Our legislation

Our work is guided by a range of legislation. We have outlined our related legislation below.

This section of our website links to the NSW government legislation website, which has an up-to-date index of all NSW legislation.

Administrative review

We deal with complaints about the conduct of NSW government agencies, including departments, statutory authorities, councils, public officials and staff. This work falls under the Ombudsman Act 1974.

Custodial services

We make regular visits to gaols and juvenile justice institutions and deal with complaints from inmates and detainees.

Legislative review

We oversee and review the operation of certain legislation that gives further powers to police and others. NSW Parliament determines which new powers the Ombudsman will review, as well as the length of the review.


We oversee police investigation of complaints about police, which includes direct investigation of such conduct where this is considered necessary and appropriate Police Act 1990.

Community services

We deal with complaints about organisations and individuals who provide community services Community Services (Complaints, Reviews and Monitoring) Act 1993.

Public interest disclosures

We deal with public interest disclosures and provide advice to public sector workers who are thinking about reporting wrongdoing. We are also responsible for promoting public awareness and understanding of the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 and monitoring its operation.

Witness protection

We determine appeals against decisions made by the Commissioner of Police in relation to inclusions in or removals from the witness protection program Witness Protection Act 1995.

Telecommunications interception

We audit the records of agencies authorised to intercept telephone communications Telecommunications (Interception) (NSW) Act 1987.

Controlled operations

We audit the records of agencies authorised to conduct controlled operations Law Enforcement (Controlled Operations) Act 1997.

Employment-related child protection

We oversee and monitor the investigation of, and management response to, child abuse allegations and convictions against employees of certain government and non government agencies Ombudsman Act 1974, Part 3A.

Aboriginal programs

We monitor and assess designated Aboriginal programs Ombudsman Act 1974, Part 3B

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