Before making your complaint

Have you contacted the Agency?

Many government authorities have internal enquiry, complaint, appeal or review processes that give you the chance to ask about or challenge an action or decision. You should raise any concerns you have through internal agency processes before making a complaint to us.

In some cases, there is a statutory right to appeal or seek a review of a decision. The Ombudsman Act stops the Ombudsman from investigating in those cases unless it is necessary to avoid injustice. The agency you are complaining about should advise you if there is a legislated appeals process or right to seek a review.

Once you have raised your issues with the agency you should allow a reasonable time for the agency to respond. Depending on the complexity of the matter and the issues raised this may take several weeks. If you have not already given the agency a reasonable chance to respond, we will probably refer you back to the agency.

For more information about how to raise your complaint with the agency see our Agency complaints contacts page

Is your matter more than one year old?

The Ombudsman must not consider a complaint that relates to a matter that happened more than one year ago unless special circumstances exist. If a matter is more than one year old, you will need to provide significant reasons why the Ombudsman should investigate.

Are you representing someone else?

If you are representing someone else, you need to show us that you are authorised to act for them. You will need to attach a written authority from the person you are representing (unless you are representing your child and they are under 18 years old).

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