What is the NSW Ombudsman?
The NSW Ombudsman is an independent organisation that oversees most public services and many private sector agencies.
The role of the office of the NSW Ombudsman is to monitor these agencies to ensure these agencies and their staff do their jobs properly, meeting their responsibilities to the community.
What does the NSW Ombudsman do?
NSW Ombudsman role is to help agencies address problems with their performance. The agencies the NSW Ombudsman oversees include services such as Police, Correctional Centres, State Owned Corporations, Schools and Child Care Centres, NGOs like disability services, homeless services, aged services and even agencies that conduct covert operations like Independent Commission against Corruption
How do they know who to investigate?
NSW Ombudsman relies on various methods to uncover problems with these services. Along with their own investigations of scrutinising service systems NSW Ombudsman investigates concerns raised by staff of these services or complaints from the public.
What happens when someone complains?
NSW Ombudsman will investigate the complaint and make recommendations on how to resolve the complaint. Recommendations will include the actions the service needs to undertake to resolve the complaint and to ensure no future complaints are made.
Can I complain about the NSW Ombudsman or appeal the findings?
If you are unhappy with how your complaint has been dealt with by the NSW Ombudsman, you can ask for your case to be reviewed. You need show evidence that the NSW Ombudsman decision was wrong. If the Ombudsman agrees to review their decision, your request will be assigned to a new staff member who was not involved in handling your complaint. NSW Ombudsman will only review a decision once.
A review is not a reinvestigation of a complaint. They are only looking at whether the processes their staff followed were fair and adequate, and whether the conclusions reached were reasonable on the information available. Once a matter has been reviewed, there is no further avenue of appeal or review of the decision. The Ombudsman’s decision on a complaint is final.
Can I complain about NSW Ombudsman staff?
If you are not happy with the way you have been treated by the staff of the NSW Ombudsman, or feel the complaint process is designed to stop you from making a complaint.
You can speak to the staff member handling your complaint about your concerns. If they are unable to resolve the matter with you, they will record your concerns and refer the matter to their supervisor who will decide how your complaint can be addressed. If you feel intimidated and unable to speak directly to the staff member concerned ask to speak to their supervisor or manager or you can put your complaint in writing.