Go TO Content

Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass Speaks at Control Yuan

  • PostDate:2018-06-20

Ms. Deborah Glass, the Ombudsman for the southeastern Australian state of Victoria, left for Taiwan on a private visit and came to the Control Yuan on June 8, 2018. She was received by CY President Chang Po-ya and several CY members, engaging in open and friendly discussions on Ombudsman-related affairs.
Prior to the discussion, Ms. Glass learned more about the procedures for receiving complaints with a visit to the Complaint Receipt Center. Through a guided tour of the display room and the plenary meeting hall, she was given a glimpse into the history of the supervision system in the ROC and had the opportunity to enjoy the CY building’s architecture.
During the visit, Ms. Glass also delivered a speech entitled, “Good Governance Promotion and Human Rights Protection–The Practice of the Victorian Ombudsman.” In the speech, she noted that the Ombudsman system exists as the result of the power imbalance between the state and the individual, which makes ordinary citizens vulnerable when dealing with the government. The Ombudsman’s mission is to protect human rights by standing on the side of the public, deeply probing issues, and exposing and rectifying poor public administration.
Ms. Glass also pointed out that it is not necessary to expend huge resources and carry out exhaustive investigations to resolve every complaint filed by a citizen. For example, over 30,000 of the more than 40,000 complaints filed with the Victorian Ombudsman last year were resolved using an early resolution mechanism that achieved informal outcomes with efficient use of public resources. Formal enquiries were required in just 4,463 cases, while formal investigations were needed in only 29 cases.
Regarding human rights, Ms. Glass noted that Victoria is the only state in Australia to date to have enacted a Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act. Therefore, the work of the Ombudsman is closely related to human rights protection. She gave the example of the case of two teenage girls being treated violently by a train ticket collector after being caught ticketless. The Ombudsman decided to investigate the case and determined in its final report that the two girls’ human rights had been seriously violated.
Upon her departure, Ms. Glass said she was delighted to have had the opportunity to visit the Control Yuan and expressed the hope that there would be more exchanges and cooperation between the CY and the Victorian Ombudsman on working to promote good governance and safeguard human rights.