Skip to main content
News and articles

What is an ombudsman?

An ombudsman is an independent body that can investigate complaints made by members of the public against service providers or government agencies. The word "ombudsman" comes from Swedish and means "representative". The first ombudsman was appointed in Sweden in 1809, and the idea has since spread around the world. An ombudsman can help resolve disputes by providing information and referral and, in some cases, investigation and resolution of complaints.

There are several ombudsman schemes, each covering a different area of complaints. Here are some of the main ombudsman schemes relevant to complaints in Victoria.

Victorian Ombudsman

Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman

Public Transport Ombudsman

Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria:

The Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria (EWOV) investigates complaints about electricity, gas and water providers, including billing disputes, payment difficulties and disconnections. We can also provide general information about electricity, gas and water issues in Victoria.

So, how do you know which ombudsman to speak to? First, determine the type of service or organisation you are complaining about. Then, find the relevant ombudsman scheme or complaint authority by searching online. Make sure you provide them with all relevant information about your complaint, including any attempts you have made to resolve it.