Ombudsman role important for fairness says survey

Date posted:

Victorians overwhelmingly recognise that the Ombudsman plays a critical role in ensuring fairness and independent review of government decisions, according to a new survey.

"The research indicates that 86 per cent of Victorians value the work of my office as an important part of our democracy," Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass said.

"I commissioned this survey to get a clear picture of how my office is perceived and what Victorians valued in the Ombudsman, so we have a benchmark for the work ahead," she said.

"Just under 40 per cent of people said they would bring a complaint to us, which means we have work to do in making sure all Victorians are aware of the free, fair and independent service my office provides, with oversight of more than 1,000 state government departments and agencies.

"I often say my role is about ensuring fairness. It’s encouraging that the survey shows that 78 per cent of respondents believe this office helps to rebalance the power between people and government in the interests of fairness.

"I table reports in the parliament on issues like the use of force by Authorised Officers on our public transport system, and we are currently looking at the rehabilitation of prisoners and the reporting of abuse in disability services.

"But we also deal with over 13,000 complaints a year from Victorians about a huge range of state government decisions, including housing issues, university places and treatment of prisoners.

"People know that government departments and councils should be held to account for their decisions, and that sometimes they are unfair.

"Providing that check and balance is central to my role.

"We’ll be visiting Victorians around the state over the next year to raise awareness, and we encourage people to stay in touch with our activities through the website or by following us on Twitter."

Media contact: Mob 0409 936 235 |


Survey details:

  • Qdos Research conducted an online survey during February 2015
  • 1,009 Victorians aged 18 and over took part
  • Participants reflected the Victorian population profile for age, income, location and language spoken at home.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Those in older age groups are more likely to take a complaint to the Ombudsman: 83% of those aged over 65 said they were likely/very likely to take up a complaint compared to 37% of those aged 18-24.
  • Younger people were more likely to say they hadn’t heard anything about the Victorian Ombudsman: 52% of those aged 18-24 hadn’t heard anything about the Victorian Ombudsman compared with 15% of those aged over 65.
  • 7% of respondents had made a complaint or had made contact with the office of the Victorian Ombudsman and 86% had found the experience satisfactory/positive.
  • Victorians are aware of a number of Ombudsmen – the Fair Work Ombudsman was the best recognised (69%), with the Victorian Ombudsman ranked second (68%), and the Telecommunications Ombudsman third (65%).