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Australian Government - Office of the Australian Information Commissioner - Home

Question 5a

Is your complaint about an Australian Capital Territory (ACT) public sector agency?

It is likely that the Commissioner is able to investigate your complaint under the ACT's Information Privacy Act 2014.

If you would like to make a complaint please go to our How do I make a privacy complaint page.

Further information

In most cases, the Commissioner must not investigate your complaint unless you have already complained to the respondent. In limited circumstances, the Commissioner may decide to investigate even though you have not complained to the respondent, for example where:

  • you have been unable to contact the respondent after repeated attempts; or
  • the person who would investigate your complaint is the same person you are complaining about.

You should allow the respondent a month in which to respond to your complaint. If you receive no reply and have been unable to chase up a response, you can lodge your complaint with the Commissioner. If you receive an unsatisfactory response that does not resolve your privacy concerns, you can also lodge your complaint with the Commissioner, even if a month has not passed.

In most cases, the Commissioner will not investigate your complaint if it has been adequately resolved by the respondent or where it is reasonable for the respondent to continue trying to resolve your complaint.


  • Health records kept by ACT public sector agencies are exempt from the ACT's Information Privacy Act 2014. The ACT Human Rights Commission handles complaints about health records kept by ACT public sector agencies.

Key points

  • Before lodging your complaint with the Commissioner you should first write to the respondent setting out your complaint, so that it has an opportunity to resolve your complaint.
  • You should allow the respondent a month to respond to your complaint.
  • If you receive no response from the respondent or it has not resolved your privacy complaint you can then lodge your complaint with the Commissioner.

Sorry, the Commissioner cannot investigate complaints about local, state and territory public sector agencies (other than the Norfolk Island administration, and, under ACT legislation, ACT public sector agencies).

Further information

The Privacy Act is a federal law which does not cover local, state or territory government agencies, except the Norfolk Island administration.

NSW, QLD and Victoria have a Privacy Commissioner, Tasmania an Ombudsman and the Northern Territory an Information Commissioner who are statutory officers responsible for privacy in relation to their public sectors.

If your complaint is about a New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory, Tasmanian or Victorian public sector agency (including a local council), please contact the relevant Commissioner below:

Western Australia and South Australia have administrative privacy schemes covering their public sector agencies.  You can find more information about these on our Other privacy jurisdictions page.

The Australian Capital Territory has its own privacy law (the Information Privacy Act 2014 (ACT)). The Commissioner currently handles privacy complaints under that law. For more information see our Australian Capital Territory Privacy page.


Some state authorities and instumentalities are bound by the Privacy Act. These are prescribed by the Privacy Regulation 2013. Currently (as at 1 September 2014) they are:

  • Essential Energy (NSW)
  • Ausgrid (NSW)
  • Endeavour Energy (NSW)
  • Homestart Finance (SA) — except in relation to APP11.2

Key points

  • The Commissioner can investigate complaints about most Australian Government agencies and the Norfolk Island administration.
  • The Commissioner can also handle complaints under the ACT's Information Privacy law.
  • Other State and territory public sector agencies and local councils are not covered by the Privacy Act.