Tax Commissioner faces grilling

By Julian Bajkowski A claimed rise in complaints to the Commonwealth Ombudsman about the Australian Taxation Office is set to take centre stage today when Taxation Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo comes before the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit (JCPAA) this morning. In a curtain raiser to what is anticipated to be a fiesty exchange, […]

Watchdog cautions Customs on ‘intrusive’ searches

By Angela Dorizas The Commonwealth Ombudsman, Allan Asher, has received complaints from travellers about the "unfair and unnecessarily intrusive" behaviour of Customs officers. Mr Asher today warned that coercive powers of Customs officers must be lawful and reasonable. “These coercive powers allow the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service to question international travellers, search baggage, copy documents […]

Ombudsman receives fewer complaints

The Commonwealth Ombudsman has reported a decline in the number of complaints received in the past financial year. The Ombudsman’s annual report found that in 2009-10 the office received 37, 468 approaches and complaints. This represented an 18 per cent reduction in the number of complaints received in the previous year. Of the approaches and […]

Government welcomes new watchdog

The Federal Government has appointed Allan Asher as the new Commonwealth Ombudsman. Mr Asher is currently the inaugural chief executive of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network. He previously held positions as the chief executive of EnergyWatch in the UK and non-executive Board Member of the UK Office of Fair Trading. He was also deputy […]

Ombudsmen fundamental to democracy: Brent

Public sector officials have been reminded of the importance of government 'watchdogs' by the Acting Commonwealth and ACT Ombudsman Ron Brent. The Ombudsman’s new office premises were officially opened last week by Cabinet Secretary and Special Minister of State Senator Joe Ludwig. Mr Brent used the occasion to remind government officials of the relevancy of […]

Dealing with CDDA claims

The Commonwealth Ombudsman has released a new fact sheet on best practice principles for agencies to follow when dealing with claims for compensation for detriment caused by defective administration (CDDA). The CDDA Scheme was established to allow Australian Government agencies to provide compensation to members of the public who have suffered loss or damage because […]


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