities

 

 

 

 

 

Payables

10 

10 

10 

10 

Employee benefits

595 

568 

585 

602 

619 

Total liabilities

602 

578 

595 

612 

629 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net assets (liabilities)

147 

317 

268 

219 

170 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equity

 

 

 

 

 

Accumulated funds

147 

317 

268 

219 

170 

Total equity

147 

317 

268 

219 

170 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:

1.    The increase in Receivables in 2023 reflects revised estimates based on 30 June 2021 actuals.


 

Table 21.7:       Statement of Cash Flows
 

2021‑22 

2022‑23 

2023‑24 

2024‑25 

2025‑26 

 

 

 

Forward 

Forward 

Forward 

 

Budget 

Budget 

Estimate 

Estimate 

Estimate 

 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

$'000 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash flows from operating activities

 

 

 

 

 

Cash inflows

 

 

 

 

 

Appropriation receipts ‑ operating

3 246 

4 417 

4 219 

4 294 

4 380 

Appropriation receipts ‑ other

93 

167 

.... 

.... 

.... 

Other cash receipts

557 

557 

557 

557 

557 

Total cash inflows

3 896 

5 141 

4 776 

4 851 

4 937 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash outflows

 

 

 

 

 

Employee benefits

(2 744)

(3 627)

(3 465)

(3 507)

(3 559)

Superannuation

(318)

(363)

(407)

(423)

(441)

Supplies and consumables

(739)

(1 054)

(805)

(820)

(833)

Other cash payments

(95)

(97)

(99)

(101)

(104)

Total cash outflows

(3 896)

(5 141)

(4 776)

(4 851)

(4 937)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net increase (decrease) in cash and cash equivalents held

.... 

.... 

.... 

.... 

.... 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and deposits at the beginning of the reporting period

324 

383 

383 

383 

383 

Cash and deposits at the end of the reporting period

324 

383 

383 

383 

383