Department of Customer Service Agency Information Guide

This is a guide to the information held by the Department of Customer Service agency and how to access it. The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPA Act) gives you the right to access government information such as this.

Agency Information Guide (AIG) last reviewed June 2024

On this page

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW) (GIPA Act) gives citizens an enforceable right to access government information unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure. To assist the public, each agency publishes a guide to the information held and how to access it.

The Department of Customer Service (DCS) is committed to ensuring that citizens can access information about us easily and at the lowest reasonable cost. The following is the DCS Agency Information Guide (AIG). It outlines who we are, what we do, the information we make available, and how you can access it.

The purpose of this DCS AIG is to provide general information on the:

  • structure and functions of DCS
  • ways in which the functions of DCS, including the decision-making functions, affect members of the public
  • specific arrangements in place to enable members of the public to participate in the formulation of DCS policy and the exercise of DCS functions
  • kinds of government information held by the DCS
  • kinds of government information held by DCS that we make publicly available
  • how DCS makes or will make government information publicly available
  • kinds of information that are (or will be) made publicly available free of charge and those kinds for which a charge is (or will be) imposed.

Where appropriate we have provided links to documents, reports, data and other information throughout this AIG.

This AIG is reviewed regularly and at least every 12 months. 

About Us

The Department of Customer Service (DCS) is a service provider, regulator and central agency of government. The role of the department is to help:

•    set the strategy and service standards for the sector
•    provide digital, data, and behavioural insights services for the sector
•    deliver services directly to more than 8 million customers.

DCS was established on 1 July 2019, and comprises more than 30 agencies, entities and business units that provide regulatory functions and deliver services to the people and businesses of NSW.

DCS structure

DCS houses individual agencies, offices, entities and business units. Find out more about DCS's structure, agencies and functions.

Our functions 

Our organisational structure includes nine core functions. As a service provider and regulator, most of our activities have a direct impact on the public. The table below outlines our core functions and how they affect the public.

FunctionDescription
NSW Fair TradingNSW Fair Trading has the important role of safeguarding consumer protection laws in NSW and ensuring consumers and renters have the information and support they need to navigate current systems. It helps to promote fairness for all in the millions of daily transactions between consumers and traders and facilitate a competitive and fair marketplace.
SafeWork NSWAs the state’s workplace health and safety regulator, SafeWork NSW works with the NSW business community, industry, unions and workers to prevent accidents and improve workplace health and safety. This directly affects the public because SafeWork NSW works within the community to provide advice on improving work health and safety, investigate workplace incidents and complaints, and enforce work health and safety, workers compensation and explosives laws in NSW.
State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA)SIRA steward and regulate the state’s statutory insurance and care schemes – Workers Compensation, Motor Accidents and Home Building Compensation. This directly affects the public by ensuring that NSW insurance schemes protect and support the people who need them, now and in the future. 
Revenue NSWRevenue NSW fairly administers state taxation and revenue for, and on behalf of, the people of NSW. Revenue NSW collects duties, manages fines and administers grants and subsidies to provide valuable assistance to the community and businesses across NSW. They also recover debt to provide an equitable outcome for the community. The work of Revenue NSW directly affects a large section of the NSW public, who interact daily with the agency regarding state taxation and debt matters. The funds recovered by Revenue NSW also go towards health, education and other services for the people of NSW. 
Digital NSWDigital NSW is a digital service provider for the whole of government and leads and delivers cross-government digital experiences, services and products. Digital NSW provides sustainable investment and sourcing that enable the NSW Government to deliver critical digital platforms and infrastructure that protect and connect NSW. This directly affects the public as, working with other NSW Government departments and agencies, the Digital NSW creates a digital ecosystem that puts customers at the centre and makes NSW a great place to live and work.
Customer, Delivery and Transformation (CDT)CDT leads transformation in customer-focused service delivery across the NSW Government. This directly affects the public as the division provides best practice insights, data-led analytics and advisory support to drive a customer-first culture across sector services and improved user experience for customers – including management of the nsw.gov.au website. CDT also includes the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, who serve the public by ensuring life events in NSW are registered accurately and securely. 
Corporate Support ServicesCorporate Services provides a range of specialised services to support the work of DCS, delivered collectively through our Corporate Services Division, Office of the Secretary and People and Culture functions. These teams deliver strategic and operational policy, advisory, transaction and assurance services. This directly affects the public by enabling DCS to deliver centrally-led, customer focused support to our people, executive and ministers.
Building Commission NSWBuilding Commission NSW oversees and regulates the NSW construction industry. The agency brings together teams from NSW Fair Trading and the Office of the Building Commissioner to provide an integrated and consistent approach to ensuring confidence in residential building quality in NSW. Their work directly affects the public, as they work to rebuild trust and capability in the construction sector through the areas of inspections and compliance, licensing complaints and policy.  
Service NSWService NSW makes it easier for people, communities, and businesses across NSW to access government services by providing ‘one-stop’ access to the NSW Government’s services and transactions. These are delivered via an omnichannel mix of face-to-face, phone and online services, providing customers with the choice to best suit their needs. The work of Service NSW directly affects the public as they provide a single point of contact for customers for a wide range of government services.

