How to make a complaint

If you think an ACT Government agency has been unfair or done something wrong, we might be able to help you.

You can make a complaint via our online complaint form or call us on 02 5119 5518.

What can I make a complaint about?

You can make a complaint about and ACT Government agency. We can also look at complaints about:

For more information on complaints we investigate see How we can help.

What we cannot help you with

The ACT Ombudsman cannot investigate complaints about:

  • Commonwealth government agencies such as Centrelink
  • ACT government ministers or politicians
  • private individuals
  • environmental issues
  • decisions of courts and tribunals
  • public service employment
  • disability services
  • health services
  • services for children and young people
  • services for older people.

For advice on who in the ACT can help you with other matters see Who else can help.

Before making a complaint

Before making a complaint to the Ombudsman, we ask you to try and resolve the issue with the agency. There are two main reasons why this is important:

  1. it lets the agency know that you are not happy
  2. agencies can fix most problems quickly and simply, as our investigations can take more time.

For advice on how to approach an agency, see our guide—Resolving the issue yourself.

If the agency doesn’t fix your problem, or hasn’t fixed your problem in the time it said it would, you can contact us.

Who can make a complaint?

Anyone can make a complaint. If you do not want to make the complaint yourself, you can ask a relative, friend, advocate, solicitor or welfare worker to complain on your behalf. In some situations you may need to give consent.

The Ombudsman also accepts anonymous complaints. Our decision to investigate will depend on the seriousness of the matter and the level of information provided.

How to get help with making a complaint

If you need support to make a complaint please call us on 02 5119 5518. We will do our best to help you.

You can call us on our dedicated Indigenous number 1800 060 789, or you can use our Indigenous language interpreter service.

If you are a non-English speaking person, we can help though the Translating and Interpreter Service (TIS) on 131 450.

If you need the support of a translator we can help you. We can organise a translating service which is free and confidential.

We also have information in many community languages on our brochures page.

If you are hearing, sight or speech impaired use the National Relay Service:

  • the speak and listen number is 1300 555 727
  • for TTY call 133677

Phone calls to the ACT Ombudsman from the Alexander Maconochie Centre are free.

Make a complaint

You can make a complaint via our online complaint form or call us on 02 5119 5518. Please note that the ACT Ombudsman uses the Commonwealth Ombudsman complaint form.

When writing your complaint keep it simple and stick to the facts. Be as specific about dates, names and other important details. Make sure you include:

  • a description of your issue, incident or decision
  • dates of events and contact with the agency
  • who was involved including witnesses
  • details of telephone conversations or meetings
  • reference numbers you received when dealing with the agency
  • evidence such as photographs or records
  • steps you have already taken to sort out the problem
  • what outcome you would like to see as a result of your complaint.

We are working to improve our services to you and have engaged Customer Service Benchmarking Australia (CSBA) to survey people who have contacted the Office about our performance in late 2019 and early 2020. 
Completion of the survey is voluntary and any information you provide will be kept secure and confidential. Please see the attached Frequently Asked Questions document for further information.