There are some complaints the Ombudsmans do not have the power to investigate. When this happens the person is usually referred to some other source of review.
Limitations on the Commonwealth Ombudsman
The Ombudsman Act 1976 (Cth) specifically prevents the Ombudsman from investigating:
Limitations on the State Ombudsman
Similar exclusions apply to the State Ombudsman.
Of these the most controversial is the first exclusion concerning actions of a government Minister. The State Ombudsman may investigate 'a decision, proposal or recommendation (including a recommendation made to a Minister of the Crown)' [see Ombudsman Act 1972 (Cth) s 3] . However, if a matter reaches ministerial levels before a complaint is made, it may be too late for the Ombudsman to do anything. The Ombudsman cannot become involved in disputed facts and questions of law which can only be resolved conclusively by a court order. The Ombudsman's opinion may be effective where the law fails to provide an answer in a particular case, but cannot change a statute or declare that provisions of a statute do not apply.
The Ombudsman will not investigate complaints if there are better ways of dealing with it or if an investigation would not be worthwhile. For example, if the person complaining is not directly affected by the administrative act or where the complaint is: