Making a complaint

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What you can complain about to us

The NSW Ombudsman is an independent integrity agency that holds NSW government agencies and certain non-government organisations accountable to the people of NSW. Through complaint handling, review, monitoring, investigation, advice, training and community education, we seek to improve the administration and delivery of public and community services in NSW.

Our Complaint Assessment Criteria sets out our considerations when deciding which matters we will pursue.

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What you cannot complain to us about

Our legislation limits what matters we can deal with.

For example, we are excluded from investigating conduct related to:

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Public interest disclosure

People who work in the public sector are usually best placed to know when a colleague is doing the wrong thing, systems aren’t working properly, or a public authority is wasting public funds.

The Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 (PID Act) sets in place a system to encourage public officials to report serious wrongdoing.

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Official community visitors

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Information for agencies and investigators

The Ombudsman is not an advocate for complainants. We act impartially and independently of both the agency we investigate and the complainants whose grievances we investigate.

We have developed guidelines and other resources to assist complaint handlers and our staff are always available to provide advice and guidance to agencies on how their policies, procedures and complaint handling processes can be improved.

We also have an important role in relation to systems within agencies for dealing with public interest disclosures made by employees.

We also provide training for staff of agencies on complaint handling and investigation techniques.

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