Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman

We consider and investigate complaints from people who believe they have been treated unfairly or unreasonably by an Australian Government department or agency, including Australia Post, Centrelink, Child Support Agency, and Department of Immigration and Citizenship. The Commonwealth Ombudsman is also the ACT Ombudsman.

Our aim is to resolve complaints impartially, informally and quickly. If we cannot assist with a particular complaint, we will explain why, and suggest other avenues for resolving the matter.

We cannot override the decisions of the agencies we deal with, nor issue directions to their staff. Instead, we resolve disputes through consultation and negotiation, and if necessary, by making formal recommendations to the most senior levels of government. Since the inception of the Commonwealth Ombudsman's office in 1977, we have assisted in resolving many thousands of individual complaints, and brought about significant improvements in the quality of government administration.

  • Our history
    Contains a general history of the Ombudsman's office in Australia with profiles of each Commonwealth Ombudsman and timelines of legislative changes and responsibilities during their respective periods of office.
  • Government accountability
    Contains lists of our administrative files, Freedom of Information procedures, Portfolio Budget Statements and other information related to accountability and transparency.
  • Complaints about us
    If you are unhappy with our service or decision and would like to make a complaint, please contact us.
  • Making a public interest disclosure about us
    If you wish to make a public interest disclosure about this office please contact us.
  • Working with others
    We are committed to ensuring that all Australians are aware of the services and assistance available from the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
  • Information for agencies - Dealing with the Commonwealth Ombudsman's office
    An overview of the Ombudsman's role, powers and responsibilities, and how the office deals with complaints and approaches to assist agencies and individuals dealing with Ombudsman enquiries and investigations.