Access our information

Every person has a right to access ACT government information. You can access:

  • personal information about you
  • policy-related documents
  • details about public programs and resources
  • government expenditure and agency operations
  • research used in decision-making

Information held by the Ombudsman's office

As an independent oversight agency responsible for resolving complaints from individuals, we hold information related to this functions including:

  1. Complaints and investigations information—including related:
    • correspondence
    • background material and advice
    • records of conversations and consultations
    • analysis and reports.
  2. Information outlining how our Office implements our functions—including information outlining:
    • our administrative processes/procedures
    • development and/or implementation of new policies and/or legislation.
  3. Information relating to the management of our Office—including information about:
    • staffing arrangements
    • contracting and financial management
    • asset management.

Information already published

We make a range of information available for public access on our website. We recommend you search our website first to see if you can find what you are looking for.

This includes information we are required to publish under the ACT Open Access Information Scheme, such as:

Information people often look for on our website includes:

Make an informal request for information

If you can’t find what you are looking for, you can contact us to ask if you can have the information. We have listed below some categories of information and the best process for requesting the information.

Information requestedProcess
Correspondence between yourself and our Office
Records of contact between yourself and our Office
Other documents where we are satisfied that you would already have seen 
the information (for example, copies of correspondence between yourself and 
an ACT agency that you have complained about.

Where the information you are looking for is not listed above, you can still contact us to request this information informally using our online enquiry form. Most requests for information, or copies of documents, can be dealt with informally and quickly—a phone call or email may be all that is required.

Note: If you are applying for copies of personal information, evidence of identity must be provided.

Make a formal application for information

If you have spoken to us and still can’t find what you are after, you can make a formal request for information, also called an access application.

Your written request must include:

  • enough detail to enable us to identify what information you are looking for
  • an email or postal address via which we can contact you
  • evidence of your identity (if you are seeking your personal information)
  • authority for an agent to act for you (if you have engaged a lawyer or other third party to represent you).

Please use our access application request form. Provide as much information as you can to help us to process your application quickly. We aim to process your request within 20 working days.

You can send your written request to ombudsman@ombudsman.gov.au or by post to:

Information Officer 
ACT Ombudsman 
GPO Box 442
Canberra ACT 2601

How we process your application

We will tell you within 10 working days that we have received your request and the date it was received. We will also give you an estimate of any charges that apply to your request.

We will give you our decision within 20 working days from the date your application was received, unless that time has been extended.

  • If a document contains information about a third party, we will need to consult them. We may need to extend our processing time by another 15 working days.
  • We may also seek your agreement to extend the time if your request is complex.
  • We can also seek a further extension of 15 working days from the ACT Ombudsman.

When we have made a decision about your access application or a request to amend your personal information, we will send you a letter explaining our decision and your review and appeal rights

Will I have to pay?

There is no application fee for an FOI request. You will not be charged for access to documents containing personal information about you.

Processing charges may apply to requests outside of your personal information. We will tell you if this is the case. If this occurs, you can ask for the charge to be waived or reduced for any reason, including financial hardship or on the grounds of public interest. You will need to explain your reasons and you may need to provide some evidence.

Amend personal information held by the Ombudsman

If you believe we hold information about you that is incomplete, incorrect or out of date, you can have this information amended.

Send us a written request with the following information:

  • include enough detail so we can identify the information to be amended
  • state how it is incomplete, incorrect, out-of-date or misleading
  • state the amendments considered necessary
  • include an email or postal address via which we can contact you.

We will process your request within 20 working days. If we decide to refuse your request, we will contact you first and give you the opportunity to comment and/or provide further information. Only then will we make the final decision.

Send your request to ombudsman@ombudsman.gov.au or by post to:

Information Officer 
ACT Ombudsman 
GPO Box 442 
Canberra ACT 2601

When we have made a decision about your access application or a request to amend your personal information, we will send you a letter explaining our decision and your review and appeal rights

Unhappy about us?

If you are not satisfied with our decision, you can ask us to review it.

Reviews are conducted by a separate area within our office, so that they are independent of our original decision.

You can also make a complaint about the process you experienced when seeking information from the ACT Ombudsman. Complaints can include delays in processing FOI requests and complaints about FOI charges.

More information on lodging a review application or making an FOI complaint is available  at FOI complaints and reviews.

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