Making a Complaint

Members of the public can make complaints to the IGIS in relation to any of the agencies over which she has jurisdiction, though there are some qualifications. You do not have to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or to be resident in Australia, to lodge a complaint about ASIO. You can even complain to the IGIS while you are being detained in custody.

However, in order to lodge a complaint against ASIS, DSD or DIGO, you must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident. Members of the public have no right as such to complain to the IGIS about either ONA or DIO. Nevertheless, the IGIS would seriously consider any submission that provided substantial evidence that either ONA or DIO had behaved in an improper manner. The IGIS has the capacity to address such issues through her capacity to start inquiries of her own motion.

Officers of the agencies over which the IGIS has jurisdiction may also make complaints to the IGIS, although there are legislative limits on the types of cases which the IGIS can take on. Generally speaking, if there is an internal or other independent review process which the staff member can pursue, the IGIS will not have jurisdiction.