Handle complaints

An essential part of our work is handling complaints. Anyone can complain to us.

We handle complaints about most NSW government agencies, local councils and community service providers.

We may investigate a complaint if we suspect wrongdoing has occurred. Wrongdoing can include unlawful, unreasonable or unjust conduct.

Even if no-one has complained to us, we can also investigate suspected wrongdoing on our ‘own motion’. This can happen when we become aware of problems through our monitoring work or community engagement.

Following an investigation we may make recommendations. However, we cannot force an agency to do something or change a decision.

Read more about complaints-we-handle.

State government agencies

We handle complaints from people who feel they have been treated unfairly or unreasonably by a NSW government agency.

As well as resolving complaints, we work with agencies to improve their systems to prevent the same problems happening again. We use information from complaints to identify and investigate public interest issues. In this way, we can benefit a large number of people, including those who are less likely to come forward and complain.

Read more about the government agency complaints we handle.

Local government

We handle complaints about local councils and help to make sure they act fairly and reasonably. We can look at the conduct of councillors and council employees and the administrative conduct of the council itself.

Read more about local government complaints we handle.

Custodial services

We handle complaints about government-run custodial services. We also handle complaints about private correctional centres at Junee, Parklea and Clarence.

Our Detention and Custody Team understand correctional and youth justice systems and have experience working in these unique and complex environments.

We visit adult correctional centres and youth justice centres to:

  • take complaints
    • speak with staff
    • resolve issues
    • observe conditions and routines.

Read more about complaints about custodial services.

Community services

We handle complaints about organisations and individuals who provide community services. This includes:

  • child protection
  • out-of-home care
  • family support
  • early intervention
  • specialist homelessness services.

We monitor and review community services. We also make recommendations to improve complaint handling and service delivery.

Read more about complaints about community services.