Complain to an organisation or agency

Last updated: 25 July 2019

On this page

  • Who to complain to before you complain to us
  • What your complaint should include
  • Keep a record of your complaint

If you think an organisation or agency has mishandled your personal information, you need to complain to them first before you complain to us. They may be able to take your complaint in person or over the phone, or they may prefer it in writing.

Check the organisation or agency’s privacy policy

An organisation or agency’s privacy policy should explain what you need to do make a complaint.

Be clear when complaining

When you make the complaint, make sure you:

  • identify yourself
  • give any identification or reference number(s), if relevant
  • give a brief description of the matter and why you think the organisation or agency has mishandled your personal information (what happened, when it happened and any consequences)
  • let them know what you’d like them to do to resolve the matter

If put your complaint in writing also include:

  • a contact address
  • a contact phone number
  • the date (if you’re sending a letter)

Keep a record of your complaint

Make sure you keep a record of your complaint.

If you complained in person or over the phone, make a record (in your mobile device or a diary) of:

  • the date you complained
  • the name of the organisation or agency you complained to
  • the name of the person you complained to, if available
  • a brief description of the matter you complained about and why you think the organisation or agency has mishandled your personal information (what happened, when it happened and any consequences)
  • a brief description of what you asked the organisation or agency to do to resolve the matter

If you made you complaint in writing, keep a copy of your complaint.

Keep a record of any responses

If you receive a response from the organisation or agency in person or by phone, you may like to record (in your mobile device or diary):

  • the date you received the response
  • the name of the organisation or agency that responded
  • the name of the person you spoke to, if available
  • a brief description of the organisation or agency’s response

If the organisation or agency responds to your complaint in writing, make sure you keep their response.

Give the organisation or agency at least 30 days to respond

You need to give the organisation or agency a reasonable amount of time to respond to your complaint. We think 30 days is a reasonable time.

If the organisation or agency doesn’t respond to your complaint or you’re not happy with their response, you can lodge a complaint with us

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