Complaints Management Policy
Our Complaints Management Policy aims to:
- provide a clear and comprehensive framework for handling complaints
- give the public confidence that any complaint they make will be investigated appropriately, promptly and fairly
- ensure that, where weaknesses in our operations are identified by the investigation, they are addressed.
What you can complain to us about:
1. Us and our staff
- We are committed to making the people of New South Wales proud of the work we do and we welcome your views about us, even if they are critical.
2. Significant issues within NSW State government departments and authorities including statutory bodies, State owned corporations and State universities.
- Before sending us your complaint about another NSW Government agency, please consider whether we are the best people to help you.
- The Audit Office of New South Wales is the independent auditor of the NSW public sector. The Audit Office reports directly to parliament on the NSW government’s financial statements and use of public money. Please refer to Other Complaints-Handling Agencies for information on agencies that examine corruption, maladministration and other wrongdoing. We may redirect your complaint to one of these agencies if it has the more appropriate authority to investigate.
- The Audit Office is not an investigation or complaints handling authority and rarely examines individual complaints made about other agencies.
3. Serious and Substantial Waste
- The Audit Office has a specific responsibility under the Public Finance and Audit Act 1983 to deal with complaints made by a public official about serious and substantial waste of public money by agencies or their staff.
- Complaints made by a public official alleging serious and substantial waste may be classed as a Public Interest Disclosure.
- Please refer to our External Public Interest Disclosure Policy for information on making a Public Interest Disclosure and the role of the Audit Office.
Complaints we are not able to deal with
The Audit Office does not have specific powers to investigate complaints about:
- local councils, councillors and council staff
- Members of Parliament
- allegations of corruption
- government policy
- maladministration in the public sector.
Please refer to our page on Other Complaints-Handling Agencies for details of other agencies that may be able to help.
The Audit Office makes recommendations to agencies through its reports. We do
not have the power to stop an agency from doing something, to change a decision or take action.
Making a complaint
Complaints should be addressed to the Executive Manager, Governance and can be made either:
To help us respond to a complaint, the following information is useful:
- name, contact details and preferred method of contact
- job title and organisation (if applicable)
- the nature of the complaint and when it occurred
- details of any prior discussion with Audit Office employees in relation to the complaint (if applicable)
- copies of any documentation to support the complaint
- whether the complaint has been referred to any other agency or details of any other action taken
- the remedy or resolution sought
- details of any Audit Office employees involved (if applicable).
The Audit Office will accept and assess anonymous complaints. However, anonymity may limit the Audit Office’s ability to seek further information to assess the complaint adequately. It will also limit our ability to inform the complainant of the outcome of our assessment and, where appropriate, the outcome of any detailed investigation.
What we will do
We will acknowledge complaints within one week unless we are able to respond to your complaint within that time.
Straightforward complaints will be responded to within four weeks.
If we consider your complaint to be so complex that we cannot respond within four weeks, we will tell you in our acknowledgment and we will provide an estimated date for our response. In addition, we will provide you with a progress update on a monthly basis.
Confidentiality and privacy
All complaints will be dealt with confidentially and personal information will be managed in accordance with the Information Protection Principles in the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.
Complaints may also be confidentially made under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994. For further information refer to Audit Office's Internal Public Interest Disclosures Policy.
To make the people of New South Wales proud of the work we do.
To help parliament hold government accountable for its use of public money.
Purpose – we have an impact, are accountable and work as a team.
People – we trust and respect others, and have a balanced approach to work.
Professionalism – we are recognised for our independence and integrity and the value we deliver.
In 2012 we won both a Gold Australasian Reporting Award and Governance Reporting Special Award.