National nobbles Ombudsman | The Jackal

1 Mar 2013

National nobbles Ombudsman

I've been waiting for nearly 8 months now for the Minister of ACC, Judith Collins, to respond to an Official Information Act (PDF) request I made in June 2012, and this week received a letter from the Deputy Ombudsman concerning a complaint I made about that request for information not being adhered to:

As at 17 February 2013, we have over 2,800 complaints on hand and limited investigator capacity. We are therefore not in a position to be able to investigate all of the complaints before us at the same time. This has meant that we are experiencing delays in progressing some of the complaints before us and, in particular, delays in being able to allocate complaints to the investigators who assist the Ombudsmen to undertake their enquiries. At present, we have approximately 450 complaints that we have not yet been able to allocate to investigators. Your complaint is one of those awaiting allocation to an investigator.

We are taking a number of steps to progress the complaints before us as quickly as possible, within the resources that we have available. In particular, I have allocated additional staffing resources to our Intake and Assessment Team to assist with the initial assessment of all incoming complaints and to ensure that we are able to reply to all incoming correspondence on those complaints in a more timely fashion.

Clearly the Ombudsman doesn't have enough staff to deal with the influx of complaints that will mostly be concerned with the failings of the current defunct administration.

If nothing else, that increase of complaints shows the government has become even more dysfunctional under National.

In my opinion, Nationals failure to adequately resource the office of the Ombudsman is a deliberate ploy on their part to stymie their ability to investigate complaints properly.

It's also a way for ministers to not have to release information that will highlight their incompetency... Talk about manipulative!