What we do

We assess complaints about government

We assess complaints to see if a government agency has been unfair, discriminatory or unjust. This is called maladministration. Examples of maladministration include:

  • taking an unreasonable amount of time
  • not following procedures
  • providing misleading or inadequate advice
  • refusing to answer reasonable questions.

If you think an ACT Government agency or ACT Policing has been unfair or done something wrong, we might be able to help you. For advice on the types of complaints we can consider see What we can help you with.

We provide specialist functions

The ACT Ombudsman has a variety of specialist functions which it performs on behalf of the ACT Government, including:

ACT Reportable Conduct Scheme

We monitor how organisations in the ACT manage allegations of child abuse – see Reportable Conduct Scheme.

Freedom of Information

We help people access government information. This includes monitoring how government agencies process freedom of information requests. We work with agencies to encourage them to proactively release information – see Freedom of Information.

ACT Policing Oversight

We don’t just assess complaints about ACT Policing, we monitor how they use surveillance powers – see Oversight of ACT Policing.

Inspector of the ACT Integrity Commission

We are responsible for oversight of the new ACT Integrity Commission – see Inspector of the ACT Integrity Commission.

Public interest disclosures

If a person suspects serious misuse of public resources they can make a complaint. This is called a public interest disclosure (PID). You can make a PID to the ACT Ombudsman. We also look at how agencies handle whistleblower reports – see Public Interest Disclosures.

What is an Ombudsman?

If you complain to an organisation and they don't resolve your complaint, then an Ombudsman may be able to assist you.

In Australia, every state and territory has an Ombudsman. They respond to complaints about state and territory governments. There is also the Commonwealth Ombudsman who responds to complaints about Commonwealth government agencies. There are also industry specific Ombudsman such as the Energy and Water Ombudsman. In the ACT, this function is performed by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT).

Ombudsman are independent, impartial and provide a free service.