Complaints about public authorities

You can contact our office if you have a complaint about Tasmanian state or local government administration.

We act independently and don't take sides.  We act in the public interest to resolve complaints and improve the standard of Tasmanian public administration.  You can complain to us if you think you have been treated unfairly or unreasonably by a Tasmanian public authority.

Some of the issues we look into include:

  • the actions of Tasmanian government departments and agencies
  • the provision of local government services
  • the treatment and welfare of people in prison
  • administrative actions of State-owned businesses and Government Business Enterprises.

Some examples of complaints we have investigated can be found on the Case Summaries page.

We can only help with the actions of Tasmanian public authorities.

For complaints about agencies in other States and Territories, please contact the  Ombudsman in that State or Territory

Issues we can't help with

We can't help with some issues such as:

  • Telephone or internet problems
  • Consumer retail matters including faulty purchases
  • Private rental property issues
  • Centrelink payments
  • Insurance, banking or superannuation matters
  • Employment conditions.

Other organisations are available to look into issues which we can't deal with, and they may be able to help you. Our Referrals Centre shows a list of issues we can't deal with, and gives contact details to agencies which may be able to help you.

Some public authorities and certain actions are outside the Ombudsman's jurisdiction so we can't take complaints about them, such as:

  • The Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General or the Director of Public Prosecutions
  • The Tasmanian Audit Office
  • Judges, associate judges, magistrates or courts
  • The actions of public authorities with respect to court proceedings in which they are involved
  • Actions taken by a tribunal or its members in the performance of its decision-making functions.

Complaint process

What do I need to do?

We ask that you raise your issue with the authority concerned and try to resolve it before submitting a complaint to our office.

Put your concerns in writing and give the authority a chance to respond.

If you would like some tips to help you increase your chances of having your complaint understood and acted upon, and making it more likely to get the result you want (although not guaranteed), please see our web page about 'smart complaining'.

If you are not satisfied with the authority's 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.

How to make your complaint

You can submit your complaint using our online complaint form, by calling us, or in person at our office. We will ask you to put it in writing before we make any inquiries. 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.

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.

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 inquiries 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 inquiries. Formal investigations can be complex and time-consuming. We will keep you up to date with progress.

Make your complaint

Make your complaint via our online form

If you would like a hard copy of the complaint form to fill in, you can ring us on 1800 001 170 and we can post one to you.  You can also download a form to complete (PDF, 100.2 KB).  Forms can be hand delivered, posted or emailed to us. We are at Level 6, NAB House, 86 Collins Street, Hobart. Our mailing address is GPO Box 960, Hobart, 7001. Our email address is:

If you need more information or are not sure, please contact us.

Complaints about us

If your complaint is about the outcome of a case, you can ask for an internal review.

If your complaint is about the service we provided while handling your case, please make an internal complaint.

If you remain dissatisfied with any aspect of the service we have provided, or you wish to complain about how we handled your matter, you can make an external complaint to the Joint Standing Committee on Integrity.