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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 www.fairwork.gov.au.

We welcome 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 our services
  • submit a service complaint – express dissatisfaction with an aspect of our service
  • request a review – ask for a decision to be reassessed.

Of the 405 matters reported in 2019–20, 128 matters related to technical issues experienced by users of fairwork.gov.au, following active solicitation of feedback.

FWO service complaints and requests for reviews received and finalised










The ROC actively seeks feedback about its services and practices. Users of its 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.

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 2019–20, two investigations were conducted in relation to the FWO’s operations, with no adverse findings.

In 2019–20, no formal reviews were conducted in relation to the ROC’s operations.

Commonwealth Ombudsman investigations and findings



Commonwealth Ombudsman investigations



Adverse findings



In 2019–20, 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

FOI requests to FWO

The FWO received 57 requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) in 2019–20. This compared with 50 requests received in 2018–19. The FWO's disclosure log is available at www.fairwork.gov.au. We continue to facilitate document access through our Information Access Policy, also available on our website, which reduces the need to make formal FOI requests. The FWO received 131 informal information access requests in 2019–20, compared with 126 requests in 2018–19.

FOI requests to ROC

The ROC received 2 requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) in 2019–20. The ROC’s disclosure log, which is published on the ROC website, 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.

Information Publication Scheme

We are required to publish information to the community 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 www.fairwork.gov.au and the ROC’s plan can be found on www.roc.gov.au. The plans set out what information is published under the IPS, how and to whom it is published, and how we otherwise comply with IPS requirements.


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 did not report any privacy breaches to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) in 2019–20. Two privacy complaints about the FWO were reported to OAIC in 2018-19. The OAIC made no adverse findings in one matter and the other is still awaiting determination.

The ROC reported no privacy breaches to the OAIC during the financial year.

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 2019–20.