Council's Complaints Policy ... "we laugh in your general direction and don't give a to


I refer to council’s meeting agenda for Tue 12 Sept, responding to my submission regarding its Complaints Policy.

One of the stated purposes of the Complaints Policy is to,

“ensure that issues which are the subject of complaints are addressed ........ in a manner which ensures ......... that such issues will not be the subject of future complaints.”

In my submission I wrote:

“To avoid future or ongoing complaints, questions and issues raised need to be answered/responded to with reasons or explanations.

Council responses that simply state, ‘your claims are not accepted,’ particularly when claims are substantiated with evidence, does not resolve an issue or satisfy a complainant.

Similarly, the use of copy and paste information that may(or may not) vaguely fit a topic, does little or nothing to solve an issue or answer questions.”

Council’s response to this:

“Often a response to an enquiry, while compliant with a council decision, may not always be the response that the customer wants or agrees with.”

“A response that is compliant with a council decision.” What does that actually mean?

Is a ‘council decision’ one by councillors, staff or both?

Example: CSBA expenditure – was that a ‘council decision’ - how could it be if councillors didn’t know they were approving it, or was it a GM decision?

What if a complaint is about a failure in procedure, administration, statutory legislation etc?

And no Council... “the response may not be what the customer wants,” doesn't wash because it doesn’t answer the question nor apply to the issue or provide an explanation/reasons/evidence/substantiation!

If the answer provided by Council did apply to the issue or provide an explanation/reasons/evidence/substantiation the customer may actually be satisfied and the complaint resolved. In a nutshell, it seems that council does not have to justify its actions, and if ‘customers’ won’t accept this, they don’t give a toss!

Patricia Gardiner

Deua River Valley