Fact Sheet - How to make a complaint about us

Read the document below or download it here Fact sheet - How to make a complaint about us, updated February 2024


Who is this information for?

NSW citizens seeking to make a complaint against the IPC.

Why is this information important to them?

This fact sheet outlines the steps available to make a complaint against the IPC regarding its privacy or information access services.

The IPC aims to provide a high level of service. If you are dissatisfied with the level of service you have received from our office there are complaint mechanisms for you to use. 

Step 1 – Seek to resolve the issue informally

To enable us to deal with your complaint promptly, please raise the issue with the relevant staff member when it occurs. If you are unhappy with their response, ask to speak to their supervisor. The supervisor will listen to your concerns and try to resolve them. If appropriate, the supervisor will escalate the matter internally. If the supervisor is not immediately available, they will contact you by phone or in writing as soon as possible with a view to promptly resolving your issue.

If you still remain dissatisfied, you can make a formal complaint.

Step 2 – Make a formal complaint

To make a formal complaint, please write or email us, or you can ask us to help you write it down. 

What to include in your letter of complaint

Briefly explain your concerns and include enough information for us to assess your complaint and decide what we will do.

For example, describe what happened and when, who was involved and anything else that is relevant. Include, if appropriate, a summary of the issue we were assisting you with.

Remember to tell us what action you have already taken (such as making an informal complaint) and what you would like to happen. Include copies of all relevant correspondence.

How the IPC deals with formal complaints?

Your complaint will always be dealt with by someone more senior than the person you have complained about. The person who looks into the matter will:

  • acknowledge your complaint within three 
    business days
  • discuss the complaint with the relevant staff member
  • if required, escalate the complaint to a manager
  • respond to you in writing within 15 working days.

If after receiving a response to your formal complaint you are still dissatisfied, you can ask the relevant Commissioner to review the matter.

Step 3 – Contact the NSW Ombudsman

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your complaint by the IPC, you can contact the NSW Ombudsman. 

The NSW Ombudsman has responsibility for dealing with complaints about conduct that is illegal, unreasonable, unjust, oppressive, discriminatory, based on improper or irrelevant grounds, based on a mistake of law or fact, or otherwise wrong. 

You can contact the NSW Ombudsman on 1800 451 524 (Toll free) or visit - www.ombo.nsw.gov.au

Step 4 – Contact the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)

If you are still dissatisfied with the handling of your complaint, you can ask NCAT to assist you in resolving your complaint. 

The Administrative and Equal Opportunity Division within NCAT includes the review of administrative decisions made by NSW Government agencies and resolution of discrimination matters. This will incur a cost. 

You can contact NCAT on 1300 006 228 or visit - www.ncat.nsw.gov.au

Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC)

If you believe there has been corruption or serious misconduct the Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC) has primary responsibility for dealing with complaints about corrupt conduct. Corrupt conduct is intentional or deliberate misdoing, such as a staff member improperly using their knowledge, power or resources for personal gain or the advantage of others. 

You can contact ICAC on 1800 463 909 (Toll free) or visit - www.icac.nsw.gov.au

For more information

Contact the Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC):

Freecall:           1800 472 679
Email:              ipcinfo@ipc.nsw.gov.au 
Website:           www.ipc.nsw.gov.au 

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