Applying for a review of a decision
This section sets out what you can do if you are unhappy with a decision made under the Victims of Crime (Financial Assistance) Act 2016.
If you wish to seek review of a decision or to make an external complaint you can pursue one of the following options:
- Review of Decision
- Internal Review
- External Review
- Access to Information
- ACT Ombudsman
- Judicial Review
Review of Decisions
Some decisions made under the Victims of Crime (Financial Assistance) Act 2016 are internally and externally reviewable. You will be advised when a reviewable decision is made. The Act provides a list of which decisions are internally and externally reviewable. If you have any questions about a decision made or the review process please contact the Financial Assistance Section on 1800 822 272 or (02) 6205 2066 or at email@example.com.
An internal review is a process conducted by another officer (appointed by the commissioner) within the agency. The internal review officer is required to reconsider your application and the decision that was made. The internal reviewer can either confirm (agree with), vary (change some of) or set aside (change all of) the original decision.
How do I apply for an internal review?
An application for internal review must:
- state your name
- be submitted using the Request for Internal Review form.
- set out the reasons why you believe the decision should be reconsidered.
- provide an address where correspondence can be sent (this can be an email or a postal address)
- be made within 28 days from the date when you received the internal review notice; and
- be sent to
Financial Assistance Scheme
Victim Support ACT
GPO Box 158
Canberra ACT 2601
Or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
How long does an internal review take?
The internal reviewer has 30 days from receiving the review form to respond with written notice of the internal review decision.
Do I have to pay for an internal review?
There are no fees payable for an Internal Review
External Review Process
If you are not satisfied with the decision made following an internal review, or the agency did not make a decision within the required time frame, you may apply to have the decision externally reviewed by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT). This process is called a Review of an administrative Decision by the ACAT.
What is a Review of an administrative Decision?
An external review process allows certain decisions made by agencies to be independently reviewed under the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2008. You can seek a Review of a Decision if you are not satisfied with the internal review decision made by the Victims of Crime Commissioner.
Please note you must lodge an application for an Internal Review through the Financial Assistance Scheme first before the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal can complete a review process, unless an officer has not made a decision within the required timeframe of 28 days.
The Review of a Decision process reconsiders all aspects of the original decision.
How do I apply for a Review of a Decision?
- You will need to complete the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal – Application form for ‘Review of a Decision’ which can be accessed via the following link http://www.legislation.act.gov.au/af/2009-278/current/pdf/2009-278.pdf
- This application form must be completed within 28 days of the date of receiving the internal reviewable decision.
- Further information regarding the Review of a Decision process can be found on the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal website under the heading of Administrative Review via the following link
If you have not made your application within 28 days you should provide an explanation for the delay as part of your Review of a Decision application. The ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal will advise if an extension of time will be granted.
How long does a review of a decision take?
The time taken by the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal to complete an external review varies depending on the particular circumstances of each application.
Do I have to pay for a review of decision?
The ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal do have fees associated with applications and further information regarding this can be found through the following link http://www.acat.act.gov.au/fees/information_about_acat_fees
You may also find information regarding the waiver of fees through the following link http://www.acat.act.gov.au/fees/information_about_acat_fees
You may choose to contact the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal directly to discuss your queries further, please see contact details below.
ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Contact Details
The ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal is open for general enquiries between 9.00am and 4.30pm each weekday. However, the Counter cannot accept payment of money (filing fees, payments etc) after 4.00pm on any day.
Phone: (02) 6207 1740
Street Address: Postal Address:
ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal
ACT Health Building GPO Box 370
Level 4, 1 Moore Street CANBERRA ACT 2601
Canberra City ACT
Applications lodged with the ACT Magistrates Court
If your application was lodged and finalised with the ACT Magistrates Court under the repealed Act, the internal and external review processes do not apply.
What information can I Access
In addition to requesting further information from the assessor, you are also entitled to request any documents held by Victim Support ACT or the Victims of Crime Commissioner relating to this decision under the Freedom of Information Act 1989 (FOI Act).
A request for access to documents must:
- Be in writing to the Financial Assistance Scheme (see address above)
- Provide sufficient information to identify the documents (i.e. all documents relating to the decision).
Requests will be acknowledged within 14 days of receipt. A decision about the FOI request must be made by the Victims of Crime Commissioner within 30 days, but this period may be extended if consultations are required.
You may also make a complaint to the ACT Ombudsman.
Under the Ombudsman Act 1989 the ACT Ombudsman can investigate action taken by an agency where that matter relates to a matter of administration, such as the decision that a person is ineligible to receive Financial Assistance. Please note however that the ACT Ombudsman can only look at the decision made under the Financial Assistance Scheme and not any decision made by ACAT at the external review stage.
Complaints to the ACT Ombudsman can be made by phone or writing (including email) at
ACT Ombudsman GPO Box 442 CANBERRA ACT 2601
1300 362 072
Should you wish to apply in writing; a form can be found through the following link: https://forms.business.gov.au/smartforms/servlet/SmartForm.html?formCode=act-complaint-form
Further information regarding the ACT Ombudsman can be found at: http://ombudsman.act.gov.au/
A further option for review may also be available to you by way of judicial review under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1989 or at common law. A person may be able to apply to the Supreme Court for review of an administrative decision which adversely affects their interests in certain circumstances. Unlike the internal review and external review however, a judicial review looks only at how the decision was made, i.e. whether it was made legally, rather than looking at the merits of the decision.
If you would like some legal assistance to discuss your options you can contact Legal Aid ACT on 1300654314 or the ACT Law Society on 6274 0300.