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ACT Government excoriated by the Ombudsman

By johnboy - 14 June 2011 3

On Friday the Canberra Times dropped a bombshell with a savage attack on the operation of the ACT Government by the Ombudsman Allan Asher.

The public service watchdog has slammed the ACT Government for ignoring Canberrans’ complaints, saying it prefers to spend ”millions on consultants’ advice” than listen to the people it serves.

ACT Ombudsman Allan Asher also extended his criticism to the Greens and the Liberals, accusing them of showing little interest in fixing the problem.

Pollyanna, as usual, is blissfully ignorant of a problem:

However, Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said last night she was unaware that Mr Asher held such views.

”It has not been raised directly with me and I’m more than happy to meet with [the] Ombudsman to focus on continuously improving our complaints-handling processes.”

Anyone want to take bets on the ombudsman’s budget next year?

What’s Your opinion?


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3 Responses to
ACT Government excoriated by the Ombudsman
damien haas 5:39 pm 15 Jun 11

I have read that article and I thought Id bring some balance to the ‘public consultation’ side of things.

It really varies from agency to agency. Some just dont really care about consultation, and actively avoid doing so, or they will convene a special group of selected parties and point to that as a stakeholder group endorsing govt action. Reports arising from this consultation will not appear, 18 months after they were due to.

The consultation on Molonglo has been largely drive by LDA and many issues ignored in the quest to maximise revenue.

Some agencies do consult, and effectively. I thought that the Urban Forest review, conducted under Maxine Coopers direction was excellent.

Then we get to you and me. I went along to the Gungahlin meeting on the proposed new waste strategies late last year. It looked at green waste, recycling, rubbish collection, plastic bags etc. It was well advertised and when I arrived I was one of three people from the public. There were six people from govt on hand to answer questions.

I know its hard to get out what with new episodes of Drew Carey on the box, but really 3 people out of the tens of thousands in Gungahlin was appalling.

Its easy to throw a post up on Riotact or ‘like’ somethng on facebook, but if you dont engage in public issues, then when your rubbish bin is replaced with a bucket – dont complain you werent consulted.

dazzab 4:21 pm 15 Jun 11

Does anyone else appreciate the irony of the Ombudsman stating the ACT Government doesn’t listen and the reaction from the Chief Minister in stating that she wasn’t aware? Hmm. Maybe she wasn’t listening?

WillowJim 4:07 pm 15 Jun 11

I’m pretty sure he gets most of his funding from the Commonwealth. But it’s worth you keeping a close watch on the ACT-funded component of his budget.

The story also says he hasn’t got much history as a public servant (a good thing, I reckon, for an office like his). Perhaps he’s unaware of the political consequences of such brazenness/honesty?

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