Attorney-General Elise Archer has formally apologised on behalf of the government for the hurt and distress inflicted on Public Trustee clients by the government business.
A damning review of the Public Trustee was released on Wednesday which showed clients were ignored by staff members who controlled their assets and finances and complaints had been treated with indifference.
The report, by Damian Bugg, said the Public Trustee had misunderstood its duties as an administrator under state laws.
The Public Trustee was one of the government businesses last to be scrutinised before the official end of the parliamentary year on Friday.
Ms Archer at the hearing apologised to vulnerable Tasmanians, their families and supporters who had been hurt by inappropriate handling of their cases.
"We hope those affected will accept our acknowledgement that there have been failures by the Public Trustee to deliver important services which appears to be due to a misunderstanding of its responsibilities and accountabilities in carrying out its functions under the legislative frameworks," she said.
Ms Archer said there had been no finding from the review that issues raised were a result of willful blindness of the Public Trustee, rather a need to clarify its role under law.
She said she did not believe lack of client engagement was a result of under-resourcing.
"If extra resources are needed to ensure the continued and improved operation of this important authority, we will consider it," Ms Archer said.
Labor's justice spokeswoman Ella Haddad said vulnerable Tasmanians had been let down by the Public Trustee for a significant amount of time.
She said questions asked during the scrutiny hearing were answered in a dismissive way by the body's representatives, particularly in regard to communication issues and recordkeeping.
Ms Haddad said the Public Trustee should not need a review to inform it that its service should be client-based.
Greens leader Cassy O'Connor said every parliamentarian had heard of stories of clients being disenfranchised by the Public Trustee.
"And they have ended up as broken people," she said.
Ms O'Connor said the Public Trustee's misunderstanding of its role and responsibilities had caused enormous suffering and loss for certain clients.
The Public Trustee's board in a statement said it looked forward to working with the government and stakeholders to improve its services.
"In particular, we will work with the government to ensure that the interpretation and implementation of our duties in accordance with the Guardianship and Administration Act is clear and in line with expectations," it said.
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