How to make a complaint

Your first step

Before you contact the Ombudsman, try to resolve the issue with the public authority involved. Put your concerns in writing and give the authority a chance to respond. If you are not satisfied with their answer or if there is a long delay, you can complain to the Ombudsman.

Usually the Ombudsman will not accept your complaint if another means of review is or was open to you - for instance by applying to a court or tribunal - and you have not made use of that.

Making a complaint

You can make your complaint by phone (1800 001 170) or in person at our office, but we will ask you to put it in writing before we make any enquiries.

Use the online complaint form, the printable complaint form or contact us and we'll send you a copy. You can return it by mail, fax or email:

Explain your concerns simply and clearly and tell us what you hope to achieve by making the complaint. Please include as many relevant details as you can: the dates of key events, the names of people you've contacted and copies of letters and documents.

Don't wait too long before contacting us, usually the Ombudsman will not accept a complaint if the issue goes back more than two years.

If you need assistance to complete and lodge the complaint, contact us.

What happens next?

Our first step is to ensure that your complaint is within the Ombudsmans jurisdiction. We can only take complaints about the administrative actions of Tasmanian public authorities from people personally affected by those actions. For more information on what you can complain about, go to FAQs.

If we can't handle your complaint, we'll usually refer you to someone else who can.

If we accept your complaint, an investigation officer will make preliminary enquiries to try and resolve the complaint without a formal investigation. We usually ask for a response from the authority and we may also seek other views, inspect documents and conduct interviews.

Most complaints are resolved by these preliminary enquiries. Formal investigations can be complex and time-consuming. We will keep you up to date with progress.

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