Australian Government agencies and services
The Ombudsman can investigate complaints about the actions and decisions of Australian Government agencies actions and decisions to see if they are wrong, unjust, unlawful, discriminatory or just plain unfair. The Ombudsman also seeks remedies for those affected by administrative deficiencies, and acts to improve public administration.
The Ombudsman has strong investigatory powers. If required, officers working in government agencies must produce documents, and answer questions under oath during Ombudsman investigations. The types of complaints that can be investigated include problems with Centrelink and Veterans’ Affairs benefits, child support payments and immigration decisions.
Changes in legislation mean that the Ombudsman can also investigate complaints about government contractors providing goods and services to the public under a contract with a government agency, including those associated with immigration detention centres, Job Network and the Welfare to Work program.
The Ombudsman can't investigate complaints about:
- private individuals or companies
- decisions of courts or tribunals
- employment disputes (except in the Australian Defence Force)
- actions of State or local governments
- actions of government ministers and
- actions of some government business enterprises.