Background

Feedback & Complaints

28 Nov, 2016

Feedback, Review and Formal Complaints Policy and Procedure

(Effective From July 2015)

Create NSW is committed to providing high quality service to stakeholders.

Create NSW seeks to:

•          provide clear, accurate information and up to date advice;

•          exchange information in ways that are timely and accessible;

•          have streamlined internal processes; and

•          be responsive to changing industry needs.

Feedback

Create NSW values feedback, including complaints, as a means of identifying problems and enabling improvements to systems and processes to improve services. Effective complaint handling is an essential part of the organisation’s approach to providing services that are responsive to needs and meet the expectations of clients.

If you wish to give feedback on Create NSW procedures or other issues relating to your dealings with Create NSW, please provide it either verbally or in writing with the Create NSW staff member with whom you have been dealing or with the Manager who supervises the staff member.  

Upon receipt of your feedback, Create NSW staff will respond with a view to addressing any concerns as early as possible.

Request for copy of project assessment of development applications

If you wish to receive a copy of the Assessment Form of a development application you have submitted, you may make this request directly to the Create NSW staff member with whom you have been dealing or with the Manager who supervises the staff member.

 

A hard copy of the form will then be sent to you by mail or email within 7 days of the request. The Assessment Form contains a brief summary of the evaluation of your project against each of the criteria in the published guidelines, and constitutes the full written record of the decision held by Create NSW.

Complaints Policy and Procedure

Create NSW complaints handling policy provides a framework to address complaints from stakeholders. Its objectives are to ensure:

  • complaints are handled in a structured, timely and professional manner that is fair, courteous and respectful of privacy;
  • staff are aware of their responsibilities regarding handling complaints; and
  • complaints are used to identify problems and to continuously improve the organisation’s services.

Create NSW’s complaints handling procedures provide a structured mechanism to allow complaints and concerns about Create NSW service delivery to be notified and managed in a professional manner.

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about the services provided or the performance of staff in providing that service.

The following sets out Create NSW policy on the handling of complaints.

  1. Clients have a right to know they can complain and how to go about it. Create NSW will publish its complaints policy and will provide straightforward means for clients to raise concerns or make a complaint related to service delivery.
  2. Staff receiving a complaint will aim to resolve it at the earliest possible opportunity.  It is expected that the majority of complaints will be addressed and resolved by frontline staff providing further information or explanation at the time the matter is raised.  Where the client is not satisfied with the initial response to the complaint, they will be given the option to progress the issue through the formal complaint handling process.
  3. Staff will treat all complaints fairly and impartially.
  4. All complaints will be acknowledged and complainants kept informed about the progress of their matter, particularly if delays occur.
  5. Complainants will not be subjected to any form of prejudice, lose services or be disadvantaged in any way as a result of having complained.
  6. Complaints will be treated with an appropriate level of confidentially.  Information about complaints will only be shared on a need to know basis, both within the organisation and externally.
  7. Reasons will be provided for decisions made in relation to complaints received.
  8. Complainants are expected to:

. clearly identify the issues of complaint or ask for help from staff to do this;

. give Create NSW all available information in support of the complaint in an organized format at the time of making the complaint and not provide any information that is intentionally misleading or knowingly wrong;

. co-operate with Create NSW inquiries or investigations;

. treat Create NSW staff with courtesy and respect.

If complainants do not meet these expectations, Create NSW may set limits or conditions on the handling of their complaint. Any abuse, harassment or threats to the safety or welfare of staff will result in discontinuation of the complaint investigation and contact with the complainant will cease.  Similarly, if it is found that the complainant has made a frivolous, trivial, knowingly false or vexatious complaint future contact with the complainant may cease.

Complaints handling procedures

The following describes how Create NSW will manage service-related complaints.  It does not include complaints involving allegations of possible corrupt or criminal behaviour, matters where there is a legal remedy or complaints solely about the activities of third parties.

  1. A complaint will be initially addressed by frontline staff – during a conversation or in writing in response to a written complaint.
  2. If a complaint is not satisfied and resolution is unlikely, a complainant may ask to progress the matter through the Create NSW complaints handling process.  In that case, the matter will be referred to the Director Engagement, Partnerships & Development (or another senior manager, if appropriate) who will manage the complaint within Create NSW. 
  3. Complaints that Create NSW has failed to follow its own published procedures on your funding application, and that the failure was significant, cannot be considered on the basis that you disagree with the decision made by Create NSW. Also, complaints cannot be considered in relation to an application from another applicant, successful or otherwise.
  4. To make a formal complaint in relation to a funding application, please follow the procedure outlined:

•          complaints must be made in writing and received at Create NSW, within 20 working days of the date of our formal written communication notifying you of the decision;

•          set out the specific element of the process that has not been followed and which you therefore believe warrants making a formal complaint. If you refer to any documents within your complaint or wish other material to be considered, please ensure copies are attached to ensure that they are considered in the complaint process;

•          send your complaint to:

Create NSW, PO Box A226, Sydney South, NSW 1235

You may also refer your grievance to the NSW Ombudsman for assistance with resolution if required.

The NSW Ombudsman can be contacted at the NSW Ombudsman website.

Anonymous complaints

Anonymous complaints will be investigated where sufficient detail is provided to substantiate a valid complaint.

In these circumstances, however, any investigation may be affected by the inability to seek further information and details and no advice can be issued on outcomes to the complainant.

Create NSW Dealings with Clients in Exceptional Circumstances

In exceptional circumstances, Create NSW may assess that a client is a:

  • Persistent Complaint, or
  • Vexatious Complaint, or
  • Threatening Complaint.

And may restrict access to Create NSW services on the basis that continuing communication with that complainant would:

•          unreasonably impact on its ability to fulfil its functions by unreasonably diverting resources and/or

•          prevent other clients from receiving services and/or

•          potentially affect the safety of Create NSW staff of third parties.

This may include refusal to respond to attempted personal contact, telephone enquiries, email and written correspondence or withdrawal of Create NSW advice and services.

When deciding whether or not to limit the access to Create NSW services, Create NSW will take the following into account: 

•          in the absence of strong reasons to the contrary, clients have the right to seek advice, help or access the Create NSW services;

•          clients have the right to provide feedback about things like poor service, inaction, overreaction and maladministration;

•          criticism is a legitimate and valuable part of the relationship between Create NSW and its clients and stakeholders;

•          clients should not be unconditionally deprived of their right to have their concerns addressed.

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