The Office of the Internal Ombudsman provides residents, community members, ratepayers, local businesses, staff, Councillors and other Council Stakeholders with an “independent ear” about:
- Corrupt conduct
Service requests should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, lodged through Council’s online portal or by phone to 02 4306 7900.
Will the Internal Ombudsman retain my confidentiality?
Details will not be disclosed unless written consent from you 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.
When should I contact the Internal Ombudsman?
Where possible, you should try at first to resolve your issue with relevant Council staff before contacting the Internal Ombudsman.
You can contact the Internal Ombudsman at any stage but if a staff member is already handling your matter, it is likely that your enquiry will be referred back to that Council unit to give Council staff the opportunity to resolve the issue.
What if I disagree with the outcome of the inquiry?
The Internal Ombudsman will not review any findings if you do not agree with the outcome or a decision has not been favourable to you.
If you are dissatisfied with the findings or outcome of an inquiry made by the Internal Ombudsman, you can contact external agencies including the NSW Ombudsman, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) or the Office of Local Government.
How do I contact the Internal Ombudsman?
Please email InternalOmbudsman@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au and include the following information:
- All relevant details and information relating to the persons involved and actions
- The solution you are seeking
- Copies of any relevant evidence – letters, emails, photographs etc
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.
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 deal with Council staff issues?
The Internal Ombudsman will not deal with matters which involve a staff dispute, grievance or disciplinary procedure.
However, the Internal Ombudsman can deal with issues about Council staff which may involve:
- A privacy issue
- Code of Conduct matters referred by the Chief Executive Officer
- A confidential Public Interest Disclosure (PID) made under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994.
Can the Internal Ombudsman review decisions made by the Legal division of 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
Can the Internal Ombudsman provide me with legal advice?
No, the Internal Ombudsman cannot provide legal advice or intervene in legal action taken by Council.
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.
Can I remain anonymous?
The Internal Ombudsman will consider anonymous matters but only if adequate detail is provided to allow the matter to be reviewed or investigated.
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.
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