The Ombudsman is Your Friend

Firstly I’d like to thank you. Dispute It has only been up for a few weeks and is getting overwhelming support from the community.

Based on feedback from the users in the first few weeks the following improvements have been made to the bot:

NSW State Debt Recovery Office(SDRO)
In NSW after 28 days the State Debt Recovery Office(SDRO) takes over the processing and enforcement of a fine. It may be worth waiting until then before requesting a review as the SDRO are generally more lenient and have an online process for requesting a review (rather than having to send snail mail). Request a review online from this page http://www.sdro.nsw.gov.au/fines/pn/review.php

This information has been added to the bot when you select NSW as the state the fine was issued in and you have a valid scenario for a review.

The Ombudsman is an Option When Your Review is Rejected
Tim made a comment on the site that his review had been rejected by the council and that his lawyer had suggested that an alternative option to taking it to court would be to complain to the ombudsman.

There is an Ombudsman office for each Australian state and territory. This office will independently and impartially investigate, review and resolve complaints concerning state, territory, local government departments and agencies; statutory authorities; public servants; local councillors and council staff; police and public universities (under state legislation). Any person, organisation or association or MP on behalf of a constituent can make a complaint. There is no charge to you.

I did some digging and found that there were indeed cases taken to ombudsman in each state where a review was rejected and there is substantial objective evidence that the decision by the issuing agency was wrong or there was an administrative error.

I also found comments made by councils that they really didn’t like that more and more cases were being taken to the ombudsman as it is at their cost. Since it costs you nothing and they don’t like it I believe that this is an excellent option for us to hold them accountable.

This option has been added to the bot as it’s own question when you have a fine from either the Council or University. It gives a link to the online complaint form for the ombudsman in the relevant state.

UPDATE – After further investigation it appears the ombudsman will only consider reviewing cases that have already been to court. This is unfortunate as there is considerable additional financial risk in taking a fine to court. I’ve removed this from the bot for now and will see if it makes sense to add it in again later. 

The Sign Was Changed After I Stopped The Vehicle
Josh made a comment on the site that that sign was changed after he parked there so I have added this as a scenario to ask for a review.

This is a tough one to get good evidence to dispute as in his situation the sign wasn’t there when he parked and then he received the fine when he got back.

Dispute It In the News

If you haven’t seen already Dispute It has been covered on a variety of media including:

    

How You Can Help

Tell Your Friends
Please share http://disputeit.org with your friends and tell them to share it with anyone that they know who has had a parking fine. When you receive a fine there is only a brief window (around 56 days) before you will receive an enforcement order we need people to know about Dispute It in this window but before they have paid it.

Share Your Success Stories
If you have successfully had your parking fine waived we need to hear from you. Please either email me or comment on the website with your story.

Do You Need Help?
If you have tried the bot and it couldn’t help you please comment or email and I’ll see if there is anything else we can do for your specific case.

Suggestions, Feedback & Improvements
I would love feedback on the existing system & process or suggestions on what improvements could be made next.

Thanks again 🙂
Scott.

 

 

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