Moyne Shire Council is committed to managing complaints in a transparent, fair and consistent way and feedback is encouraged. It helps improve Council services and how business is conducted.
The value of proper complaints handling The expression of a complaint by a member of the community provides an opportunity for council to:
- improve its level of accountability to the community;
- obtain valuable feedback on its performance as an organisation;
- demonstrate its commitment to customer service by professionally addressing the specific needs of the complainant; and
- identify deficiencies in its current service delivery programmes
Moyne Shire has adopted a Complaints Policy and outlines Council’s process for receiving and responding to complaints
You can read the policy here Gov-40-Complaints-Policy.pdf(PDF, 338KB)
How do I make and lodge a complaint?
When a member of the community wishes to express dissatisfaction with a service, infringement or a Council employee they should clearly state that they “wish to complain” or “make a complaint”. Once recognised as a complaint, the matter will be treated by Council staff in accordance with this policy.
Preferably, members of the community wishing to make a complaint should do so in writing. This will assist Council in comprehensively responding to the complaint. To assist Council complainants should provide details of:
- relevant dates and times;
- a description of the incident or problem;
- any conversations and meetings you have had with involved parties;
- copies of relevant letters;
- an outline of the actions the complainant would like taken in response to the complaint;
- any further information thought important.
Council will also accept and respond to complaints lodged over the telephone or at its offices during normal working hours. Staff will assist in the completion of the complaints form. If specific communication needs or barriers are identified we can assist by:
- using an assistance service, such as interpreter or TTY;
- talking with you if you have trouble reading or writing;
- communicating with another person acting on your behalf if you cannot make the complaint yourself.
How will Council manage my complaint?
In the first instance, a complaint will be recorded and the person taking the complaint, or responsible for responding to the letter, will attempt to resolve the matter with the complainant directly. If, however, resolution cannot be reached the complaint will be reviewed or investigated by a more senior officer. If these avenues do not result in the resolution of the complaint the matter may be referred to Council’s CEO to assess whether proper process has been followed and the complainant has been treated fairly.
The resolution of a complaint may involve:
- the provision of additional information;
- the instituting of remedial action;
- the provision of an apology; or
- the commencement of dispute resolution procedures
Whatever the outcome, Council will clearly indicate what it can do and what it cannot. Members of the community are also advised that if having followed the process detailed above they are still not satisfied they may pursue an external review of their complaint.
No charges apply to having a complaint heard by Council.
How will Council treat the receiving my complaint?
Council values feedback from the community on its performance, including complaints. Council staff will assist where necessary to the lodging of a complaint.
An immediate response may not be possible and Council staff may require further detail or clarification from the complainant and may need to consult other Council employees. Also, while Council will endeavour to treat all complaints confidentially, due to statutory and other requirements confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.
At all times, Council staff will treat complainants in a respectful and professional manner. Council expects that complainants extend the same courtesy to our employees.
When will Council respond to my complaint?
Council will respond to all complaints lodged within 10 working days. If the matter is complex and a reply within that timeframe is not possible, Council will contact the complainant to tell the complainant what action is being undertaken.
Council may refuse to deal with a complaint which is otherwise subject to statutory review.
This discretion sits with the relevant Director and the complainant will be informed in writing of the decision and the Statutory Review process. Where a complaint is subject to statutory review, the complainant will be advised which agency to contact and under which legislation / act the complaint should be dealt with.
Moyne Shire Council will provide information of who to contact after assessing the complaint. The agency contact details will be provided and under which legislation the complainant is being directed to contact the agency or prescribed authority.
Some legislations will not allow Council to deal with a complaint if it is being dealt with via another external review process or if you have a right to a statutory review such as a right of appeal to VCAT (Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal).
Whether in person, writing or verbally by phone; a complaint registration form will be completed. All supporting documentation to the complaint shall be recorded with the registration form according to Moyne Shire Council Records Management Procedures. Complaints are assigned for investigation and managers are accountable for the handling of complaints. Moyne Shire Council has a complaint handling procedure which defines responding to a complaint and enacting agreed solutions.
How do I request an external review of my complaint?
There are external bodies that can deal with different types of complaints about us.
You can request an external review from the following organisations;
Organisation to contact for an external review of your complaint
Actions or decisions of a Council, Council staff and contractors.
This includes failure to consider human rights or failure to act compatibly with a human right under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic)
Breaches of the Local Government Act
Local Government Inspectorate
Complaint about a freedom of information application
Office of the Victorian Information Commission www.ovic.vic.gov.au
Corruption or public interest disclosure (‘whistleblower’) complaints
Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission www.ibac.vic.gov.au
Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission www.humanrights.vic.gov.au
Victorian Electoral Commission
Can I make an anonymous complaint?
Where validating evidence is presented an anonymous complaint will be investigated and actioned. If no evidence is presented and the complainant is anonymous, the complaint will be investigated at the discretion of management.
Other types of complaints
All complaints received will be treated with the utmost seriousness. If a complaint is considered to be malicious, frivolous, persistent or vexatious – see definitions – the complaint will be referred to the appropriate Director or CEO.
An assessment of the complaint will be undertaken and a determination will be made as to the nature of the complaint. If the complaint is found to be vexatious, malicious or persistent the complainant will be notified of the outcome and no further action will be taken on the complaint.
If the complaint is not found to be vexatious it will be dealt with in accordance with Council’s policy.
Complaint procedure summary
1. Tell us what happened, submit your complaint;
2. Moyne Shire Council will assess your complaint;
3. You will be advised of the outcome of the assessment;
4. Proceeding to investigate the complaint;
5. Referral to more senior officer (if required);
6. Internal review (if required) independent of the person who took the action, made the decision or provided the service;
7. Is the complaint vexatious / refer to director or CEO;
8. Investigate and respond or refuse and refer;
9. Outcome of complaint. Is the complainant satisfied;
10. Refer for external review (if required)