Many complaints can be resolved by contacting the agency about the problem.

Before looking into your complaint, we need to know how you tried to resolve it with the agency and how the agency responded.

We recommend that you:

  • call and tell them about your complaint
  • send them an email or letter if needed
  • allow them time to respond, usually 2 to 3 weeks.
  • make note of what you did and when, and keep copies of your communication.

Contact details for South Australian government departments and authorities can be found on the South Australia Government website and contact details for Councils can be found on the Local Government Association of South Australia website.

We will need the following information to assess your complaint:

  • the name of the agency (e.g. government department, statutory authority, council) your complaint is about
  • a clear outline of your complaint
  • the steps you have taken to sort out the complaint with the agency
  • dates of the agency’s acts that you are concerned about
  • other key dates
  • any documents to support your complaint, such as:
    • emails or letters you have sent the agency
    • any responses you have received from the agency
    • photographs (if you have any)
  • what you are seeking.

When members of the public approach Ombudsman SA it is expected that they will treat staff with respect and courtesy and will adhere to the following standards:

  • speak politely and with courtesy
  • not make threats
  • refrain from using abusive language
  • not act aggressively or in a threatening manner
  • provide all reasonable and relevant information about their complaint
  • limit contact to reasonable and required communications
  • inform Ombudsman SA staff of any reasonable adjustments that may be necessary to assist with accessibility or appropriate engagement with Ombudsman SA.

Ombudsman SA has the right to decide how to deal with a complaint. This includes:

  • making decisions on whether the issue/s will be investigated
  • who will conduct the investigation
  • the time and resources that will be allocated to the complaint
  • any assistance the complainant needs to provide
  • how the complaint will be resolved.

Ombudsman SA staff are expected to:

  • treat all complainants fairly and with respect
  • demonstrate impartiality
  • act professionally
  • show respect for all complainants
  • keep the complainant informed of the progress of their complaint
  • deal with the complainant using the powers that have been delegated to them by the Ombudsman and in accord with Ombudsman SA policy.

Complete the online 'make a complaint' form

If you do not have internet access, you can send your complaint to:

Ombudsman SA
PO Box 3651
(08) 8226 8699 or 1800 182 150 (outside metro SA only)

We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 business days.

If you need help making a complaint, you can ask a representative (such as a relative, carer, solicitor or Member of Parliament) to make it on your behalf.

If you require assistance

Non-English speaking people can get assistance from the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131 450 (within Australia).

If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment the National Relay Service can be contacted on 133 677 (TTY/voice calls) or 1300 555 727 (Speak & Listen).

Next page: The complaint process