On first contact, the Ombudsman decides whether to investigate the complaint.
If the matter is investigated, the Ombudsman will usually ask the department, local council or agency concerned to comment on the complaint. Further information may be sought from the person making the complaint, from the department or from some other source. A frequent purpose of an Ombudsman investigation is to obtain a better explanation for a complainant. Once the investigation is completed the Ombudsman will tell both the person who made the complaint and the department what conclusions have been reached.
Investigations are carried out in private. Generally, only the department or authority concerned is told about the complaint. The State Ombudsman can endeavour to conciliate a complaint at any time [Ombudsman Act 1972 (SA) s 17A].
If the Ombudsman finds some fault in the administrative action she or he may make a recommendation to correct it. This can involve reviewing a decision, changing a procedure or some other remedy. In some cases, the Ombudsman can also recommend the payment of compensation for financial loss.
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