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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 authority. In accordance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1994 (the PID Act), serious wrongdoing includes:
- Corrupt conduct
- Serious maladministration
- Serous and substantial waste of public money
- Breach of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009
- Local Government pecuniary interest contravention
To be addressed under the PID Act, the disclosure must be of information that the person making the disclosure honestly believes, on reasonable grounds, that the disclosure shows or tends to show one of the wrongdoings described in the Act above.
To be protected under the PID Act, a disclosure must be made to the right person or authority. The Director Finance & Policy is Council’s nominated Disclosure Coordinator and can provide advice when thinking about reporting serious wrongdoing. For further information Council’s Internal Reporting Policy can be found here.
Child Protection Complaints
Council is currently developing a policy and embedding 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. Further information will be available shortly.