TUESDAY, JULY 31: The independent Ombudsman and Premier Paula Cox are to meet on a regular basis, it was revealed today.
Ombudsman Arlene Brock said Ms Cox had requested a meeting after she expressed concerns about the constitutional independence of the Ombudsman in her 2011 annual report.
Ms Brock spoke out after she came under pressure not to launch an inquiry into the procedure for Special Development Orders (SDOs), which she began in the wake of the controversial SDO for a hotel development at Tucker’s Point.
Ms Brock said: “We agreed to meet from time to time in future to ensure frank, cordial communication and clarification about procedural and other concerns.
“While we may not be in full accord on every substantive issue, I am confident that such periodic communication will enhance mutual understanding, support for the oversight function of the office and shared commitment to promote the principles of good governance.”
The Ombudsman's staff investigates complaints about the administrative actions of public authorities, including Government departments, boards and other bodies established or funded by the legislature.
In addition, the office of the Ombudsman can conduct investigations on its own account if it is considered to be a matter of public interest even if there has been no complaint made to it.