Note: Service NSW is considered a separate agency under the GIPA Act and therefore is required to publish their own Agency Information Guide on the Service NSW website

More information about the services provided by these agencies can also be found on their own websites. For a complete list of DCS functions provided by legislation, please refer to the DCS Annual Report (‘Legislation administered’).

Our Code of Ethics

As a regulator and service provider for the NSW Government, individuals across NSW are affected by how we perform our functions. DCS employees must act in the public interest bound by the values described in our Code of Conduct, being:

  • integrity
  • service
  • accountability
  • trust. 

Public participation 

DCS has many ways you can participate in the work we do. You can make a comment or suggestion, participate in formulating department policies or functions, or raise issues you feel are of concern to you or the public at large.

You can do this:

•    through formal feedback channels such as the NSW Government Have Your Say portal
•    through online feedback forms provided on many of our agency websites
•    by contacting the division or office's relevant head, or the Secretary of the Department of Customer Service.

Our business areas may, on occasion, provide an opportunity for the public to make submissions on discussion papers, blueprints and reports. When we seek submissions, we outline how you can participate on the relevant website or on the NSW Governments Have Your Say portal. 

Subscribe to our content

Each business area advertises and promotes public participation in current policy development, review and reform processes.  

The best way to participate is to subscribe to our mailing lists, newsletters and social media pages, available at the following links: 

You can also monitor our News and Media Releases page and Have Your Say websites. Following is a list of useful public participation contact points:

Complaints and feedback

We invite you to submit your questions, complaints or feedback about any of our agencies, programs, policies or reforms. In particular, you may give feedback about: 

•    the quality of the service received from a staff member 
•    the conduct of a staff member 
•    a decision made by a business area
•    a policy or procedure.

You can provide feedback by email, letter, telephone or in-person at a Service NSW Centre. Contact information for each function of the department is available on the relevant agency’s website. 

Additionally, some business areas within DCS use Feedback Assist. This online tool ensures there is 'no wrong door' for customer feedback across government.
Feedback received through this tool is tracked and reported and is generally used to improve how we provide government services.

If a complaint is serious or complex, it is generally best to put it in writing.
To contact us, please visit the DCS Contact us page or use the relevant agency’s online contact form, below:
 

Fair Trading

SafeWork NSW

Revenue NSW

NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages

SIRA

  • contact SIRA or leave your feedback via the contact us page.

Digital.NSW

Building Commission NSW

Information access

Divisions across DCS keep records associated with their core functions in regulation and the provision of services. These records may include a person's personal information that is collected, stored, used and disclosed in accordance with the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (PPIP Act).

