What is a Administrative Action complaint?
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction, orally or in writing, by a person who is directly affected by an administrative action of Council or its staff, including a failure to take action.
The types of complaints dealt with by this process include:
- a complaint about the conduct of a Council employee
- a complaint about a Council service or other administrative action.
- a complaint about a Council decision.
This fact sheet has been prepared to assist anyone who is considering lodging a complaint to Council and the Administrative Action and Councillor Conduct Complaint Form has been developed to assist with submitting a complaint.
Council has established a complaints process in line with the requirements of the Local Government Act 2009.
Complainants can access information on the complaints process below and, if necessary, assistance to make their complaint.
What is Council's complaints process?
Council will try to resolve your complaint at the first point of contact, however, if this cannot be done, the complaint will be processed through our complaints management process;
Stage 1 – Primary Investigation and Resolution
When a complaint is lodged (in person, in writing, email, telephone or fax) about an administrative action, the elements of the complaints management process will be followed. Each complaint will be investigated by the relevant department with the attempt to resolve the complaint as soon as practicable. The affected person will be advised of the decision and the reasons for the decision.
If the affected person is not satisfied that the complaint has been resolved, the affected person may lodge a request for an internal review.
Stage 2 – Internal Review
Where an affected person is not satisfied with the manner in which a complaint was handled or the remedial action taken by the relevant department, the affected person may lodge a request for an internal review with the Council. The Complaints Officer will assess the request and allocate the review to an appropriate internal review officer. The internal review officer must not have been involved with the subject of the complaint and may be another Manager/General Manager, the Complaints Officer, an external Agency or an officer with appropriate skills and experience to review the matter. The affected person will be advised of the decision and the reasons for the decision.
Stage 3 – External Review
If the affected person is still not satisfied that the complaint has been resolved, they may lodge a complaint with an external complaint agency such as the Queensland Ombudsman, other agency or the courts.
The Administrative Action and Councillor Conduct Complaint Policy will support this process.
How to make a complaint
Affected persons can request assistance from a Council officer on how to make a complaint.
Complaints can be made:
- using the Administrative Action and Councillor Conduct Complaint Form
- in writing addressed to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
- telephone Council on 4189 9100
- email using Council's online mailbox firstname.lastname@example.org
- visit Council's Customer Service Centres
- referral from the Qld Ombudsmen's Office.
Any affected person can make an administrative action complaint. Affected persons are able to make a complaint anonymously. A complaint can also be made by an agent on behalf of an affected person.
What to include in your complaint
To assist Council in dealing quickly and effectively with your complaint, you are asked to provide the following:
- as much detail as possible about the matter
- details of any loss or detriment that you have suffered
- list any other agencies or authorities you have already reported this matter to
- your contact details, i.e. your name and at least one method of contact (phone, email, address)
- an outline of the outcome you are seeking
- any supporting information including, photos, or contact details of anyone else who can support your complaint.
A affected person who makes a verbal complaint is strongly encouraged to commit the complaint in writing to ensure that all matters relating to the complaint are clearly documented.
What happens next?
Your complaint will be recorded and you will be provided with a Customer Reference Number. Council aims to achieve acknowledgment within ten business days of receipt of a complaint.
How long will it take to resolve a complaint?
Council aims to resolve all complaints as quickly as possible. The circumstances vary considerably between complaints, so it is not possible to guarantee a set timeframe for all complaints.Complaints about simple matters not requiring a formal investigation are usually capable of being addressed within a few days. More serious and complex matters can take considerably longer.
As a complainant, you should be kept informed of the progress of any investigation and you will be notified of the outcome.
What if you change your mind?
If you change your mind and wish to withdraw a complaint, you may do so at any time. If the original complaint was made in writing, the withdrawal should also be in writing.
What happens to the documentation?
Documentation relating to a complaint will be treated as confidential information. This includes the written complaint, investigation report and correspondence between the complainant and the investigator.
For more information please contact Council on 4189 9100.