The Ombudsman can conduct a formal investigation of a complaint under section 15B of the Ombudsman Act 1973. She can also commence an investigation into a particular matter using 'own motion' powers, without having received a specific complaint. Own motion investigations are conducted under section 16A of the Act.
The Ombudsman obtains information from various different sources during investigations. In some cases, she may publicly invite submission from individuals, groups, agencies and members of the public to provide information that may assist an investigation.