Authorised officers

An Authorised Officer (AO) is an employee of the department, appointed by the Minister or Secretary to carry out a compliance or enforcement function under legislation administered by the department.

AOs have the power to conduct patrols, inspections and intelligence operations; they also educate the community about Victoria's earth resources and primary industries. Types of AOs working for regulators in the department include:

  • Animal health officers
  • Biosecurity officers
  • Chemical standards officers
  • Plant standards officers
  • Veterinary officers

Authorised Officer complaints and feedback

We expect our AOs to exercise their powers with a high degree of professionalism and impartiality and do not tolerate improper conduct.

Members of the public can submit feedback and complaints about the conduct of AOs.

Examples of complaints include:

  • the use of inappropriate or offensive language
  • an aggressive or rude demeanour
  • the use of excessive force
  • misuse of their statutory powers
  • discrimination or harassment
  • behaviour reflecting badly on the Victorian public service

Submit a complaint

All AO complaints must be submitted using the online Authorised Officers Complaint form or you can contact our customer service centre on 136 186. They can provide a hard copy of the complaint and feedback form.

For more information please read the Authorised Officer Complaint Management Policy

For Fisheries Officer complaints please use the form on the Fisheries website.


Who is an Authorised Officer (AO)?

An authorised officer is a person appointed by the Minister or the Secretary (or their delegate) to carry out a compliance function or an enforcement function under legislation administered by the department.

What is an Authorised Officer conduct complaint?

An Authorised Officer conduct complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, by a member of the public, about the inappropriate conduct of an Authorised Officer. Conduct is how an Authorised Officer behaves in a particular place or situation while performing their statutory role.

Who can make a complaint?

Any member of the public can submit a conduct complaint against an Authorised Officer.

How do I make a complaint?

All Authorised Officer complaints must be submitted using the online Authorised Officers Conduct Complaint form

To obtain a hard copy of the complaint form or for further information contact our customer service centre on 136 186.

What does it cost?

There is no cost.

What information should I provide?

Please provide the date, time and location of the incident as well as the type of Authorised Officer that the complaint relates to. Focus on the facts of the matter. Provide enough information for us to understand the allegation. Be brief and concise. Provide reference to relevant documentation or witnesses if appropriate.

Do I need to give my name?

Ideally, you should provide contact details as anonymous complaints are difficult to investigate and we will be unable to provide you with the outcome of any investigation.

However, if you wish to submit an anonymous complaint, please leave out your personal details in the complaint form.

What happens after I make the complaint?

Within 10 business days of receipt of your complaint, Agriculture Victoria will send an acknowledgement providing further information relating to the review and outcome process, as well as expected resolution timelines.

How long will it take?

We attempt to resolve all Authorised Officer complaints efficiently, however the time frame may vary depending on the complexity of the matter.

What happens when the investigation is complete?

You will receive a response summarising the complaint outcome and action (if relevant).

What do I do if I am dissatisfied with the way my complaint was handled?

If you do not believe your complaint was handled appropriately, you can request a review by a senior departmental manager. Alternatively, you can raise the matter with the Victorian Ombudsman.

Page last updated: 27 July 2021