Our operations during the COVID-19 Crisis
Physical closure of our premises from 18 March 2020
The NSW Ombudsman is presently operating remotely, following the closure of our offices (580 George Street, Sydney) on 18 March 2020. This occurred after advice that an employee of another tenant of the building had tested positive for COVID-19.
We are still processing complaints but members of the public should be aware of some changes to our service.
Members of the Ombudsman’s staff are closely monitoring their health. Thankfully, to date, none has developed any symptoms that may indicate COVID-19.
A Message to stakeholders and the public from the NSW Ombudsman
A public health emergency of the kind we now face calls for exceptional, even unprecedented, measures.
Yet the rule of law, norms of reasoned decision-making, and respect for human rights do not become optional, even in times of crisis. Adherence to those core values is not inconsistent with the taking of necessary measures. Indeed it is complementary as it helps to engender the trust, co-operation, and in some cases sacrifice, that will be needed for those measures to be effective.
Nor does Government accountability cease during times of emergency.
Prioritising our work
The NSW Ombudsman has limited resources to respond to complaints, and these resources are being further strained as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also face significant disruption to our services following the closure of our physical office.
We expect that many public authorities and community service providers will also have additional challenges at this time, and may not be able to respond in the usual timely manner to our inquiries.