Section B: Consultation and scrutiny reporting


  • Community engagement
  • Legislative Assembly Committee inquiries and reports
  • Legislation report


Officers representing  the ACT Ombudsman attended and hosted several community functions and  organisations in 2011–12 as part of an ongoing commitment to networking and  engaging with the community. Events included:

  • an information and  discussion session about the roles and functions of the Ombudsman’s office to  staff of the ACT Legislative Assembly in October 2011
  • the ACT  Auditor-General’s performance audit seminar in September 2011
  • the 20th anniversary  of the passing of the ACT Human Rights Bill in December 2011
  • a roundtable in April  2012 co‑hosted by the Institute of Public Administration Australia and the  Legislative Assembly's Administration and Procedure Standing Committee about  the ongoing review of the ACT Self-Government Act 1988
  • a workshop on making  better use of complaint data, co-sponsored with the Commonwealth Ombudsman.  This workshop, Collecting, Analysing and Reporting on Complaint Data,  was presented by the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals in May 2012.  About half of the participants were from the ACT Government agencies
  • a forum for community  group representatives in June 2012
  • the Side by Side  launch in June 2012.

Outreach activities in 2012–13 will include the production of  new information products specifically for the Canberra community and the  holding of two community forums.


The Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety  considered the ACT Ombudsman Annual Report 2010–2011 in its Report on  Annual and Financial Reports, tabled in the Legislative Assembly in May 2012.  The Committee requested advice about the correct identification of an ACT  Government agency with respect to a suspension of licence case study in the  report. A response was provided on 30 November 2011. The Committee made no  recommendations in relation to the ACT Ombudsman.


The role of the ACT  Ombudsman is performed under the ACT Ombudsman Act. The Ombudsman also has  specific responsibilities under the FOI Act and is authorised to deal with  whistleblower complaints under the PID Act.

ACT Policing

Members of the AFP  provide policing services for the ACT under an agreement between the  Commonwealth and ACT Governments. Members of the AFP assigned to the AFP’s ACT  region are engaged in community policing duties under the ACT Chief Police  Officer, who is also an AFP Assistant Commissioner. The AFP deals with  complaints under Part V of the AFP Act.

Responsibility for  investigating complaints rests with the AFP. AFP line managers are required to  deal with minor matters. More serious matters are referred to the Ombudsman’s  office. The categorisation of complaints into minor or serious  matters was agreed on by the AFP Commissioner and the Ombudsman and set out in  a legislative instrument. Primary responsibility for resolving more serious  matters remains with the AFP. The Ombudsman may investigate complaints about  the AFP under the Ombudsman Act. In general, complainants are expected to raise  their complaints with the AFP before the Ombudsman’s office will consider  investigating them.

In addition, the Commonwealth  Ombudsman, also designated as the Law Enforcement Ombudsman under the Ombudsman  Act, is required to review the handling of complaints and conduct issues in the  AFP at least annually.

The Crimes (Controlled Operations Act) 2008 (ACT) allows  ACT Policing to conduct controlled (covert) operations in the ACT and gives  oversight to the Ombudsman. A controlled operation is a covert operation  carried out by law enforcement officers under the Controlled Operations Act for the purpose of obtaining evidence that may  lead to the prosecution of a person for a serious offence. The operation may  result in law enforcement officers engaging in conduct that would constitute an  offence unless authorised under this Act.

A Child Sex Offenders Register was established in the ACT as a  requirement of the Crimes (Child Sex  Offenders) Act 2005 (ACT). One of the  Ombudsman’s functions under the ACT Ombudsman Act is to monitor compliance with  Chapter 4 of the Act by the ACT Chief Police Officer and other people  authorised by the Chief Police Officer to have access to the register.

Under the Crimes (Assumed Identities) Act 2009 (ACT), the  Ombudsman may inspect records of a law enforcement agency to determine the  extent of compliance with the Act. The Act facilitates investigations and  intelligence gathering in relation to criminal activity by providing for the  lawful acquisition and use of assumed identities.

Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals
Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals Collecting, Analysing and Reporting on Complaint Data Workshop co-sponsored by the Commonwealth and ACT Ombudsman, 29 May 2012