What we do

We help agencies within our jurisdiction to address problems with their performance. These problems may be uncovered by complaints from the public or by people who work for those agencies. Problems may also come to our attention through our work in scrutinising agency systems, overseeing investigations or reviewing the delivery of services.

We are responsible for keeping the following types of organisations under scrutiny:

  • agencies delivering public services – including police, correctional centres and state-owned corporations
  • organisations delivering services to children – including schools and child-care centres
  • organisations delivering community services – including services for people with disabilities, people who are homeless and elderly people
  • agencies conducting covert operations – including the Crime Commission and the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

We have other specific functions that relate to:

Our focus is on improving the conduct and decision-making of those agencies. We use our experience and knowledge to make sure agencies are aware of their responsibilities to the public and act reasonably as well as lawfully. Traditionally we have done this by responding to complaints made to us and recommending action for the agency to take to resolve each complaint.

We also have specific functions relating to the protection of children in NSW, the delivery of community services, the causes and patterns of deaths of certain children and people with a disability in care, the use of powers to conduct controlled operations, and the operation of a number of new pieces of legislation conferring additional powers on police. Learn more: