The Commonwealth Ombudsman published the third edition in his ongoing Insights Report series. This edition focuses on preventing unreasonable delay and managing the impact of delay on individuals using government services.
This report provides practical strategies for agencies to adopt to prevent administrative delays. It draws on insights gained by the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman following its investigation of administrative issues in service-delivery agencies.
Agencies are encouraged to adopt triage systems, ensure staff are suitably trained and supported in their decision-making, have mechanisms in place to support the timely receipt of information, and have processes for managing staff absences and turnover.
The report acknowledges there will be situations where delays cannot be avoided, and provides guidance on how agencies can manage the impact of delay on individuals in these circumstances. Agencies are encouraged to publish timeliness standards, acknowledge requests when received, provide progress updates to individuals, advise of delays when they become known, and consider broader communications to individuals impacted by backlogs.
The Commonwealth Ombudsman considers that proactively preventing and managing administrative delays holds benefits for both individuals and agencies—including to minimise detriment for individuals claiming payments or other services, and improving client satisfaction. Agencies that avoid delays may expect to receive fewer client contacts and ultimately, complaints.
This is the third edition of the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s insights series. For more information, download the report in PDF form below or click here to view the full collection of insights reports.
Source: Commonwealth Ombudsman, Australia