The Office of Transport Safety Investigations (OTSI) is the independent transport safety investigator for NSW.
OTSI was established on 1 January 2004 as a separate division within the Independent Transport Safety and Reliability Regulator (ITSRR) to investigate and report on rail, bus and ferry safety incidents in NSW.
In response to the recommendations of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Waterfall Rail Accident, the NSW Parliament passed the Transport Legislation Amendment (Waterfall Rail Inquiry Recommendations) Bill 2005 which removed OTSI from ITSRR and created the Chief Investigator as a statutory position reporting directly to the Minister for Transport. OTSI began operating independently on 1 July 2005.
The separation of OTSI was designed to reinforce the independence of the Chief Investigator, and to give the travelling public and the transport sector a high degree of confidence in the safety of the NSW transport network through the conduct of fair, impartial and balanced investigations.
OTSI investigation reports are tabled by the NSW Minister for Transport in both houses of the NSW Parliament.
The Chief Investigator
OTSI is led by the Chief Investigator, a role currently held by Dr Natalie Pelham. The Chief Investigator is appointed by the Governor of NSW on the recommendation of the Minister for Transport.
determining the causes of those accidents or incidents
reporting on the outcome of any investigation to the Minister
reviewing investigation reports prepared by transport authorities and other transport operators
at the request of the Minister, investigating and advising the Minister about any matter related to the safe operation of transport services.
The Chief Investigator can also give a written notice to the Minister requesting that any transport accident or incident or any other event, occurrence, practice or matter that may affect the safe provision of a public passenger service carried on by means of a bus or ferry be the subject of a transport safety inquiry.
The Chief Investigator is not subject to the direction and control of the Minister in the exercise of the Chief Investigator’s investigative and reporting functions.
Dr Natalie Pelham was appointed Chief Investigator and CEO of OTSI in January 2021. She has more than 25 years’ experience in the public sector leading significant safety regulation, policy, strategy, and reform at the state and national levels.
We are willing to question the status quo to achieve safety improvements.
Be independent We are honest and strive to be impartial and objective in our work.
We value different perspectives and treat everyone with dignity.
We enable each other and our stakeholders to be involved and contribute.
Make a difference
We provide unique insights that improve transport safety.
Our commitment to improving transport safety
At OTSI we are committed to:
improving transport safety outcomes by identifying safety issues and communicating actionable recommendations in a timely manner
maintaining ongoing regular interaction with transport operators, regulators and other stakeholders
identifying whether recommendations are implemented in a timely manner
contributing to journey reliability by identifying safety issues that reduce the likelihood of service disruption.