NSW Ombudsman Annual Report and summary of investigations report tabled in Parliament

25 Oct 2022

The NSW Ombudsman’s Office Annual Report: 2021-22 has been tabled in Parliament today.

The report provides insight to the 24,874 contacts received by the office in the financial year to 30 June 2022. These included 12,363 actionable complaints, which highlight the diversity of issues raised by NSW citizens accessing services from NSW Government agencies, local councils and certain community-service providers.

The report includes an overview of legislative changes that have recently broadened the NSW Ombudsman’s powers and functions, including the Mandatory Disease Testing Act 2021, Public Interest Disclosures Act 2022 (which is due to commence in October 2023), and Ombudsman Legislation Amendment Act 2022.

The report also details the office’s monitoring and review functions, including:

  • delivery of certain community services and related programs, such as child protection and homelessness
  • monitoring and assessment of Aboriginal programs
  • implementation of previous recommendations made in Ombudsman investigations

The NSW Ombudsman, Paul Miller, has also tabled with the Annual Report a separate report on 4 formal investigations undertaken by his office, Formal investigations — summary report 2021–22: A summary of completed investigations under section 13 of the Ombudsman Act 1974 for the period from 1 October 2021 to 30 September 2022.

Most complaints received by the Ombudsman are dealt with through relatively informal means, including making inquiries and engaging with the complainant and the relevant agency. However, each year a small number of complaints, or identified patterns or trends in complaints, can raise issues that will lead to a formal Ombudsman investigation.

The investigations reported this year cover issues as diverse as: a community service provider’s decisions relating to the safety of a young woman in residential care; a local council’s imposition of storm water management requirements; failures in public housing to meet the need of people with disability; and asbestos enforcement actions by SafeWork NSW.