A former state Director of Public Prosecutions has condemned the treatment of Public Trustee clients by staff and management in an independent review of the government body.
Damian Bugg's report on the government business enterprise, released on Wednesday, contained 28 recommendations for improvement for the service and guardianship system.
He recommended all staff be properly trained in recordkeeping and accurate inventory recording when the trustee possessed property.
Mr Bugg said the trustee needed to develop a customer-centric model and train staff on customer service standards.
He said the Tasmanian Economic Regulator should undertake a review of the Public Trustee's fees and charges.
Mr Bugg received 71 submissions from individuals and stakeholders for the review.
He said some submissions raised a lack of explanation over why particular actions were taken by the trustee which led to an impression that people were being wronged.
"Some submissions received were also critical of actions taken quickly and apparently without proper discussion, understanding or referral resulting in disposal of property which had value, possessions with sentimental value," Mr Bugg said.
In one case, a man who had been subject to an emergency order following hospitalisation was moved to care and placed on an administration order.
The Public Trustee made plans to close the lease on his rented accommodation and clear out his home.
In a relayed message to the man, it was asked whether he would like anything from him home to which he replied no, thinking it was a question about whether he wanted anything while he was in care over the short term.
His home was then cleared.
Mr Bugg said a lack of reporting on the status of some represented persons' finances was also raised.
He noted a mother, frustrated for answers about payment practices from the trustee for her 50-year-old son, travelled to Hobart to speak to management.
When she refused to leave to head office, police were called.
The attending officer listened to the woman's grievance and suggested a manager speak with her.
After an internal review, the woman was issued with an apology over how the situation was handled.
Mr Bugg said that he informed the Public Trustee he wanted to further investigate matters raised in 29 submissions, but the body had tried to prevent to release of files and records relating to the people involved under the Personal Information Protection Act.
He overcame this legal prohibition after authority to investigate was granted by Attorney-General Elise Archer.
Ms Archer said the government would take the time to consider the report.
"While some of the findings may be tough to hear, they are an opportunity to continue to improve the processes and systems of the Public Trustee and provide for a better client focus in order to meet its statutory obligations and community expectations into the future," she said.
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