Complaints about an agency's conduct

One of the key roles of the Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC) is to review NSW public sector agency performance and decisions about access to information.

A complaint about an agency is different to requesting a review. A complaint will generally be about the way in which an agency carried out its functions under the law, and not in regards to a particular refusal of request for information.

For example, a complaint could be about:

  • an agency’s availability of open access information
  • an agency’s response to an informal request for information
  • the content of an agency’s publication guide
  • an agency’s policies and procedures about access to information.

If you want to ask for a review of a decision about an access application (also known as a formal application), please see GIPA reviews.

How to make a complaint

Firstly, you should try to resolve your complaint with the agency. You should contact them to find out how to make a complaint.

If you are unhappy with the response from the agency, you can contact us to make a complaint.

If you make a complaint to us, the IPC will need to decide whether to deal or not deal with your complaint. For this reason, we may make some initial enquiries and may ask for further information from you. We will need you to tell us whether you consent to us disclosing the information in the complaint and your personal information to the agency. If you do not consent this can affect our ability to assist you. We will inform you of our decision and how we will be proceeding.

How we deal with a complaint

Our aim is to help both you and the agency resolve the matter. We prefer to approach the complaint informally at first. This may include:

  • providing information to both you and the agency
  • discussing the complaint with both you and the agency
  • facilitating a resolution of the complaint, including by conciliation.

We may also conduct an investigation into a complaint and, in certain circumstances, report the matter to the Minister responsible for the agency.

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One of the key roles of the Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC) is to review NSW public sector agency performance and decisions about access to information. A complaint about an agency is different to requesting a review. A complaint will generally be about the way in which an agency carried out its functions under the law, and not in regards to a particular refusal of request for information.