Office of the Internal Ombudsman

The Office of the Internal Ombudsman provides residents, community members, ratepayers, local businesses, staff, Councillors and other Council Stakeholders with an 'independent ear' regarding complaints about:

  • Corrupt conduct
  • Misconduct
  • Maladministration

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How do I make a complaint?

Your complaint should be made in writing to and include the following information:

  • Details of your complaint and all relevant information relating to the persons involved and actions
  • The solution you are seeking
  • Copies of any relevant evidence – letters, emails, photographs etc

When should I complain to the Internal Ombudsman?

Where possible, you should try at first to resolve your issue with relevant Council staff before making your written complaint.

You can contact the Internal Ombudsman at any stage but if a staff member is already handling your matter, it is likely that your complaint will be referred back to that Council unit to give Council staff the opportunity to resolve the issue.

Does the Internal Ombudsman handle appeals against parking infringement notices?

No. If you wish to appeal a parking infringement notice, contact Revenue NSW on 1300 138 118.

Does the Internal Ombudsman handle appeals regarding development approvals?

No. The NSW Land and Environment Court deals with appeals regarding development approvals. Contact the Court Registry on (02) 9113 8200.

Can the Internal Ombudsman overrule a Council decision?

No, the Internal Ombudsman cannot overrule any decision made by Council. If, after an inquiry into a matter, the Internal Ombudsman finds that a Council decision, policy or process is flawed and should be changed, the Internal Ombudsman can make recommendations to the Chief Executive Officer or the elected Council in relation to a decision, process or policy.

No, the Internal Ombudsman cannot provide legal advice or intervene in legal action taken by Council.

No.  The Internal Ombudsman will not investigate matters before any court.

Can the Internal Ombudsman review a decision relating to an excess water claim?

Yes.  The Internal Ombudsman will review decisions of the Finance and Water & Sewer units of Council in relation to claims for:

  • Excess water charges due to concealed leaks
  • Excess water charges due to a faulty water meter
  • Discoloured water claims

Will the Internal Ombudsman consider anonymous complaints?

Yes, the Internal Ombudsman will consider anonymous matters but only if adequate detail is provided to allow the matter to be reviewed or investigated.

Will my complaint remain confidential?

Complainants details will not be disclosed unless written consent from the complainant has been provided or it is necessary for procedural fairness to any parties involved.

Records management and the handling of personal and private information within the office of the Internal Ombudsman are in accordance with Council policy and the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.

What if I disagree with the outcome of the inquiry?

The Internal Ombudsman will not review any findings if a complainant does not agree with the outcome or a decision has not been favourable to them.

If you are dissatisfied with the findings or outcome of an inquiry made by the Internal Ombudsman, you can submit a written complaint to the NSW Ombudsman, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) or the Office of Local Government.

Can I make a complaint about Council to an external agency?

Yes, you can make a complaint about Council to external agencies such as the NSW Ombudsman, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), the Information and Privacy Commission, and the Office of Local Government.

Can the Internal Ombudsman deal with complaints by members of Council staff?

The Internal Ombudsman will deal with matters as detailed in the Charter.

The Internal Ombudsman deals with complaints by Council staff which may involve:

  • Maladministration
  • Corruption
  • Fraud
  • A privacy issue or complaint
  • A Code of Conduct complaint referred by the Chief Executive Officer
  • A confidential Public Interest Disclosure (PID) made under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994.


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Contact Information

Internal Ombudsman
1300 463 954
Last updated : Mon 11 Oct 2021