What kind of government information does DCS hold

We hold a range of information including:

  • financial records: journals, reconciliation, bank statements, treasury management system computer reports, budgets, invoices, and purchase orders
  • customer records: records of customers’ interactions with various divisions within DCS including through call centres, and digital services
  • service partnership agreements: legal agreements setting out the terms and conditions of agencies’ arrangements with DCS
  • personnel records: employee remuneration, performance appraisal and recruitment records
  • executive records: executive and other committee minutes and correspondence
  • human resource management records: relating to human resource management policies and practices
  • information technology records: relating to information technology planning, acquisition, installation, and disposal; including user and system manuals
  • communication records: media releases, news clippings, marketing collateral, brand guidelines, presentations
  • policy and procedural manuals: documenting DCS policies and operational procedures
  • complaints and investigative information.

What kind of government information is made available to the public and how

We make information available under the GIPA Act in four ways:
•    open access information
•    proactive release of information
•    informal access
•    formal access.

Open access information

Under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, we are required to make certain information available on our website, free of charge (sections 6 and 18 of the GIPA Act). This is called 'open access information' and includes our:

•    agency information guide
•    policy documents
•    disclosure log
•    register of government contracts
•    major assets, acquisitions and disposals
•    advertising compliance certificates
•    information about grants administration.

The department’s Code of Ethics and Conduct and the DCS Annual Report is available on this website. The annual reports of other DCS agencies can be found on the relevant agency’s website. 

Other documents within this category, including submissions made to various Committee hearings, are published and available on the website of the Parliament of NSW

Some publications may only be available upon payment of a fee, but we will let you know if that is the case.

Proactive release of information

The proactive release of information is a discretionary power to release information in any manner considered appropriate, free of charge or at the lowest reasonable cost (section 7 of the GIPA Act).

DCS’s program for the proactive release of information involves analysing data collected on requests for information under the GIPA Act over the financial year, considering the kinds of government information held by the agency that may be suitable for proactive release, and asking divisions and branches to consider information relevant to the agency that we want the public to know about and in accordance with the DCS Proactive Release of Government Information Policy.

We promote the release of newly published information, which may be of interest to the public and have programs in place within each division for the proactive release of information. The information we may release in this way includes (and is not limited to):

•    guidelines 
•    internal procedures 
•    brochures 
•    bulletins
•    fact sheets
•    data and statistical information
•    any other information which may be of interest to the public.

A range of publicly released information is also made readily available on nsw.gov.au and Data NSW, which brings together government datasets and information published by NSW Government agencies in a consolidated, searchable format. To find DCS information, search for “Department of Customer Service” or one of our entities under “organisations” or in the “Published by” searches. DCS business areas also proactively release statistical information on their individual websites.

Our open data practice is aligned to the NSW Government Open Data Policy and seeks to make appropriate government data available to industry and the community. Open data supports the open government principles of transparency, participation, collaboration and innovation. It augments the proactive release of information required under the GIPA Act.

If you have difficulties locating information that should be released proactively, or you feel should be made available free of charge, please contact the DCS GIPA Hotline on 02 9219 3700 or email gipa@customerservice.nsw.gov.au.

How to access information we hold under the GIPA Act

The GIPA Act provides the public with a right to access government information. A request to access information we hold can be made as an informal request (section 8 of the GIPA Act) or as a formal access application (section 9 of the GIPA Act).

DCS has four GIPA teams handling information access requests for the following divisions: 

DCS and Service NSW GIPA team

  • Revenue NSW 
  • Digital NSW (including Geographical Names Board, Board of Surveying and Spatial Services and NSW Telco Authority)
  • Customer, Delivery and Transformation (including Births Deaths and Marriages and the NSW Data Analytics Centre)
  • Office of the Secretary
  • People & Culture 
  • Corporate Services
  • Building Commission NSW 
  • Service NSW 

NSW Fair Trading GIPA team

  • NSW Fair Trading 
  • Long Service Corporation 
  • Office of the Registrar General 
  • Subsidence Advisory 
  • Professional Standards Authority
  • Office of the Property Services Commissioner
  • Office of the Rental Commissioner
  • Financial Counselling Trust Fund
  • Rental Bond Board

SafeWork NSW GIPA team

  • SafeWork NSW.

SIRA GIPA team

  • Statutory Insurance schemes 

Informal access

The GIPA Act authorises the release of government information in response to an informal request unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure (section 8 of the GIPA Act).

