Vision, history & structure

Vision

The vision of the Office is 'Fair and accountable public administration in Queensland'. Our strategic plan explains how we plan to achieve our vision, purpose and values.

Acknowledgement of traditional owners

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land throughout Queensland and their continuing connection to land, culture and community. We pay our respects to elders past and present.

History

'Ombudsman' is a Swedish word which means 'protector or defender of citizens' rights'. The first ombudsman was appointed in 1809 in Sweden.

Today, an ‘ombudsman’ does not act solely for a citizen, nor do they act on behalf of a government agency. Instead, they are independent and impartial, ensuring a fair outcome is achieved.

Queensland’s first ombudsman was appointed in 1974. Known as the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administrative Investigations, he was tasked with investigating the administrative actions of government departments and authorities.

The Ombudsman Act 2001 gave the Office the dual role of investigating complaints against government agencies and helping agencies improve their decision-making and complaint handling.

The Ombudsman has an oversight function of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010.

Phil Clarke is the current Queensland Ombudsman. Former Ombudsmen include:

  • Sir David Longland (1974-79)
  • Sir David Muir (1979-81)
  • Mr Cedric Johnson (1981-90)
  • Mr Fred Albietz (1991-2001)
  • Mr David Bevan (2001-10).

Structure

The Ombudsman reports to the Queensland Parliament through the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee (LACSC). LACSC monitors and reviews the performance of the Office and meets with the Ombudsman and senior officers at least once a year. Reports from these meetings are tabled in parliament. These reports include information on our performance in meeting the objectives of our strategic plan and other obligations under the Ombudsman Act 2001.

A strategic review of the Office must be conducted at least every five years. The terms of reference for such reviews are determined by the Governor-in-Council, who also appoints a reviewer following consultation with the Minister, Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee and the Ombudsman.

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