The information on this page is a guide to the complaints procedure. This guide is not a legal interpretation of the Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act 2004.
When a complaint is received the Ombudsman carries out a preliminary investigation.
The purpose of this process is to ensure that:
If, at this stage the Ombudsman decides not to conduct a formal investigation, the person making the complaint will be informed of this decision.
The Ombudsman for the Defence Forces may decide that the complaint could be resolved at the preliminary stage and if so the Ombudsman may propose an early resolution.
To effectively deal with cases, the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces can appoint Investigation Officers. An Investigation Officer is appointed by Warrant and has the same legal powers as the Ombudsman in respect of investigations.
Yes, the Ombudsman must give a person, whose action is the subject of a complaint, the opportunity to respond.
When an investigation is complete the Ombudsman sends his report to the person who made the complaint, other people involved with the investigation and the Minister for Defence.
If the investigation finds that the person who made the complaint was adversely affected by the action, the Ombudsman will make recommendations to the Minister for Defence. The recommendations may set out measures that should be taken to rectify the situation.
If the Ombudsman believes that the Minister’s response to any recommendations made are unsatisfactory then the Ombudsman may issue a special report on the case. Such a special report will be included in the Annual Report of the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces. Details of the Minister’s response to a report will be communicated to the person who made the complaint.