An overview of our investigation powers and processes.

If your complaint cannot be easily resolved, sometimes we will look into it further. We may decide to investigate.

The Ombudsman may decide to investigate a complaint or a series of complaints if:

  • the complaint/s are not able to be resolved informally
  • the complaint/s are serious and have broad implications for the Victorian public
  • it is appropriate to reach a formal opinion on whether an organisation has made an error.

Investigations can take up to 12 months to complete.

Complaints from the public are not the only source of Ombudsman investigations. We also investigate:

  • Own motion investigations
    We don't need to receive a complaint about an issue to start an investigation. The Ombudsman can choose to investigate a matter using her 'own motion' powers.
  • Parliamentary referrals
    The Victorian Parliament can refer any matter to the Ombudsman to investigate. The Legislative Council, Legislative Assembly or a Parliamentary Committee can make the referral.


Find out what type of complaints we take. Read answers to common questions people have about our process.

Complaints — Read more

Reporting improper conduct

Anyone can report improper conduct or harmful action. Find out how to make a 'public interest disclosure'.

Reporting improper conduct — Read more