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Complaint handling

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with the council’s policies, procedures, charges, employees, agents or the quality of the services it provides.

Routine complaints

Councils should have processes in place for managing complaints that include the following features:

  • A clear definition of what is and is not a complaint
  • A user-friendly procedure for lodging complaints
  • A simple process for dealing with complaints
  • A means of recording, reporting on and using complaints data to improve systems
  • A commitment to efficient and fair resolution of complaints by people at all levels in the council, starting with the General Manager
  • Referral procedures should be known to all frontline staff
  • Staff training and empowerment
  • Appropriate remedies
  • Performance standards
  • Agreed basic policies and procedures that are easy to understand and explain will assist staff in resolving, conciliating and investigating complaints from the simple to the complex. They should always be written down.

Allegations of corrupt conduct

A General Manager of a council has a duty to report to ICAC any matter he or she suspects is corrupt conduct.

Allegations of a breach of the Code of Conduct.

Members of the public as well as other councillors, staff or delegates of council may make complaints under the code of conduct. The Model Code prescribes procedures for dealing with such complaints.  Click here for more information about the Model Code of Conduct and complaint management.

Allegations of a breach of the pecuniary interest provisions of the Local Government Act.

The Office of Local Government is empowered to investigate breaches of the pecuniary interest provisions of the Local Government Act.  The General Manager of council has an obligation to refer complaints alleging breaches of the pecuniary interest provisions to the Office.

Click on the links for more information about complaints management.


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