Client service charter
Standing for fairness
We investigate complaints about the actions and decisions of state government departments and agencies (including state schools and TAFE), local councils and public universities. We work with these organisations to improve decision-making and administrative practices. We are also the oversight agency for the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010.
Our service is free and independent. We assess complaints within our jurisdiction and make recommendations to rectify unlawful, unfair or unjust decisions and improve administrative practice.
The strategic plan provides more information on how we achieve this.
When you contact us, you can expect:
- to make your complaint in a way that is convenient to you
- staff who are courteous, helpful, professional and sensitive to diverse needs
- your complaint will be handled according to our privacy plan, fairly and in a timely way
- if we don't have the power to investigate your complaint, we may redirect your complaint to another organisation, quickly and efficiently
- clear explanations about what we can and cannot do, reasons for our decisions and any recommendations we may make
- efficient assessment of your complaint within approximately 10 days
- progress updates at least once a month if your complaint is investigated.
Find out more about our complaints process.
When you contact us by telephone, you can expect:
- your call will be answered promptly and professionally between the hours of 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (except public holidays)
- the person who answers will provide assistance or refer you to another organisation that can help
- if we are unable to help you immediately, we will get back to you within a reasonable time.
When you make an online complaint, you will immediately receive an automated acknowledgment. When you make a complaint by email, fax or letter, you can expect an acknowledgement within five working days of receipt. When you make a complaint in person, you will receive advice about the complaint. When we contact you, we will communicate with you in plain English and respond to your concerns and queries.
Our commitment to accessibility
Our services are available to all people and we are committed to ensuring that we are accessible to everyone.
Our commitment to your privacy
We are committed to protecting your privacy and understand you may be concerned about the privacy, confidentiality and security of any information you provide. Find out how seriously we take privacy.
How you can help us
We are dedicated to offering you a professional and independent service. To help us fulfil our charter commitments, we ask you to:
- genuinely try to fix your complaint with the organisations involved, and exhaust their complaints management system, before contacting us
- be polite, willing to listen and respectful when in contact with us
- inform our staff if you have any special needs, such as the need for an interpreter
- provide a concise summary of your complaint, including documentation to support your complaint e.g. an internal review report, letters, emails and file notes of telephone conversations, and tell us about the result you wish to achieve
- respond to our requests within agreed timeframes
- keep us up-to-date if circumstances change or you have new information.
If you are unable to meet these obligations, we may choose to only contact you in writing, or even discontinue the investigation.
Are you unhappy with our decision?
If you are unhappy with our decision, you can ask for a review. Reviews will be conducted by, or under the supervision of, another officer of equal or greater seniority than the officer who originally made the decision. Find out how to have your decision reviewed.
Are you unhappy with our level of service?
If you are unhappy with the way you have been treated or the level of service you received from one of our officers, you may raise the issue with them. If you are not comfortable raising it with them, you may raise it with their supervisor. Find out how to complain about our service.
Serving state government departments and agencies, local councils and public universities
As part of our service to state government departments and agencies, local councils and public universities, we will:
- provide advice and help to develop effective complaint management practices
- provide advice and help to improve the quality of their practices and procedures
- provide advice and monitor the management of public interest disclosures
- treat officers fairly and with respect during interviews and discussions about complaints
- offer advice about how to handle our investigations
- give organisations a reasonable time to respond to our requests for information and comment on complaints that may lead to us making a public report
- make practical recommendations
How organisations can help our investigations
To help us fulfil our charter commitments, we ask organisations to:
- respond to our requests for information and documents in plain English and in a timely way
- provide clear, accurate and complete information, and respond specifically to questions asked
- argue your organisation's case logically and fairly
- admit mistakes and be willing to fix them
- address inadequacies in policy or procedures
- give careful consideration to recommendations we make, or requests to take specific actions at the completion of an investigation and implement them wherever possible
- record and analyse complaints information to improve customer service.
Your feedback is important
We value your feedback on our service and how we conduct our business. Your comments provide us with valuable information to improve services. You can contact us in person, by telephone, in writing by fax, email or letter or via our online complaint form.