Complaints the Ombudsman can investigate
The Commonwealth Ombudsman can investigate complaints about the administrative actions of Australian Government departments and agencies. The Ombudsman has special responsibilities for complaints relating to the Australian Defence Force, Australian Federal Police, Freedom of Information, Immigration, the Postal Industry and Taxation detailed below.
- Australian Government agencies and services
The Ombudsman can investigate complaints about the actions and decisions of Australian Government agencies to see if they are wrong, unjust, unlawful, discriminatory or just plain unfair. He can also investigate complaints about goods and services delivered by contractors for and on behalf of the Australian Government.
- Australian Federal Police
You can make a complaint about the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to the Commonwealth Ombudsman or directly to the AFP. The Commonwealth Ombudsman and the AFP's Professional Standards have joint responsibility for handling complaints about the AFP.
- Australian Defence Force
Under our legislation the Commonwealth Ombudsman is also the Defence Force Ombudsman. The Ombudsman investigates complaints about the Australian Defence Force (ADF) relating to or arising from present or past service.
- Freedom of Information
If you are dissatisfied with an agency's decision on your Freedom of Information request you should first ask for the decision to be internally reviewed. If you are not happy with the agency review, you can complain to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
The Commonwealth Ombudsman can investigate complaints about the Department of Immigration and Citizenship in the same way as any other Australian Government department or agency.
- Postal Industry
Legislation to create a separate office of Postal Industry Ombudsman (PIO) within the office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman was passed by Parliament on 29 March 2006 and took effect later in 2006.
The Commonwealth Ombudsman has a specialist tax team who focuses on the problems arising between taxpayers and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
- Overseas Students
The legal basis for the creation of the Overseas Students Ombudsman (OSO) role within the office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman is the Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Legislation Amendment Act 2011, passed by the Australian Parliament on 21 March 2011.