Australian Ombudsmen: Drafting a Blueprint for Reform

Thomson Reuters (Professional)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Administrative Law, 2017, 24 pp. 43 - 63
Issue Date:
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The ombudsman institution was introduced across all Australian jurisdictions from the 1970s as a central piece of administrative law reform. The original role of the office was to scrutinise administrative decision making and to promote government accountability through the resolution of citizen complaints. However, since the 1970s all Australian governments have undergone significant change. Government has expanded involvement into areas such as whistle blower and disability protection and human rights. Government also increasingly outsources decision-making to private companies, leading to the introduction of private industry ombudsmen and the removal of control from the purview of administrative law transparency mechanisms. This article argues that this transformation necessitates discussion as to reform of the ombudsman institution and suggests a new blueprint for such reform
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