The Fair Work Ombudsman website requires JavaScript. Please enable JavaScript on your browser.

External scrutiny

The FWO Customer Service Charter outlines our services, what customers can expect from us and what they should do if dissatisfied. The charter is available at

The FWO welcomes feedback from customers about their experience with us. Our Feedback and Complaints Management Policy is available on our website and enables customers to:

  • give feedback - comment about the FWO’s services
  • submit a service complaint - express dissatisfaction with an aspect of our service
  • request a review - ask for a FWO decision to be reassessed.
Table 28: FWO service complaints and requests for reviews received and finalised
Action 2017-18 2016-17
Received 199 237
Finalised 197 225

The ROC actively seeks feedback about its services and practices. Users of the website are provided with the opportunity to provide feedback on all web pages. The ROC encourages participants in the ROC’s education activities to complete evaluation forms and feedback surveys.

The ROC provides a formal complaint handling process for complaints about its staff and administrative processes, which is published on the ROC website external-icon.png.

The ROC did not receive any formal complaints about its staff or administrative processes during the reporting period.

Reports to the Commonwealth Ombudsman

If a customer is not satisfied with the way we respond to their feedback or complaint, they can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

The Commonwealth Ombudsman investigates complaints about our actions, and identifies and conducts its own motion investigations on administration matters. In 2017-18, seven formal reviews were conducted in relation to the FWO’s operations with no adverse findings made.

One matter had not been finalised by the Commonwealth Ombudsman as at 30 June 2018.

Table 29: Commonwealth Ombudsman investigations and findings
2017-18 2016-17
Commonwealth Ombudsman investigations 7 2
Adverse findings 0 0

In 2017-18, there were no reports by the Auditor-General, the Australian National Audit Office, a parliamentary committee or the Commonwealth Ombudsman in relation to the FWO’s or ROC’s operations.

Freedom of information

FWO requests

The FWO received 60 Freedom of Information (FOI) requests in 2017-18. This compared with 49 requests received in 2016-17. The FWO's disclosure log is available at We continue to facilitate document access through our Information Access Policy, available at, which reduces the need for customers to make formal FOI requests. There was an increase in informal information access requests - from 98 requests in 2016-17 to 125 requests in 2017-18.

ROC requests

The ROC received nine requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) in 2017–18. The ROC’s disclosure log, which is published on the ROC website external-icon.png , reports what information has been provided and how to access it.

Formal FOI requests are not required for most documents held by the ROC. Most documents lodged by registered organisations are publicly available on the ROC website external-icon.png at

Information Publication Scheme

We are required to publish information to the public as part of the FOI Act Information Publication Scheme (IPS). This requirement is in Part II of the FOI Act and has replaced the former requirement to publish a section 8 statement in annual reports. Each agency must display a plan on its website showing what information it publishes in accordance with IPS requirements. The FWO’s plan can be found on The plan sets out what information is published under the IPS, how and to whom it is published, and how we otherwise comply with IPS requirements.

During the year, the ROC reviewed its website to ensure that the publication requirements of the FOI Act have been met. The ROC’s information publication plan is scheduled for publication in August 2018.


We are committed to protecting the privacy of individuals who provide us with their personal information and ensuring staff know what to do in the event of a suspected privacy breach. We have continued to undertake privacy impact assessments for new projects and processes.

The FWO reported no privacy breaches to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) in 2017-18, compared with one matter reported in 2016-17.

The ROC proactively reported one privacy breach to the OAIC during the year. In light of the steps taken in response to the breach, the OAIC advised that it did not intend to take any action. 

Judicial decisions or administrative reviews

There were no judicial decisions, or decisions of administrative tribunals or the Australian Information Commissioner, that have had a significant effect on the operations of the FWO or ROC in 2017-18.

Regulator Performance Framework

Under the Regulator Performance Framework, the FWO’s performance was measured against six key performance indicators in 2017-18. These measures involved reducing regulatory burden, communications, risk-based and proportionate approaches, efficient and coordinated monitoring, transparency and continuous improvement. Publicly reporting on the agency’s contribution to reducing unnecessary or inefficient regulation will give the community further confidence in the FWO’s work. The first report was published in December 2016 and the second report was published this year. Both reports are available on the FWO website.

In 2015, the FWC developed Regulator Performance Framework measures to assess its performance in regulating registered organisations. The ROC has adopted these measures and its first regulator performance framework report is due to be published on the ROC website in 2019.