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 Report 34

Access to Administrative Review by Members of Australia's Ethnic Communities, 1991

Summary of the report

The report was transmitted to the Government on 14 July 1991, and tabled on 6 May 1992.

Survey results, undertaken for the purposes of the report, showed: widespread ignorance of the existence of administrative review agencies; and, a limited understanding of the concept of administrative review, and the fact that a person may complain about, or appeal against, a government decision. A second survey showed that the aims of the intervention activities, undertaken for the purposes of educating this sector of the Australian community, had been substantially met.

Response to the report

A recommendation that the Ombudsman be given a greater role in the promotion of administrative review was considered by the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration, in its report Review of the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The Government's response to that report was tabled in the Senate on 15 December 1992. That response provided limited additional financial support ($30,000) for publicising the Office of the Ombudsman, targeted at low income and disadvantaged people. A further $25,000 was provided for the Ombudsman to conduct a survey of public awareness of the Office.

The Government formally responded to the report in May 1995. The response was included as part of the then Government's Justice Statement, setting out a national strategy to enhance access to the justice system. While the response supported the majority of the Council's recommendations, it noted that many of the recommendations had been fully or partly implemented by the Government or had been overtaken by subsequent events. The response described the implementation of the relevant recommendations by reference to various measures being undertaken by some agencies in their implementation of the then Government's Access and Equity Strategy.