Facts and figures

The traditional work of the Ombudsman is dealing with complaints. Due to different legislative requirements, some complaints are dealt with by us while others are dealt with by the agency subject of complaint. We monitor and review how those complaints are handled. We separate our complaint work calling matters that we handle directly ‘complaints’ and matters we oversight ‘notifications’.

We further classify our complaints and notifications as ‘formal’ or ‘informal’. ‘Formal’ usually refers to written complaints and notifications while ‘informal’ is mostly telephone contacts.

With the matters we oversight, we try to reduce the number of matters reported to us by working with agencies to improve the way they deal with complaints. If we are satisfied that an agency has sound complaint handling and investigative systems in place, we can enter into a formal agreement with them called a class and kind agreement. Although we may not receive certain complaints and notifications, we proactively audit how these complaints are handled by the agency.

We report on the number of matters received annually, based on financial years. The complaints and notifications numbers can change from year to year depending on any number of things including any changes to our class or kind agreements or high profile public interest issues being discussed within the community.

In 2016-2017 we received 11,910 formal matters and 34,110 informal matters.

The following table shows the numbers of formal complaints and notifications received each month over the last four financial years.

Formal complaints and notifications received

Month

2016-17

2015-16

2014-15

2013-14

JUL

906

998

948

821

AUG

1,087

939

898

837

SEP

1,045

982

919

797

OCT

968

874

925

771

NOV

1,078

944

840

779

DEC

690

823

746

660

JAN

1,065

906

906

784

FEB

962

1,002

917

799

MAR

1,043

1,030

1,096

874

APR

875

901

922

749

MAY

1,173

998

972

773

JUN

1,018

964

1,012

851

Total

11,910

11,361

11,110

9,495

The following table shows the numbers of informal complaints and notifications received each month over the last four financial years. The accompanying graph shows visually informal complaint trends over this period.

Informal complaints received

Month

2016-17

2015-16

2014-15

2013-14

JUL

2,675

2,846

2,541

2,652

AUG

3,057

2,418

2,461

2,526

SEPT

2,772

2,629

2,299

2,567

OCT

2,639

2,366

2,596

2,779

NOV

3,082

2,505

2,397

2,613

DEC

1,915

1,749

1,889

1,943

JAN

2,844

2,115

2,200

2,375

FEB

3,092

2,634

2,296

2,584

MAR

3,443

2,932

2,689

2,552

APR

2,379

2,362

2,406

2,188

MAY

3,381

2,900

2,729

2,404

JUN

2,831

2,778

2,729

2,537

Total

34,110

30,234

29,232

29,720

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