How we do it
Our mandate is to improve the conduct and decision-making of agencies within our jurisdiction. Traditionally, we fulfilled this role by responding to complaints and oversighting investigations - recommending improvements to the way agencies perform in relation to both individual matters and broader issues.
We now oversee the investigation of complaints about police and community service providers, the handling of child abuse allegations and convictions by persons and agencies within jurisdiction, and the use of powers to conduct controlled operations.
We review the delivery of community services, the causes and patterns of deaths of certain children and of people with a disability in care and the operation of a number of new pieces of legislation conferring additional powers on police and correctional officers. We audit complaint handling systems of NSW agencies and community service providers, and telephone interception records held by agencies who are authorised to intercept telephonic communications.
We have an important role in promoting public awareness and understanding of public interest disclosures and monitoring its operation. We provide advice and guidance to public sector workers who are thinking about reporting serious wrongdoing, as well as providing assistance, guidance, resources and training to public authorities responsible for managing and responding to public interest disclosures.
The main functions of the NSW Ombudsman are to:
- deal with complaints – public sector agencies, local councils, police, community service providers, employment-related child protection issues, custodial centres, public interest disclosures
- oversee and monitor investigations by agencies
- scrutinise systems – police, community services, employment-related child protection issues
- hear appeals on witness protection issues
- review the situation of people in care
- monitor and review community services
- review reviewable deaths
- review the implementation of legislation
- provide information and advice
- coordinate the Official Visitors program
- support the child death review team
- monitor and assess designated Aboriginal Programs
- NSW Ombudsman Annual Report 2010 - 2011
- Fact sheets
- General information making a complaint to the Ombudsman