Review of our Decisions

You may seek a review of our decisions in certain circumstances. You will always be advised of your review rights when we inform you of the outcomes of our investigations of your complaint or Freedom of Information Review request.

Review of Education and Care Services Ombudsman Decisions

If you disagree with the final decision of the Ombudsman and you believe that we have not taken into consideration all your evidence or you have additional information, you can ask us to consider the matter further. Such a request must be made in writing within 28 days of being told of our decision and must set out the reasons why you believe we failed to consider your evidence adequately or, if you have additional information, details of that information and why this was not provided to us initially. We will endeavour to complete our further consideration of your matter within 30 days and we will advise you of the outcome. We will only further consider a matter once.

Complainants and ACECQA may seek judicial review of the Ombudsman’s decision in the Supreme Court, alleging such things as an error of law, failure to take into account relevant matters, bias or some other grounds upon which a judicial review could be sought, such as the Ombudsman exceeding their jurisdiction.

Review of NECS FOI Commissioner Review Decisions

If a party to a NECS FOI Commissioner Review is dissatisfied with the outcome of the review they may apply under section 57A of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 to have the merits of the decision reviewed by the relevant Tribunal. The relevant Tribunals are listed here. The Tribunal provides independent merits review of administrative decisions and has the power to set aside, vary or affirm a NECS FOI Review Decision.

You have 28 days from the date on which you were given the NECS FOI Review Decision to apply for a Tribunal Review. The NECS FOI Commissioner will not be a party to the proceedings. An application fee may be applicable when lodging an application for review with a Tribunal although it can be waived in some circumstances. For more information about Tribunal review processes and applicable fees visit the relevant Tribunal website.

A party to a NECS FOI review may also appeal against the NECS FOI Commissioner Review Decision on a question of law to a relevant Court. A list of the relevant Courts is here.

Direct review of ACECQA or State or Territory Regulatory Authorities FOI Decisions by a Tribunal

In normal circumstances, you cannot appeal directly to a Tribunal for a review of an FOI decision made by ACECQA or a State or Territory Regulatory Authority without first applying for a NECS FOI Commissioner review. The exception is if the Commissioner decides that it would be in the interests of the administration of the FOI Act for the Tribunal to consider the matter. You will be advised by the NECS FOI Commissioner if this is the case.

You also cannot apply for a Tribunal review if the Commissioner has decided not to undertake or continue an FOI review.

Review of NECS Privacy Commissioner Determinations

A party to a Privacy Commissioner Privacy Determination may apply under section 96 of the Privacy Act 1988 to have a decision made under section 52(1) or (1A) of the Act to make a determination reviewed by the relevant Tribunal. The relevant Tribunals are listed here. The Tribunal provides independent merits review of administrative decisions and has the power to set aside, vary, or affirm a privacy determination. An application to the Tribunal must be made within 28 calendar days of the day on which the person is given the privacy determination. An application fee may be payable to the Tribunal when lodging an application.

You can also apply to the relevant Court for a review of a decision or determination by the NECS Privacy Commissioner if you think that:

  • a decision by the Commissioner not to investigate, or not to further investigate, your complaint under the Privacy Act 1988 is not legally correct
  • a determination by the Commissioner under section 52 of the Privacy Act 1988 following the investigation of your complaint, is not legally correct.

You can make this application under section 5 of the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977.

The Court will not review the merits of your case but it may refer the matter back to the Privacy Commissioner for further consideration if it finds the decision or determination was wrong in law or the Commissioner’s powers were not exercised properly.

An application for review must be made to the Court within 28 calendar days of the Privacy Commissioner sending the decision or determination to you. You may wish to seek legal advice as the process can involve fees and costs.