Compliments and Complaints Processes
Wentworth Shire Council is committed to the continuous improvement of systems, processes and policies to deliver effective and efficient services to our community. Feedback and reporting of concerns from the community, stakeholders and Council staff provide the opportunity for Council to remain responsive, conduct its business in an open and transparent manner, and be accountable for its actions.
We welcome feedback on:
- compliments if you would like to express your praise for a service or conduct;
- complaints if you were dissatisfied with the level of service or behaviour of an employee or Councillor. A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with Council’s decisions, policies, procedures, charges, employees, or the quality of the services it provides.
Please provide your feedback by emailing Council at email@example.com or by phone on 03 5027 5027.
We are committed to ensuring our complaints process is accessible for everyone. Tell us if you have specific communication needs or barriers and we can assist you by:
- Using an assistance service such as an interpreter
- Talking with you if you have trouble reading or writing
- Communication with another person acting on your behalf if you cannot make the complaint yourself.
Complaints that may not be investigated
Council may determine that a complaint will not be investigated where that complaint:
- is considered frivolous, vexatious or not made in good faith or concerns a trivial matter;
- is associated with unreasonable complainant conduct where the nature or frequency of complaints raises substantial health, safety or resource or equity issues for Council, its staff, other service users, or the complainant themselves;
- is made by a complainant involving violent, abusive or aggressive behaviour toward staff or threats made against Council.
Council will review and action complaints submitted anonymously, however it can be very difficult to resolve complaints of this nature, or to enforce legislation, without the ability to thoroughly investigate and gather evidence and additional information, and liaise with the caller if necessary.
All complaints are dealt with confidentially with information released only to those parties deemed absolutely necessary in the complaint process. Council will ensure good record keeping practices are followed and privacy requirements relating to the complainant are followed.
Council’s Complaint Management Policy
Can be found here for further information regarding the investigation and review processes.
Complaints Requiring Alternate Complaint Handling Processes
Due to legislative or policy requirements, certain complaint types may need to be handled in a specific way. This may include the following complaint types:
Code of Conduct Complaints
Council has an adopted Code of Conduct applicable to Councillors, staff and delegates of Council. Any allegations of breaches of the Code of Conduct by a Councillor, staff member or delegate will be handled in accordance with the Procedures for Administration of Council’s Code of conduct described therein. Council’s Code of Conduct can be viewed here.
Alleged Fraud or Corrupt Conduct
Council is committed to a zero tolerance approach to fraud and corruption. In support of this commitment and in accordance with relevant legislative obligations, Council has developed a suite of policies to guide ethical behaviour of Council officials and any businesses that Council has dealings with. These policies also establish the framework for how reports of suspected fraud and corruption will be managed.
Members of the public are encouraged to make reports about suspected fraud or corruption involving Council to either the General Manager or the Director Finance & Policy, or if the report concerns the General Manager it can be made to the Mayor.
Council’s Fraud Control Policy, which includes a list of the related documents, can be viewed here.
Public Interest Disclosures
A Public Interest Disclosure is when a public official reports serious wrongdoing in their workplace, or in another public agency, in accordance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2022 (the PID Act). Serious wrongdoing includes:
- Corrupt conduct
- Serious maladministration
- A government information contravention
- A privacy contravention
- A serious and substantial waste of public money
- A local government pecuniary interest contravention
For a report to be a voluntary PID under the PID Act, the report must disclose information that the person honestly and on reasonable grounds believes shows or tends to show serious wrongdoing. To be a PID the report must generally be made to a person’s own manager or to a Disclosure Officer to receive the protections available under the PID Act.
Council’s Public Interest Disclosure Policy sets out how a report of wrongdoing can be made by Council employees (and by other public officials), how Council will deal with a report of serious wrongdoing (a public interest disclosure), and describing the protections available to public officials who report serious wrongdoing.
A list of Council’s Disclosure Officers is set out at Annexure A of the Public Interest Disclosure Policy which can be found here.
Child Safe Reporting
Council has developed a Child Safety Policy and is embedding the Child Safe Standards into our work processes and procedures. This includes the procedure for investigating and responding to reportable allegations, which will be conducted in accordance with the Children’s Guardian Act 2019. A reportable allegation is made where a child, young person, or adult makes an allegation based on a reasonable belief that a Councillor, employee, volunteer or contractor of Council has been, or allegedly been, involved in the harm or abuse of a child or young person. Information about Child Safe Reporting involving a Wentworth Shire Council worker is available here.