PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 4430


Photo of Fraser, Malcolm

Fraser, Malcolm

Period of Service: 11/11/1975 to 11/03/1983

More information about Fraser, Malcolm on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 30/06/1977

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 4430

F 77/ 140
On 17 March 1977 I announced the appointment of Professor J. E.
Richardson, Robert Garran Professor of Law at the Australian
National University, to the position of Commonwealth Ombudsman.
I am pleased to announce that Professor Richardson will take up
his appointment on 1 July 1977 for a period of seven years.
He will be supported by two Deputy Commonwealth Ombudsman who
are expected to be appointed shortly.
The Ombudsman has power to investigate complaints made by
citizens, organisations and associations against the administrative
actions of Commonwealth officials. He may also conduct
investigations on his own initiative. He will be concerned
mainly with the way officials have handled a matter and will
be looking at alleged bias, neglect, delay, incompetence or any
other complaints that can be generally classified as bad
administration. The Ombudsman has power to gain immediate access to documents
or premises and is able to interview officials or anyone else
who may assist in his enquiries. All enquiries are made in
private. If the Ombudsman finds that some remedial action is required in
relation to a complaint, he will make recommendations to the
relevant department and to its Minister. Where in the opinion
of the Ombudsman, appropriate corrective action is not taken,
he may report directly to the Prime Minister and to Parliament.
All complaints to the Ombudsman must be in writing, although he
and his officers may assist citizens to prepare their written
complaints. Eventually, the Ombudsman will have offices in all states.
However, as from 1 July he will be located in the Prudential
Building, corner London Circuit and University Avenue, Canberra
City, postal address P. O. Box 442, Canberra City A. C. T. 2601,
telephone ( 062) 475833. / The

The establishment of the office of Commonwealth Ombudsman
is one of a number of measures the Government is introducing
to ensure that citizens have adequate avenues of appeal
against administrative actions of officials.
In the field of administrative law, the Commonwealth legislation
so far enacted, and the legislative proposals in train, will
provide the most comprehensive machinery for the redress of
grievances in any jurisdiction in Australia, and it may fairly
be suggested, in any jurisdiction in the common law world.

Transcript 4430