4. Review of the administrative process by an Ombudsman

National Law & Regulations

[ National Law & Regulations, Sections 5, 282, Regulations 218–225 ] Relevant state and territory ombudsman legislation applies to decisions made by regulatory authorities. The Ombudsman Act 1976 (Commonwealth) as applied through the National Law applies to decisions made by ACECQA.

The decision-making processes and conduct of regulatory authorities are subject to scrutiny by the relevant state or territory ombudsman and the relevant ombudsman legislation. Decisions made by ACECQA are overseen by the Education and Care Services Ombudsman.

An ombudsman:

  • acts independently of governments and their agencies
  • has wide ranging powers to require agencies to furnish documents, to enter premises and to seek injunctions, and may make recommendations to government agencies following investigation of a complaint – while governments are not necessarily required to adopt the findings of an ombudsman, it is in the best interests of governments, their agencies and the broader public to implement an ombudsman’s recommendations where possible
  • seeks to resolve complaints about conduct and decision-making processes through a process of conciliation
  • has the power to conduct investigations and may investigate matters of their own volition
  • does not advocate for complainants or governments, but rather may be considered to advocate for best practice decision-making and conduct in government agencies
  • does not look at the decision itself but rather the process by which the decision was reached.

Generally, an ombudsman will not accept a complaint before the agency concerned has had a reasonable opportunity to address the complaint and may also refer complaints on to another relevant body for consideration.

Contact details for each ombudsman are set out below.

Jurisdiction Ombudsman Website


ECS Ombudsman


Australian Capital Territory

ACT Ombudsman


New South Wales

NSW Ombudsman


Northern Territory

Ombudsman NT



Queensland Ombudsman


South Australia

Ombudsman SA



Ombudsman Tasmania



Victorian Ombudsman


Western Australia

Ombudsman Western Australia