• In 2016–17 we received a total of 41,301 approaches, 9% more than last year. 85 per cent of complaints were finalised within 90 days.1
  • We received 4,213 postal industry complaints representing an 18 per cent decrease from 2015–16.
  • We received 429 complaints about the National Disability Insurance Agency, a significant increase from the 62 complaints received in 2015–16.2
  • The Immigration Ombudsman made 475 recommendations, from a record number of 1,325 assessments sent to the Minister, compared to 490 recommendations the previous year.
  • In 2016–17 the Overseas Students Ombudsman started 349 complaint investigations and completed 356, compared to 315 investigations started and 291 completed last year.
  • The Office launched the new Defence Force abuse reporting function, established the Vocational Education and Training (VET) Student Loans Ombudsman, the ACT Reportable Conduct Scheme and the ACT Judicial Council.
  • Overall, 84% of people who complained to the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman were satisfied or very satisfied with the handling of their complaints.
  • The Office conducted 63 inspections/reviews of the use of covert, intrusive or coercive powers by law enforcement and regulatory agencies.
  • In 2016–17 the Defence Force Ombudsman received 635 complaints about Defence agencies, compared to 491 in 2015–16, as well as 163 reports of serious abuse within Defence under the new jurisdiction which commenced on 1 December 2016.
  • A total of 684 public interest disclosures were received in 2016–17, with 57 of 176 agencies receiving one or more.
  • The Commonwealth Ombudsman continued its international engagement with 8 countries across the Pacific and Asia to develop and share best practice in complaint-handling and to strengthen integrity functions.



Date of publication: September 2017

Publisher: Commonwealth Ombudsman, Canberra Australia

© Commonwealth of Australia 2017

ISSN: 2206–8619

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Design: Papercut

1 Please note that this calculation is only for those that were closed as complaints (or investigated) rather than all records received (approaches and complaints).

2 The escalation in complaints was not unexpected given that around 90,000 additional participants were due to access the Scheme during the year.