When you make a complaint or report about public administration to the OPI, it will be received by an intake officer at the OPI.
You will receive an acknowledgement letter or email if you have provided your contact details. This includes more information about the assessment process.
If you made a police complaint or report, the process is a little different.
Your complaint or report will then be assessed by OPI to determine whether it raises one of the following issues, and who will investigate further if required.
If the matter raises a potential issue of corruption in public administration (that could be the subject of a prosecution) it will be referred to the Independent Commission Against Corruption for investigation.
These are often very serious accusations. Relatively few complaints and reports are referred to the ICAC for investigation.
If the matter raises issues that should be considered by an inquiry agency, it will be referred to that agency.
The three inquiry agencies are:
We may also consider a referral to Ombudsman SA if your matter raises potential issues of misconduct or maladministration in public administration.
Sometimes a matter will come to our attention that does not raise potential corruption or issues that should be dealt with by an inquiry agency, but is still important.
In those cases, it may be appropriate for the matter to be referred to another relevant authority for further consideration. This may include the authority you complained about.
In some cases a complaint or report may be assessed as needing no further action. This might be if the matter:
- does not relate to South Australian public administration (it's out of our jurisdiction)
- is considered trivial, vexatious or frivolous
- has been dealt with previously and there is no need to re-examine it
- there is another good reason why no action should be taken.
Sometimes we might need more information as part of the assessment process to help us to determine the next appropriate step. This process is not an investigation - the OPI has no investigative powers.
How long does an assessment take?
The time it takes to assess your complaint or report depends on a number of things, including:
- the complexity of your complaint
- the number of issues you have raised
- the number of people and agencies you have identified
- the clarity and amount of information or documentation you have provided
- whether you are contactable for more information
- whether any information is needed from other sources
- other issues identified in our assessment process.
You can contact OPI if you need an update on your matter.