Applying for compensation

You can apply for compensation under the Scheme for Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration (CDDA Scheme).

To apply, complete the Apply for compensation form.

We are an agency that is able to use this remedy as it is a non-corporate Commonwealth entity.

However, the Official Trustee is a corporate Commonwealth entity. This means that we are unable to consider CDDA Scheme claims with respect to the Official Trustee. As with any other bankruptcy trustee the Bankruptcy Act and the common law regulate and provide remedies relating to the actions of the Official Trustee.

When are compensation payments made?

Payments under the Scheme are discretionary meaning that there is no automatic entitlement to payment.

The CDDA Scheme is generally an avenue of last resort and is used only where there is no other viable avenue to provide redress.

A payment will only be made under the CDDA Scheme if a Government officer or agency has directly caused an applicant to experience detriment, or, conversely, prevented the applicant from avoiding detriment, due to defective administration.

What is defective administration?

The CDDA Scheme describes defective administration as:

  • a specific and unreasonable lapse in complying with existing administrative procedures
  • an unreasonable failure to institute appropriate administrative procedures
  • an unreasonable failure to give to (or for) an applicant, the proper advice that was within the officer's power and knowledge to give (or reasonably capable of being obtained by the officer to give)
  • giving advice to (or for) an applicant that was, in all the circumstances, incorrect or ambiguous.

What is detriment?

Detriment means you have suffered a quantifiable financial loss. There are three types of detriment:

  • detriment relating to a personal injury including mental injury (personal injury loss)
  • economic detriment that is not related to a personal injury (pure economic loss)
  • detriment relating to damage to property.

Who can apply for compensation?

Any individual, company or other organisation can apply for compensation, either for themselves or for an authorised third party. There is no guarantee of a favourable outcome.

How do I apply?

Claims may be made in writing to:

AFSA Legal and Governance
PO Box 821
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Or via email: servlegdoc [at] afsa.gov.au

What should I include in my application?

  • Explain how the actions or inactions were defective.
  • Provide details of the detriment being claimed, including an explanation of how the amount claimed is calculated.
  • Explain how the defective administration directly caused the loss.

Please include all relevant evidence in support of your application e.g. correspondence between yourself and AFSA, medical certificates etc. You are encouraged to use the Apply for compensation form.

More information

The Department of Finance explains the CDDA Scheme in further detail.