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Public Service Commission

Enquiries and complaints

Information on matters the Commissioner can respond to and how and where to make individual complaints.

Important Information about the PSC’s approach to handling complaints

Please note that the Commissioner and the PSC do not have a general power or function of investigating complaints about NSW public sector agencies, or how agencies deliver their services or perform their functions.

You should raise any complaint directly with the NSW public sector agency concerned, or with an oversight or enforcement body (for example, an investigating authority) where the matter is within that body’s jurisdiction. Please see the table below for more guidance.

If the PSC receives a complaint concerning another NSW public sector agency, the PSC will usually only be able to advise you to raise that matter with that agency, or with an oversight body.

The PSC may also be required by law to refer the complaint directly to the agency or to an oversight body in some cases (for example, in regard to allegations of corrupt conduct by any public authority or public official, or public interest disclosures about another agency).

The Commissioner has a specific power to conduct an inquiry into the administration or management of a government sector agency. However, the Commissioner has a discretion as to whether to conduct such an inquiry, in accordance with the applicable guidelines.

Individual enquiries and complaints

The Public Service Commission does not provide individual employment advice nor does it review decisions made by employing agencies. 

In addition, the Public Service Commissioner does not have a general complaints handling function regarding NSW public sector agencies (other than actions taken by the PSC itself).

The following table has been developed to help direct you to the agency best able to deal with your enquiry or complaint where it does not fall within the responsibilities of the Public Service Commission or Commissioner. Please note that this information may not be complete or necessarily apply to your particular circumstances.

Nature of enquiry or complaint Where to get help
All individual employment matters, including:
  • Allowances
  • Leave arrangements
  • Excess employees
  • Fitness for duty assessments
  • Leave and conditions of employment
  • Performance management
  • Recognition of prior service for extended leave purposes
  • Recruitment processes & decisions
  • Retirement on medical grounds
  • Severance or redundancy payments and repayments upon re-employment in the public sector
  • Termination of employment
  • Transfers and secondments
  • Transfer of services to non-government sector
  • Workplace bullying

Please contact management or human resources area of your employing agency for advice.
If you have already received advice from the agency and wish to take the matter further, please refer to your agency’s grievance policy and procedures.

Allegations of corrupt conduct

Independent Commission Against Corruption

Allegations of criminal conduct

NSW Police

Breaches of pecuniary interest provisions under the Local Government Act 1993 and about the conduct of local councillors

Office of Local Government


Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW

Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA); or privacy by a NSW government agency

You can apply to have an agency’s decision on an access application internally reviewed by that agency or reviewed by:

NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal

Complaints about beaches of an individual’s privacy can be made to the Privacy Commissioner, at

Individual employment matters for employees covered by federal industrial instruments under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (e.g., modern awards and enterprise agreements)

Fair Work Ombudsman

Maladministration of a NSW government agency, including unfair or unreasonable treatment by a NSW government agency
(Note the NSW Ombudsman does not investigate individual employment matters)

NSW Ombudsman

Police misconduct

Law Enforcement Conduct Commission

Public Interest Disclosures

In brief, a public interest disclosure (PID) is a report by a public official about corrupt conduct, maladministration, serious and substantial waste, or a government information contravention by a public authority or public official.

More information on making public interest disclosures is available on this website.The NSW Ombudsman provides advice and guidance to public sector staff about reporting serious wrongdoing.

NSW Ombudsman, PID Unit

Serious and substantial waste of NSW public money or government money

The Auditor-General

Superannuation complaints

The superannuation fund concerned or, if that approach is not successful, please contact:

Australian Financial Complaints Authority

Unfair dismissal claims under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)

Fair Work Commission

Unfair dismissal claims under the Industrial Relations Act 1996

NSW Industrial Relations Commission

Work health and safety obligations including bullying

SafeWork NSW

Matters to which the Public Service Commissioner can respond

While the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 (GSE Act) does not give the Public Service Commissioner specific complaint-handling powers, the GSE Act does enable the Commissioner to: 

  • conduct an inquiry (or appoint someone else to conduct an inquiry) into any matter relating to the administration or management of a NSW government sector  agency 
  • require a NSW government sector agency head to provide a report on matters relating to the employees or the employment policies and practices of the agency 
  • issue directions to ensure compliance with the GSE Act, regulations or rules. 

The Commissioner has discretion to determine whether a complaint warrants the exercise of such powers. The Commissioner is not required to conduct an inquiry.

Please see the Guideline: Inquiries into the administration and management of government sector agencies for further information on inquiries under the GSE Act by the Commissioner or a person appointed by the Commissioner. 

Complaints about PSC staff

If you have a complaint about a decision made by a PSC employee or the conduct of a PSC employee (including about the quality of service provided, or any policies, procedures and practices of the PSC) please refer to the Complaints Policy Procedure.

PSC Complaints Policy and Procedure

Download this document (PDF)

Lodge a complaint

We are committed to providing services of the highest quality and use feedback to improve the quality of our services. We are committed to ensuring that complaints we receive are handled in a manner which is fair, courteous, and respects the privacy of the person making the complaint.

You can lodge a complaint by contacting us. We hope to ensure all complaints are handled fairly, efficiently and effectively. Complaints should be acknowledged within five working days of receipt of the complaint. As stated at the top of this page, the PSC is not able to handle complaints about NSW public sector agencies, or how they deliver services or exercise their functions.