NSW Ombudsman 2022-23 Annual Report and Formal Investigations Summary Report tabled in Parliament

30 Oct 2023

The NSW Ombudsman’s Office Annual Report 2022-23 has been tabled in Parliament today.

Complaints to the NSW Ombudsman increased during the financial year, with 27,624 contacts received by the office, including 12,997 actionable complaints. Complaints were received across a wide variety of NSW Government agencies, councils, statutory bodies, and NSW Government-funded community-service providers.

The majority of complaints continue to be finalised at the assessment stage, including through the provision of information and advice to complainants, and referral to the relevant agency for resolution. However, further action taken by the Ombudsman on complaints (including inquiries, conciliation and investigation) increased significantly, with 2,685 complaints made the subject of further action by the Ombudsman, an increase of 69% from the previous year.

The NSW Ombudsman tabled 11 reports in Parliament during the year, including 7 special reports that addressed issues across the breadth of the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction. These included: government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic; children presenting alone to homelessness services; the unmet needs of people with disability in public housing; failed strategies to address the over-representation of Aboriginal children in out-of-home-care; and factors affecting early childhood mortality in NSW.

During the year the NSW Ombudsman refreshed its five-year Strategic Plan 2020-25, articulating its 4 key strategic outcomes:

  1. Effectively resolving complaints to the satisfaction of complainants.
  2. Holding public authorities and community service providers to account for serious wrong conduct.
  3. Promoting improvements in public administration and community service delivery.
  4. Supporting Parliament in the exercise of its functions.

The Annual Report also highlights work done by the NSW Ombudsman during the year to promote public sector improvements, including through education and training workshops to agencies, as well as the publication of discussion papers and guidance. These have covered a range of issues including social media use by public officials; the role and conduct of the public service in the lead up to the State election; the use of automated decision-making by government agencies; and public interest disclosure (PID) reform and the promotion of a ‘speak-up’ culture.

Along with its Annual Report, the NSW Ombudsman also today tabled a separate report (Formal investigations Summary report) outlining the formal maladministration investigations that were completed by his office in the past 12 months.

The Annual Report 2022-23 can be downloaded here

Formal Investigations Summary report 2022-23 can be downloaded here