Australian Federal Police (AFP)
Complaints made on or after 30 December 2006
The Ombudsman is also the Law Enforcement Ombudsman and can investigate complaints about the actions of AFP members and about the policies, practices and procedures of the AFP as an agency.
Anyone can make a complaint about the AFP, but we encourage you to try to resolve your concerns with the AFP before you make a complaint to the Law Enforcement Ombudsman.
AFP Professional Standards (PRS) is responsible for resolving complaints about the actions of AFP appointees in accordance with Part V of the Australian Federal Police Act 1979. The Ombudsman reports to the Parliament, at least annually, on the comprehensiveness and adequacy of the AFP’s complaint handling.
If you remain dissatisfied after making a complaint to the AFP, you can make a complaint to the Commonwealth Ombudsman under the Ombudsman Act 1976.
Complaints made before 30 December 2006
Complaints made about the AFP before 30 December 2006 are jointly managed by the AFP and the Ombudsman under the Complaints (Australian Federal Police) Act 1981. In most cases complaints are investigated by the AFP's Professional Standards Team, but the Ombudsman may take over an investigation or, in some circumstances including where a complaint is about practices and procedures, conduct the investigation from the start.
The Ombudsman has oversight of investigations conducted by AFP's Professional Standards team, and only the Ombudsman can decide an investigation should not be conducted, although many complaints are resolved by conciliation. The Act provides for disciplinary action against AFP appointees and for the Ombudsman to report following an investigation.