Complaining to the Victorian Ombudsman

You can complain to the Victorian Ombudsman if you are unhappy about the way you have been treated by:

  • a state government department
  • a statutory authority
  • a local council
  • a private agency that carries out statutory responsibilities of government.

The Ombudsman investigates complaints made about decisions, actions or inaction by these bodies. For more information, watch the short video below in English, Chinese (Simplified), Vietnamese, Somali, Burmese, Karen, Farsi, Arabic or Auslan

How we can help

English (contains subtitles for English, Chinese (Simplified), Vietnamese, Somali, Farsi and Arabic)  
This video is also available in the following languages from our YouTube channel:   Burmese    |    Karen
Auslan Version

Before making a complaint

Before making a complaint to the Ombudsman, you should first try to resolve your concerns with the authority concerned. Most public bodies have established complaint handling processes and can provide you with advice on how to go about making a complaint or seeking a review of a decision made by the authority.

Some useful tips for making a complaint to an authority

  • It is often more effective to write rather than call, especially if your complaint is complex and you need to provide copies of documents. Even if you feel angry or frustrated, staying calm and focusing on the main problem will help you to get your point across.
  • Whether you write or call, you should stick to the main facts and provide as much detail as needed to understand and resolve the problem, but no more.
  • Ask for the name of the person you speak with and their position. Keep a note of the conversation and the date and time of your call.
  • It is useful to indicate what action you think the authority should take to resolve the problem. Be calm and polite. Becoming abusive or blaming an individual often encourages people to defend their actions and may prevent them from seeing the issue from your perspective.
  • If your request is reasonable and realistic, you are more likely to be satisfied with the agency's response.
  • For more information, please refer to Fact Sheet 2 - tips for making a complaint to Victorian public sector bodies via our Fact Sheets page.

If you are unhappy with the outcome of this process or if you experience an undue delay in obtaining a response, you can complain to the Ombudsman by completing the online complaint form or contact the Victorian Ombudsman.