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Commonwealth Ombudsman

The Commonwealth Ombudsman's Office was created by the Ombudsman Act 1976 (Cth).

The Ombudsman’s Office can investigate and receive complaints from people who believe that they have been unfairly treated by Commonwealth government departments and agencies (e.g. Centrelink). This includes private contractors delivering services on behalf of the Commonwealth government.

The Ombudsman also acts in the following specialist roles:

  • Law Enforcement Ombudsman

In this capacity the Ombudsman nhas a role in the oversight of the Australian Federal Police’s administrative processes associated with complaints handling.

  • Defence Force Ombudsman

Can receive and investigate complaints from serving and former members of the Defence Forces or their dependants about offical actions in relation to their service. From 1 December 2016 the Ombudsman’s role has been expanded to include an abuse reporting function for the report of sexual abuse, serious physical abuse and serious bullying and harassment within Defence for those who feel unable to access internal mechanisms within Defence.

  • Immigration Ombudsman

In this capacity the Ombudsman has oversight over the full range of functions undertaken by the Department of Home Affairs including powers to review immigration detention cases and facilities.

  • Postal Industry Ombudsman

Investigates complaints about Australia Post and registered private postal operators.

  • Overseas Students Ombudsman

Investigates complaints about privately registered education providers in their dealings with overseas students.

  • Private Health Insurance Ombudsman

Investigate complaints in relation to private health insurance providers.

Commonwealth Ombudsman  :  Last Revised: Tue Jun 5th 2018
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.