Appeals and reviewing decisions
Last published 14 May 2018
Many decisions made by the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) can be reviewed and appealed upon request by a client. A review is a formal process that checks whether FACS has made the right decision on a matter that is our responsibility.
When FACS makes a decision we:
- give consideration to individual circumstances
- apply FACS policy
- provide you with the reasons for our decision.
If you think we have made the wrong decision you can talk to the person who made the decision or another FACS staff member. If you are still not satisfied, you can ask for the decision to be reviewed.
What decisions can be reviewed?
Decisions that can be reviewed include:
- decisions made by FACS on behalf of Housing Pathways about:
- applications for social housing assistance
- Private Rental Assistance products
Decisions made by FACS that affect tenants such as:
- transfer applications
- applications for recognition as a tenant
- first and second strike notices for antisocial behaviour
- rent subsidy calculations and other tenancy-related decisions.
Decisions made by FACS that affect former tenants such as:
- former tenant debts
- former tenant classifications.
FACS cannot review NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) decisions.
How do I have a decision reviewed?
You need to fill out the relevant application form available from our website or at any local FACS office. For more information about which form relates to your circumstances, refer to the Client Service Delivery and Appeals Policy.
If you need help to fill out the form, speak to a FACS staff member. They will be able to explain what information must be entered on the form and can also provide help with writing as well as other assistance. You can also ask someone else to do this on your behalf, for example, a relative, friend or community worker.
Is there a timeframe to ask for a review?
Yes, generally you have three months from the date of the original decision to ask for a review. However, there are a number of decisions that require more urgent review and have specific time frames. For more detail on these, refer to the Client Service Delivery and Appeals Policy.
How does the review process work?
A FACS officer, who did not make the original decision, will review the original decision and make a recommendation. The review will check that:
- procedural fairness was adhered to
- policy was interpreted correctly and fairly when making the decision
- all circumstances and relevant information were fairly and properly considered
- any new, relevant information is considered.
A senior officer will then decide if the recommendation is correct. If you believe that the decision made after the review is still incorrect, you can ask for a second tier appeal which is conducted by an independent body, the Housing Appeals Committee.
Housing Appeals Committee
The Housing Appeals Committee is an independent body that deals with appeals about FACS and community housing provider decisions in NSW. The Housing Appeals Committee will review applications and provide a recommendation to the original decision maker, except for appeals to issue a first or second strike notice for antisocial behaviour, where the Housing Appeals Committee decision is binding on FACS.
How long will the review take?
The review undertaken by FACS will generally be completed within 20 working days from your request for review. It may sometimes take longer than this if we are waiting for further or new information from you or another relevant party.
A second tier appeal undertaken by the Housing Appeals Committee generally takes between six and eight weeks.
How do I know what the decision is?
When the review is completed by FACS or the Housing Appeals Committee, you will receive the decision in writing.
If you have a complaint to make against FACS
For complaints or other feedback, refer to the Client Feedback Service.