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What will happen to my complaint or report?

You have made a complaint or report, what happens next?

Receipt and Registration

Once the OPI has received your complaint or report it will register it and send you an acknowledgement letter or email (if you have provided your contact details).

This registration period normally takes two working days.


An assessment officer will identify all relevant people, agencies and issues raised in your complaint or report. Each issue will be assessed as to whether it raises a potential issue of corruption, misconduct or maladministration in public administration.

Complaints and reports about police are not ordinarily assessed by the OPI. However, the OPI oversee assessments undertaken by the Internal Investigations Section of SAPOL.

Assessment Outcome

Once your complaint or report has been assessed, a decision will be made about the most appropriate course of action.

Corruption Assessment

If your complaint or report is assessed as raising a potential issue of corruption, the Commissioner may decide to investigate the matter, or refer the matter to SAPOL for investigation.

Misconduct or Maladministration Assessment

If your complaint or report is assessed as raising a potential issue of misconduct or maladministration, it will ordinarily be sent to a public authority or the Ombudsman for investigation and action.

In some circumstances the Commissioner can investigate these matters herself, if she thinks they are serious or systemic and it is in the public interest for her to do so.

Some Other Issue Assessment

Sometimes a matter will come to the OPI's attention that does not raise an issue of corruption, misconduct or maladministration, but is still appropriate for the matter to be referred to a responsible agency for consideration.

The matter might relate to poor communication, poor customer service or a misunderstanding.

No Further Action Assessment

Your complaint or report may be assessed as requiring no further action if:

  • it does not relate to South Australian public administration (outside of jurisdiction)
  • the matter is considered trivial, vexatious or frivolous
  • it has previously been dealt with and there is no need to re-examine the matter
  • there is other good reason why no action should be taken.

How long does the assessment take?

The OPI aims to have all assessments completed in a timely manner. 

A simple public integrity assessment can take a couple of days and a complex assessment that raises multiple issues about a number of people and agencies can take much longer.

The time taken to conduct an assessment is affected by the clarity of information provided and whether or not you are contactable for further information. It is also affected by whether or not information needs to be sought from other sources.

Reporting back to you

If you have provided your contact details, the OPI will advise you of how your complaint or report has been assessed.

If your complaint or report is about police, SAPOL will communicate with you.