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Claims for compensation

Claiming if you think we have made an error that caused a financial loss or some other detriment

If we have made an error that has caused you a financial loss or some other detriment, you might be able to claim compensation.

Compensation can be claimed for loss suffered as a result of:

  • legal liability
  • special circumstance arising out of Commonwealth administration
  • defective administration.

Compensation for legal liability

We might assess your claim and pay compensation in line with the Legal Services Directions 2017, where there is a meaningful prospect that we could be found liable to pay compensation if the matter went to court.

It is open to you to seek independent legal advice if you think that your circumstances might give rise to a claim that raises issues of potential legal liability.

Act of grace payment

You could seek an act of grace payment if you think the effects of Australian Government legislation, actions or omissions have unintentionally disadvantaged you.

The Australian Government can make an act of grace payment if the decision-maker considers it appropriate because of special circumstances. Payments are made at the discretion of the Finance minister or their delegate.

The Department of Finance manages the process, and our role is to provide information to the department for consideration.

Visit the Department of Finance’s website to apply for an act of grace payment.

Defective administration

The Scheme for Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration (the CDDA Scheme) allows us to compensate you if you have been adversely affected by defective administration on our part and where no legal liability exists.

Payments made under the CDDA Scheme are discretionary and can be made where it is considered fair and reasonable to do so when no other redress is available.

The overarching principle of the CDDA Scheme is to restore you to the position you would have been in had the defective administration not occurred. Compensation is not payable for grief, anxiety, hurt, humiliation, embarrassment or disappointment that is unrelated to personal injury, no matter how intense the emotion might be.

For your claim to be successful under the CDDA Scheme, the decision-maker must be satisfied that:

  • there was defective administration by us
  • the loss or detriment suffered was a direct result of our defective administration, and you can substantiate this
  • the type of detriment suffered by you must have been reasonably foreseeable by us.

Defective administration is defined as either:

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

Applying for compensation under the CDDA Scheme

If you want to claim compensation, complete the:

You can post or email the completed application form and supporting documentation.

General Counsel - Legal
Australian Federal Police
GPO Box 401
Canberra City ACT 2601


We recommend keeping a copy of your application and all attachments for your records. We don't retain copies of documents. If you want to keep the original documents, only provide copies of the documents to us. We don't accept physical evidence in support of claims.

You will receive an acknowledgement letter from us within 7 working days of receipt of your claim. Claims are processed in order of receipt. We can't provide a definite date for the completion of the claim. However, we will keep you informed of the progress of your claim.

Receiving a decision

We will notify you in writing about the outcome of your claim.

Visit the Department of Finance’s website for more information about the CDDA Scheme.