If we haven't freely published the information you seek as ‘open access information’, we may be able to release it to you without the need for a formal access application. We generally provide the following types of information in response to an informal request:

•    your personal information
•    copies of correspondence sent to us by you
•    applications and supporting documents sent to us by you
•    documents such as customer transaction database notes that contain only personal information about you
•    documents that may have already been made public in some other way 
•    other reasonable requests for release of information that would not raise any potential public interest or privacy concerns.

This form of release does not require a fee or an application form. Information may be released with deletions, released subject to reasonable conditions, or released in a preferred form. We may impose conditions on the use or disclosure of information that we release in response to an informal request.

If you would like to make an informal request for information, please email the relevant GIPA team.

Requests for personal information can also be made under the PPIP Act

Formal access

If the information you are looking for is not already published by us or available by informal request, you may wish to make a formal access application in writing under the GIPA Act. Formal access applications are subject to application fees and processing charges. We will not release information if there is an overriding public interest against its disclosure.

Your access application must include the following five things:
•    be in writing and addressed to the agency
•    clearly state you are requesting information under the GIPA Act
•    include the $30 application fee
•    include your name, an email address or return postal address for correspondence in connection with an application
•    include such information as is reasonably necessary to enable the government information applied for to be identified.

If your application does not meet the above requirements, it will be invalid and the application will not be processed. However, in order to help you make a valid application, we will contact you to provide advice and assistance.

You can make a formal application by completing an application form available from the relevant GIPA team’s webpage.

Formal access application fee and processing charges

Apart from the $30 application fee, the GIPA Act allows DCS to impose a charge of $30 per hour to process an application. The application fee counts towards the first hour of processing.

In processing a formal access application, DCS is required to ensure that it is dealt with efficiently and provides access to information requested at the lowest reasonable cost.

A 50% discount in processing charges will apply if an applicant demonstrates they fall within any of the following categories:

•    a member of the public suffering financial hardship
•    the information applied for is of special benefit to the public
•    the holder of a current Pensioner Concession Card
•    full-time students
•    non-profit organisations.

Please note that the 50% discount applies only to processing charges and not to the $30 application fee.

If applying for your own personal information, DCS cannot charge for the first 20 hours of processing.

Decision making process

Information which may not be disclosed

You cannot access information excluded under Schedule 1 and 2 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, such as information related to the complaint handling and investigative functions conferred by or under any other Act, or Cabinet or Executive Council information. That information is ‘excluded information’ under the GIPA Act. 

For some information categories, while you may apply for access, there is a presumption against release. See the list of categories set out at Schedule 1 of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.

You can find out more about your right to information by visiting the Information Privacy Commissioner NSW website.

Internal Review

You may seek a review of a formal decision under section 5 of the GIPA Act. If you wish to apply for an internal review the application fee is $40.

More information about your review rights under the GIPA Act can be found in a fact sheet from the Information and Privacy Commission. You can also contact the IPC on 1800 472 679

Information and Privacy Commission

The Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC) promotes and protects information access rights in NSW and provides information, advice, assistance and training for agencies and individuals on information access matters.

To learn more about citizen rights and agency obligations visit the IPC website.

Information access contacts

Department of Customer Service and Service NSW GIPA

GIPA Hotline
02 9219 3700

Email
gipa@customerservice.nsw.gov.au

Mail
DCS and SNSW GIPA Team
2-24 Rawson Place
SYDNEY NSW 2000

NSW Fair Trading

GIPA Hotline

13 32 20

Email

FTGIPA@customerservice.nsw.gov.au

Mail
NSW Fair Trading
Locked Bag 2906
LISAROW NSW 2252

SafeWork NSW

GIPA Hotline

02 9219 3999

Email

gipa@safework.nsw.gov.au

Mail
SafeWork NSW
Locked Bag 2906
LISAROW NSW 2252

State Insurance Regulatory Authority

GIPA Hotline
13 10 50

Email
gipa@sira.nsw.gov.au

Mail
State Insurance Regulatory Authority
Right to Information Officer, GIPA Team
Locked Bag 2906
Lisarow NSW 2252

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