Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you can't find the answer to your question on this page, please contact us.

Anyone with a complaint against a Tasmanian public authority can raise an issue with the Ombudsman. You can do this yourself or ask someone to represent you. Your local Member of Parliament can also make a complaint on your behalf.

Nothing. The services of the Ombudsman are free.

You can complain to us if you think a Tasmanian public authority has treated you unfairly or unreasonably.

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.

For interstate public authorities please contact the Ombudsman in your area.

If your complaint is not about a Tasmanian public authority, there may be other organisations who can help you.

Yes. Depending on the nature of your complaint, however, it may make it more difficult to look into your complaint, especially if it is concerning your personal situation. We also may not be able to let you know the outcome of our inquiries or if we have decided to take no action.

The Ombudsman will not usually investigate a complaint if you have known about the issue for more than two years, unless there is a reasonable excuse for the delay.

We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint quickly and assess it carefully. As a first step, we will usually contact the authority to seek their response. Most complaints are resolved at this early stage.

The Ombudsman might decide to formally investigate your complaint and if necessary, we can examine the authority's files and interview witnesses.

If your complaint is upheld, we can make recommendations to the authority about how any problems should be resolved. We cannot require the authority to act in a particular way but most comply with our recommendations. If they do not, and we believe it is in the public interest to do so, we can report their non-compliance to Parliament.

Some complaints can be resolved quickly, others take longer. Formal investigations can take several months. We will keep you informed of progress throughout the process and report the results.

If you do not agree with our decision, you can ask for a review. These reviews are handled by a senior member of our staff who has not been involved in your complaint.