The Ombudsman is an Officer of Parliament which means our office is independent of government.

The Ombudsman receives and considers complaints from members of the public about Northern Territory Government departments, statutory authorities, local government councils, Northern Territory Police or Correctional Services.

Most complaints are resolved quickly by way of preliminary inquiry or by the use of alternative dispute resolution processes. A few matters may be moved into a major investigation. We often make recommendations based on our investigations which lead to improvements in administrative practice.

There are some matters over which we do not have jurisdiction, such as

  • decisions of Ministers and Cabinet (although the Ombudsman can review the accuracy and appropriateness of information provided to the Minister and upon which a Minister’s decision was made);
  • actions and decisions of persons operating judicially;
  • the Director of Public Prosecutions;
  • counsel or legal advisors to the Territory;
  • the Coroner’s office;
  • actions of a Magistrate or Justice;
  • employment related matters where the person making the complaint is employed in the service of a government department or statutory authority;
  • the actions of Commonwealth or interstate departments or agencies (these matters should be referred to the Commonwealth Ombudsman or, as the case may be, the Ombudsman of the relevant State or Territory); and
  • the actions of private individuals or businesses (e.g. insurance or telephone companies)

Normally, we do not investigate complaints if you have:

  • known about the problem for more than 12 months before complaining;
  • another right of review you have not used; or
  • not attempted to resolve the problem with the agency concerned.

If your complaint does not fall within our jurisdiction, we will endeavour to find an appropriate body which is able to deal with your specific concern and help facilitate a referral.

You can find more information on other complaints handling bodies here.