FPDN’s Complaints Handing Process is outlined below:
Complaints may be made either in writing or verbally to:
- the staff member who was dealing with the complainant, or
- the supervisor of that worker, or
- the chief executive officer, or
- an outside body.
This person will then report the matter to their supervisor or the chief executive officer. The nature and severity of the complaint will influence who is nominated to handle it, after considering whether it involves staff or a director (see below).
A person (the “complaint handler”) will be appointed to handle the complaint and will be responsible for keeping all parties informed.
- All complainants, and individuals complained about, are to be informed of their right to have an advocate (of their choosing) support them through the complaint process
- In relation to grievances/concerns/complaints where it appears that existing state legislation has been breached (e.g. sexual assault or fraud), immediate reporting to the relevant independent agency should occur (e.g. the NSW Police Service). The agency the matter is referred to will then apply principles of natural justice and procedural fairness to their management of the matter.
- In relation to grievances/concerns/complaints where it does not appear that existing state legislation has been breached, the principles of natural justice should be applied. They are:
o the person who is complained about should be informed about the nature of the complaint, and who placed the complaint
o both the complainant, and the person complained about, must be given an indication of the process that will be used, and an indication of the time frame to resolve, or bring the matter to a conclusion
o 5 working days for initial contact, and
o 14 working days to resolve or bring to a conclusion
o The issues of the complaint should be clarified with the complainant (preferably by phone)
o The person complained about should be provided with an opportunity to respond to the issues raised
The complainant is guaranteed protection from any victimisation or reprisals.
The complainant has the right to access the handler at all stages of the complaints resolution process.
The “complaint handler” officer will resolve the issues, whenever possible. If unable to be resolved the complainant must be given the reasons why resolution was not possible
o If the grievance/concern/complaint is not addressed to the satisfaction of the complainant, the matter may then be brought to the attention of the President of FPDN.
- For grievances/concerns/complaints which have not been successfully resolved or concluded to the satisfaction of the complainant, the complainant must be informed of their right to bring the matter to the attention of an outside agency – depending on the nature of the complaint:
o Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission – phone 13 22 62
o Australian Securities and Investments Commission – phone 1300 300 630
o In New South Wales the complainant can bring the matter to the attention of the NSW Ombudsman – phone 02 9286 1000 or phone Toll free (outside Sydney metro) 1800 451 524 or online here.