Agency information guide
Our office has a long history with access to government information. While there are aspects of our work that require a level of confidentiality and privacy, we try to make as much information as we can publicly available.
The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) requires agencies to make a greater amount of information about their work available without requiring a formal request. One way of doing this is through the agency information guide. The following is a guide that outlines who we are and what we do, and guidance around what information we make available, and how to access it.
If you would like to access any of the information referred to in this guide, or would like to know more about how to get information about our work, please contact our office and ask to speak with one of our Right to Information Officers. Our office contact details are listed below.
For more information about the new GIPA Act and the way it operates, visit the Information and Privacy Commission’s website.
As required by the GIPA Act, certain information must be made available on our website. This is ‘open access information’ and includes:
- this agency information guide
- our reports that have been tabled in Parliament
- our policy documents
- our disclosure log
- a register of government contracts valued at over $150,000.
While we try to make as much information as possible about our work publicly available, our office handles a great deal of sensitive information. For this reason, the Ombudsman Act contains detailed secrecy provisions.
Schedule 2 of the GIPA Act, provides a list of excluded categories of information for certain agencies, including our office. This relates to information about our investigative, complaint handling and reporting functions.
An application cannot be made for excluded information, which means that you cannot apply for information relating to our complaint handling, investigative and reporting information.
In these cases, we will generally inform the person within seven working days that an application cannot be made for the information, If a person thinks the Ombudsman's decision is wrong, they may appeal to either the Information Commissioner or the Administrative Decisions Tribunal.
When we receive valid access applications that are likely to be of interest to members of the public, we publish details of our response to the access application in our disclosure log.
Date of decision
Description of information released
21 March 2014
Statistics relating to how complaints were received and dealt with, and case outcomes relative to how complaints were received over a four year period (2010-2013)
All contracts the public sector enters into with the private sector valued over $150,000 are required to be recorded in the register of government contracts, which is published on the Government tender's website. The details of each contract are required to be entered into the register within 45 days of the contract coming into effect, and must remain on the register for 20 days or until the contract is complete, which ever is longer.
Details of such contracts are published below on our register of government contracts.
There are also additional disclosure requirements for contracts resulting from direct negotiations where there has not been a tender process and for contracts with the private sector valued over $5 million.
- NSW Ombudsman register of government contracts [PDF, 179KB]
Other information we make available
We try to make as much additional information about the work we do quickly and easily available through our website. We also provide information about our work through the latest news section of our website, a link to which is included below.
The following are some of the categories of information we make available. Many of our publications are also available in hard copy for a fee.
- Annual reports
- Special reports to Parliament
- Other reports
- Discussion and issues papers
- Fact sheets
Make an informal request
If the information you are looking for cannot be found on our website, please contact our office and ask to speak with one of our Right to Information Officers. Our Right to Information Officers will be able to advise you as to whether the information you are seeking can be made available without you having to make a formal access application.
Making a formal access application
If the information you are seeking is not available on this website and is not otherwise routinely provided by the Ombudsman on request, you may formally apply for access to the information.
A formal access application must:
- be in writing and sent to our address
- clearly state you are requesting information under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009
- be accompanied by a $30.00 application fee
- have a return postal address for correspondence, and
- include as much specific information as necessary to enable us to identify the information you are asking for.
Our office is included in Schedule 2 of the GIPA Act, which provides that information relating to our complaint handling, investigative and reporting functions including functions relating to community services, is effectively exempt from the operation of the GIPA Act and is considered to be excluded information.
Any application requesting access to such excluded information is an ‘invalid’ application under the GIPA Act. All invalid applications are refused.
In these cases, we will advise the person seeking the information within 5 working days that their application is invalid and they may exercise their right of appeal with either the Information Commissioner or the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal.
Please contact our office and ask to speak with one of our Right to Information Officers if you are not sure if the information you are looking for may fall within this category or if you have any questions relating to access to information.