Complaints

What you can complain about:

1. The Audit Office or its staff 

Members of Parliament, the community (including Audit Office suppliers and stakeholders) and staff within the public sector are encouraged to report: 

  • dissatisfaction and complaints about our staff, products and services
  • suspected or actual cases of fraud, misconduct or unethical behaviour by Audit Office staff.

2. Making a complaint about the Audit Office

We prefer to receive complaints in writing. Please use this online complaints form to submit a complaint about the Audit Office. If your concern relates to one of the organisations we audit, please go to our feedback page for further information.

Complaints can also be made either:

  • by email – governance@audit.nsw.gov.au
  • by post – The Audit Office of NSW, GPO Box 12, Sydney, NSW 2001
  • by fax – 02 9275 7200
  • by phone – 02 9275 7100
  • in person (please make an appointment in advance using one of the contact methods above).

To help us respond to a complaint, the following information is useful:

  • your name, contact details and preferred method of contact
  • your 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

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.

3. What we will do

We will acknowledge complaints within one week unless we are able to respond to your complaint within that time. Simple complaints will be responded to within two weeks and complex complaints within four weeks.

If we consider we cannot respond within four weeks, we will let you know in our acknowledgement and will provide an estimated date for our response. In addition, we will provide you with a monthly progress update. 

The Audit Office’s management of complaints is guided by our Complaints Management Policy.

4. 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. For further information refer to the Audit Office's Privacy Management Plan.

5. Complaints we are not able to deal with

The Audit Office does not have specific powers to investigate complaints about:

  • other NSW government agencies, universities or local councils – the Audit Office can consider whether there has been any wastage of public resources, or any lack of probity or financial prudence in the management or application of public resources when carrying out our audit functions. To help us do this, we welcome feedback about serious and substantial waste in the organisations we audit. See our feedback page for more information.
  • government policy – the Auditor-General is not entitled to comment on the merits of government policy objectives 

If your complaint relates to one of the following areas, please note the following:

Please refer to our page on Other Complaints-Handling Agencies for details of other agencies that may be able to help.

6. Public Interest Disclosures

The Audit Office has the legislative power to investigate public interest disclosures (PIDs) made by a public official about serious and substantial waste of public money by a NSW government agency, university or local councils. A public official is someone who works for the public sector, including contractors.

A serious and substantial waste of public money is any uneconomical, inefficient or ineffective use of resources, authorised or unauthorised, which results in a serious and substantial loss of public funds or resources.

The Audit Office usually deals with PIDs by passing the information to our audit teams for consideration and where appropriate, investigation as part of our audits.

In the first instance, public officials should direct their report to the NSW Government agency, university or local government council concerned.

A public official wishing to report serious and substantial waste of public money to the Audit Office is encouraged to use the Public Official Reporting Form. This form can be submitted by:

A report can also be made by phone (02 9275 7100)  or in person to those staff members listed in our External Public Interest Disclosures Policy.

The policy also provides more information on making a Public Interest Disclosure including the criteria for a report to be classed as a public interest disclosure under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994.

Public officials can also make reports about certain types of misconduct by the Audit Office under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1994. PIDs about serious and substantial waste, corrupt conduct, maladministration or a breach of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 by the Audit Office are covered by the Internal Public Interest Disclosures Policy.

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