The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority's (APVMA) Complaints Handling Policy has been updated following public consultation to align with best practice complaints handling guidance from the Commonwealth Ombudsman and New South Wales Ombudsman, with the intention of creating an accessible, efficient and effective complaint handling process. The policy is intended to operate as an internal APVMA policy for the handling of both internal and external complaints received by the agency. It is designed to ensure the APVMA learns lessons where it may about improving its regulatory services.

The APVMA Complaints Handling Policy is intended to ensure that complaints are managed fairly, efficiently and effectively, and improve accountability and promote stakeholder confidence.

The APVMA’s management of complaints will:

  • enable us to respond to issues raised by people making complaints in a timely and cost-effective way
  • provide information that can be used by us to deliver quality improvements in our regulatory services, staff and complaint handling.

What is a complaint?

The Complaints Handling Policy defines a complaint as:

"an expression of dissatisfaction made to or about the APVMA, our regulatory services, staff or the handling of a complaint where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required."

A complaint should be distinguished from the provision of ‘feedback’ or a ‘service request'.

How to make a complaint

The preferred methods of making a complaint are listed below:

Telephone: +61 2 6770 2300

Letter addressed to:

Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority
GPO Box 3262
Sydney NSW 2001

Complaints may also be received from:

  • another agency or body
  • the minister’s office.

Anonymous complaints can also be submitted.  

What if you are unhappy with how we dealt with your complaint?

If you are not satisfied with the handling of your complaint, you may refer the complaint to an external body such as the:

  • Commonwealth Ombudsman, who can investigate complaints about the administrative actions of Australian Government departments and agencies, including the APVMA. In most instances, the Ombudsman will not investigate complaints about the APVMA until the APVMA has been made aware of the complaint and given an opportunity to resolve the matter. The Commonwealth Ombudsman can be contacted on 1300 362 072 or via the Commonwealth Ombudsman website
  • Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC), who can review decisions related to breaches of privacy, or the Freedom of Information Act 1982. OAIC can be contacted on 1300 363 992 or via the Australian Information Commissioner website
  • Australian Human Rights commissioner (AHRC), who can investigate complaints of discrimination and breaches of human rights. The AHRC can be contacted on 1300 656 419 or via the Australian Human Rights website.
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