The Ombudsman investigates complaints about the actions and decisions of Queensland public agencies and their staff that may be unlawful, unreasonable, unfair, improperly discriminatory or otherwise wrong.
We also help state agencies and local councils improve their administrative practice by:
- making recommendations based on our investigations
- conducting training on good decision-making and complaints management
- providing advice and other assistance.
From 1 January 2013, the Queensland Ombudsman is the oversight agency for the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010. The Ombudsman monitors and reviews the management of public interest disclosures (PIDs) and provides education and advise about PIDs.
What we investigate
What we cannot investigate
The Ombudsman is an Officer of Parliament, which means our Office is independent of government.
This means no person or body can direct:
- how investigations should be conducted
- whether particular complaints should or should not be investigated
- the level of priority given to investigations.
The exception to this is that Parliament or a Parliamentary Committee may refer matters to the Ombudsman for investigation and report.
What we investigate
The types of matters we look into include public agencies not acting on complaints and unfair employment or tendering processes.
Examples of other matters we can investigate include:
Queensland Government departments
- licences and motor vehicle registration
- child protection
- unfair tendering processes
- unreasonable charges
- complaint handling
- access to state provided benefits
- environmental control issues
- allocation of Crown land and water resources
- problems at school
- public housing eligibility
- concerns in prison
- land resumption.
- rates and charges
- land use, building or licensing decisions
- services such as garbage, road maintenance, drainage, water supply and sewerage
- local government law enforcement
- environmental management
Other public agencies
- workers' compensation
- legal aid
- universities and TAFEs
We make recommendations to public agencies to correct decisions if required.
In almost every case, agencies implement our recommendations. This makes the Queensland Ombudsman an effective mechanism for rectifying the effect of unfair or incorrect decisions.
Agencies in our jurisdiction
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We don’t have power to investigate some of the decisions and actions referred to us, such as:
- decisions of Ministers and Cabinet, courts and judges, tribunals, legal advisers to the Crown and the Auditor-General
- the actions of private individuals or businesses (e.g. insurance or telephone companies)
- the operational actions of police
- the actions of Commonwealth or interstate departments or agencies (these matters should be referred to the Commonwealth Ombudsman at www.ombudsman.gov.au or, as the case may be, the Ombudsman of the relevant State or Territory).
Agencies/issues outside our jurisdiction
Normally, we do not investigate complaints if you have:
- known about the problem for more than 12 months before complaining
- another right of review you have not used
- not attempted to resolve the problem with the agency concerned.
Although many of our investigators are trained legal professionals, the Ombudsman’s Office cannot provide you with legal advice.
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