A NSW Government website

Office of the Inspector of the
Independent Commission Against Corruption

Who can complain to the Inspector?

Any person or agency can make a complaint to the Inspector. If you do not want to make the complaint yourself, you may ask someone else to make a complaint on your behalf (such as an advocate, family member, legal or community representative, Member of Parliament or another organisation).

Who can I complain about?

The Inspector can only deal with complaints about the conduct of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (the ICAC) or its current or former officers. The Inspector does not have power to deal with complaints against any other public authority or public officers who are employed in other agencies.

What can I complain about?

You can complain about any conduct on the part of the ICAC or its officers concerning:

  • abuse of power, impropriety and other forms of misconduct and
  • conduct amounting to maladministration (including, without limitation, delay in the conduct of investigations and unreasonable invasions of privacy. Under the ICAC Act maladministration is defined as action or inaction of a serious nature that is contrary to law, or unreasonable, unjust, oppressive or improperly discriminatory or based wholly or partly on improper motives.

The Inspector does not have the power to review the decisions of the ICAC to either investigate or not investigate complaints made to it. The Inspector will only examine to either investigate or not to investigate a complaint made to the ICAC where it is alleged that the decision was made as a result of misconduct, impropriety or maladministration.

Can I make an anonymous complaint?

Yes, you can. Making an anonymous complaint means however that the Inspector will not be able to contact you to provide information about the progress of the complaint. In some instances it may be difficult to investigate certain aspects of an anonymous complaint. For example, where information needs to be verified with the complainant or further information is required from the complainant, in order to investigate further.

What if I fear being victimised?

If you are a current NSW public official the Inspector is required to assess your complaint to determine whether it is a public interest disclosure within the meaning of the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 (PID Act). If it is determined that you have made a public interest disclosure, certain protections will apply and your complaint will be handled in accordance with the Office’s Public Interest Disclosure Policy which can be accessed at: https://www.oiicac.nsw.gov.au/protected-disclosures/

If you consider you have been victimised as a result of making a complaint to the Inspector, you should inform her Office.

How do I make a complaint?

Public officials may complain orally or in writing. Other complaints should preferably be made in writing.

A complaint can be made in writing

The Inspector’s Office may be called on (02) 9228 3023.

What information should I include in my complaint?

So that the Inspector can properly understand a complaint, the person complaining should provide as much specific and detailed information as they can. It will be of assistance if a complainant provides the following information

  • What is your complaint against the Independent Commission Against Corruption (the ICAC) and/or its officers?
  • Do you believe that what is described in your complaint amounts to an abuse of power, impropriety, other forms of misconduct and/or maladministration?
  • When did the issues you complain of occur (Date/Year)?
  • What are the names of and positions held by the officers of the ICAC against whom you are complaining?
  • Is there a file number concerning any complaint that you made to the ICAC? If yes, please provide it.
  • What are the names and contact details of any witnesses who can give evidence to support your complaint?
  • Are there documents or video which supports your complaint and if so, can you send them or copies of them to the Inspector to examine?
  • Are you employed in the NSW public sector or any NSW local council?
  • Do you wish to keep your identity confidential from the ICAC or any other persons (and if so from whom) and why?

How long will the Inspector take to deal with my complaint?

The Inspector will assess and prioritise complaints according to the urgency and/or seriousness of the issues raised.

The time required to deal with a complaint will vary depending on the complexity of the issues raised and the volume of information that needs to be reviewed. The Inspector aims to determine most complaints within six weeks.

What happens if the Inspector decides not to investigate?

If the Inspector decides not to investigate your complaint, she will write to you and advise you the reasons why.

If a complaint is determined to be outside of the Inspector’s jurisdiction, the Office will inform you of any other appropriate external review options available (for example, any relevant Ombudsman or the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission).

What if I am unhappy with the Inspector’s decision?

There is no review body or person to whom you can complain about the Inspector’s decision concerning your complaint.

The Parliamentary Committee on the ICAC is responsible for ensuring that the Inspector carries out her role and functions properly. It does not, however, have power to review individual complaints which the Inspector has decided.

The the Inspector cannot be required to investigate or take any other action in relation to a complaint received. The Inspector also cannot be required to review a decision that she has made about a complaint.

While the Inspector cannot be required to do so, as a matter of policy, a request to review a decision will be considered. However, a review will only be considered if the person requesting it indicates clearly how or why the Inspector’s decision was inappropriate or unreasonable and/or provides new information of substance that is relevant to the decision to be reviewed.

On occasions, complainants continue to send correspondence to the OIICAC after the Inspector has determined their complaint and/or a request for review in relation to it. Such correspondence is read. However, if it does not provide new information or seek to make a fresh complaint about a matter not already dealt with, the Inspector may determine that any future correspondence of that kind will be filed without a response. If such a determination is made, the Inspector will notify the complainant.

Where can I find further information about how the Inspector handles complaints?

You may access the Inspector’s Complaint Handling Policy (PDF) 197 KB .