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Scheme for Compensation for Detriment caused by Defective Administration

About the CDDA Scheme

The Scheme for Compensation for Detriment Caused by Defective Administration (CDDA Scheme) provides a mechanism for government agencies to compensate people who have experienced detriment as a result of defective actions or inaction, in cases where it has been established that there is no legal liability to pay compensation.

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

Any individual, company or other organisation can apply for compensation, either for themselves or for an authorised third party. However, there is no guarantee of a favourable outcome. A mistake made by an entity or an official of an entity does not automatically mean compensation is payable.

Under the CDDA Scheme, the agency responsible for the alleged claim manages and investigates it. This means we can only action claims that relate to defective administration that we, the Attorney-General’s Department, may have caused. 

What is defective administration?

Defective administration is defined as:

  • a specific and unreasonable lapse in complying with existing administrative procedures; or
  • an unreasonable failure to institute appropriate administrative procedures; or
  • 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); or
  • giving advice to (or for) an applicant that was, in all the circumstances, incorrect or ambiguous.

What is detriment?

Detriment means quantifiable financial loss that the applicant has suffered.

There are 3 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.

How to apply

To make a claim for compensation from us under the CDDA Scheme, you must complete the below form. Please attach all relevant documentation to support your claim (e.g. correspondence between yourself and us, relevant supporting evidence).

Your application should:

  • address the criteria for determining defective administration (see Assessing a claim)
  • explain how our 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.


Your contact information

Details of the claim

* Required

You should outline the events and circumstances that you consider contributed to the defective administration.

* Required
* Required

* Required

(e.g. breakdown of medical bills or other costs)

* Required
Maximum 3 files.
20 MB limit.
Allowed types: pdf, docx, jpg, png, gif, xlsx, jpeg.

Privacy notice

The information collected in this form is necessary for AGD to assess your application under the CDDA Scheme, and is protected by the Privacy Act 1988.

If you do not provide the requested information, we may not be able to process your claim.

In order to assess your claim we may contact other Australian Government entities or Australian Public Service employees that could hold information about your claim to request it and use it in order to process your claim.

Any information you provide will be used by AGD staff to assess your claim for compensation and may also be disclosed to other Australian Government entities or Australian Public Service employees.

We will not otherwise use or disclose your information without your consent, unless authorised or required by law.

Privacy notice

* Required

Declaration and authorisation

I declare to the best of my knowledge and belief, the information that I have supplied in or attached to this application is accurate and true, and that all relevant information has been included.


* Required

I authorise AGD to collect, use and disclose information held about me by AGD and by other entities for the purpose of processing this application.


* Required

Content continuation

Assessing a claim

Portfolio ministers are responsible for making decisions under the CDDA Scheme. Ministers may also authorise departmental officers to make decisions.

The criteria decision makers use to decide CDDA claims is set out in the Department of Finance's Resource Management Guide 409.

Losses we can't consider

Generally, claims for the following types of losses can't be considered under claims of legal liability or the CDDA Scheme:

  • claims for personal time spent resolving an issue
  • claims for stress, anxiety, inconvenience
  • costs of putting in a claim or conducting a claim for compensation.

Losses we can consider

Types of compensation we can consider are financial losses with a direct connection to our actions that lead to a finding of legal liability or defective administration. These can be losses such as:

  • professional fees, where evidence of payment is provided and the fees are considered by the decision maker to be reasonable (our assessment of what is reasonable may differ from yours)
  • bank or other administrative fees you incurred because of our actions.

Service standards

We aim to acknowledge receipt of your compensation claim in writing within 10 business days of receiving it.

Once you provide all necessary information in support of your claim, we aim to process the claims and advise you the decision within 90 days.

Some complex claims and internal reviews may take longer to investigate and consider. In these cases, we will contact you about an extended timeframe.

If you did not provide us with all the information we need to make a decision on your claim, we will contact you to tell you what information we need.

We will not consider your claim until your original issue (that led to your claim) is resolved. If you are involved in other dispute resolution processes, including court or tribunal action, these need to be resolved before we consider your claim.

Receiving payment and tax implications

If your claim is successful, we will transfer payment electronically into your nominated bank account.

You will need to provide us with your nominated bank account details. We will ask you for these at the time of payment.

If you're unsure whether the payment is taxable, you can seek advice from a tax professional.

You can also contact the Australian Taxation Office on 13 28 61 and ask for advice or guidance (e.g. a Private Tax Ruling).

Reviewing a decision

Internal review

There is no automatic right of administrative review of decisions under the CDDA Scheme. Our approach is to offer internal review where you can provide new and relevant information in support of the review.

Ombudsman review

If you have a complaint about us in regard to the CDDA Scheme, or you are dissatisfied with the our decision under the CDDA Scheme, you can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman.

Contact details for the Commonwealth Ombudsman are below:

Commonwealth Ombudsman
GPO Box 442
1300 362 072