Page title

Intro

Contents

Purpose

This policy enables the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) to effectively manage complaints. It supports the resolution of complaints in a consistent, systematic, timely and cost-effective manner, and enhances DLGSC's reputation by strengthening public confidence in its business processes. This policy also provides DLGSC with information to facilitate improvements in service delivery.

The DLGSC approach to complaint management is consistent with the Public Sector Commissioner’s Circular 2009-27 – Complaints Management, as well as provisions and guidelines contained in the following:

Scope

This policy deals with how complaints are to be managed and the importance of value adding and continuous improvement, based on feedback from customers relating to programs and services provided by DLGSC. It applies to all staff, volunteers and contractors. The Director General, Corporate Executive and Corporate Governance have defined responsibilities in terms of how this policy is to be managed.

The Statutory Authorities are not within scope of this policy.

Definitions

Complainant
is a person or organisation making a complaint.
A complaint

for the purpose of this policy is aligned to AS/NZS 10002:2014, (the standard) wherein a complaint is defined as an ‘expression of dissatisfaction made to, or about an organisation, related to its products, services, staff or the handling of a complaint where a response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required.’ A complaint is further defined below to ensure that the response to complaints is not duplicated and that the process does not become onerous and counterproductive.

This procedure deals with general complaints where:

  • there is not an alternative process in place that is linked to legislation and the agency’s core functions; or
  • an immediate resolution cannot be reached, and further investigation and actions are required.

An example of an alternative process is where complaints under section 5.105 of the Local Government Act 1995 and complaints under section 117 of the Liquor Control Act 1988 are dealt with in accordance with specific established procedures. The standard identifies certain matters that are not subject to these complaint procedures and they include:

Customer
is an external person or external organisation receiving advice, a service, accessing facilities, engaging in an interaction or business relationship, or any other person or organisation having an interest in the functions or activities of DLGSC.
Feedback
is opinions, comments and expressions of interest or concern, made directly or indirectly, explicitly or implicitly to or about DLGSC, its products, services, staff or its handling of a complaint.

Policy statement

DLGSC is committed to effective complaint handling and values feedback generated as part of its complaints process.

DLGSC will ensure that information about lodging complaints is well publicised and accessible to all stakeholders.

DLGSC will ensure the complaint handling process is easy for all potential complainants to access and to understand.

Complaints will be acknowledged in a timely manner and the complainant kept informed throughout the process.

Complaints will be dealt with in an equitable, objective and unbiased manner; and personal information will only be disclosed or used in compliance with relevant privacy laws and ethical obligations. Complainants should not be adversely affected because of a complaint made by them or on their behalf.

If a complaint is upheld, the organisation undertakes to provide a suitable remedy.

As part of the complaint process an opportunity for appealing DLGSC response to the complaint will be available to the complainant.

DLGSC will monitor the handling of all complaints and report periodically to management on the status of all complaints.

DLGSC views all complaints as a potential source of improvement in the delivery of its programs and services.

DLGSC acknowledges that children and young people are a legitimate complainant and the safety and wellbeing of children and young people are paramount.

A complainant will not be charged a fee to make a complaint.

Complaints will be conducted in accordance with departmental investigation and resolution processes.

Where a complaint involves multiple business areas or organisations, consideration must be given to coordination of communication with the complainant and implementation of relevant remedies.

DLGSC will ensure staff are trained in its complaints management policy and procedures prior to undertaking complaint management activities.

A complaint management audit can be conducted in accordance with ISO 19011 and results will be incorporated into management review.

All DLGSC staff, volunteers, contractors and complainants must comply with the DLGSC Code of Conduct and Customer Service Charter.

    Responsibilities

    The Director General is accountable for, and Corporate Executive are responsible for:

    • fostering a culture of customer focus within DLGSC
    • conducting an internal review of complaints where necessary
    • receiving quarterly reports about the application of this policy.

    The Executive Director Corporate Services is responsible for:

    • ensuring all staff, volunteers and contractors are aware of, and understand their responsibilities under this policy
    • ensuring that complaint management training is available to all staff.

    Directors and managers are responsible for:

    • monitoring customer service and complaint handling procedures and compliance with this policy (including compliance with the Code of Conduct and Customer Service Charter) by their staff, volunteers and contractors
    • ensuring professional development and training support in complaints management is provided to their staff, volunteers and contractors
    • advising Corporate Governance of all complaints received, which they will be recorded in the DLGSC complaint register.

    Corporate Governance is responsible for:

    • maintaining a central register for all DLGSC complaints
    • overseeing complaint responses (including monitoring timeframes and deadlines)
    • providing quarterly reports on the application of this policy to Corporate Executive
    • coordinating complaints management audits and monitor, review and report on findings and recommendations.

    All staff, volunteers and contractors are responsible for:

    • ensuring their conduct complies with the Code of Conduct and Customer Service Charter
    • complying with documented complaints policy and procedures
    • listening, believing and being respectful to children and young people when responding to concerns and complaint raised by children and young people
    • keeping appropriate records of all complaints consistent with the DLGSC Record Keeping Plan.

      Related guidance

      Legislation and regulations

      Department policy and procedure

      • Complaint Handling Procedure
      • Code of Conduct
      • Child Safeguarding Policy
      • Child Safeguarding Framework
      • Fraud and Corruption Control Plan (under development)
      • Public Interest Disclosure Policy
      • Record Keeping Plan
      • Customer Service Charter.

      Other related documents

      Page reviewed 16 March 2022