The jurisdiction of the Ombudsman is limited to current or former Service personnel who:
- have an open Service complaint at 1 January 2016 (including those pending a decision at Level 3); or
- make, or seek to make, a Service complaint on or after 1 January 2016; or
- have a Service matter (e.g. an informal complaint), that they believe is subject to undue delay on or after 1 January 2016.
Any Service complaint that is finally determined on or before 31 December 2015 falls outside the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman and cannot be reopened or considered.
Only the person who made a Service complaint can ask the Ombudsman to investigate aspects of the handling of that complaint, or the substance of that complaint at the end of the internal process. This means that the Ombudsman is unable to assist an individual who is a respondent to a Service complaint.
Whenever we are contacted by a respondent to a Service complaint, we will always provide clear information on the role of the Ombudsman and, where appropriate, will provide information on how individuals may raise a Service complaint in their own right.
For more information on why the Ombudsman is able to assist respondents, please read her May 2016 blog which covered this issue.
Third parties, including family members, can contact the Ombudsman to raise concerns or seek information. However the Ombudsman cannot refer or review the handling of a complaint or investigate an issue raised by a third party. This is because a Service complaint can only be made by a Service person.
Whenever we are contacted by a third party, we will always provide clear information on the role of the Ombudsman and, where appropriate, will provide information on where individuals may raise a complaint or concern in their own right.