This complaints procedure refers to service complaints which do not involve allegations of child abuse. In such an instance, the complaint will be assessed impartially in a manner which all parties get an opportunity to present their case. It also aims to ensure that clients may be awardedcompensation if they suffer disadvantages by a decision of a worker. It provides an opportunity for the agency to recognize and resolve problems in philosophy or management may be impeding our ability to assist clients. The complaints procedure necessarily may not resolve a conflict.
Complaints can be sent, in writing or verbally, to any member of ourorganization. Clients and donorscould be placed in a difficult situation when they complain, as their only contact with the organizationcould be through the person about whom they wish to complain. This difficulty may be worsened when literacy skills are poor and people tend to feel a sense of general ‘powerlessness’. Lionbridge International’ employees should bear this in mind when considering whether a complaint is being and what procedure must be followed henceforth. Suppression of a complaint by a worker will be subjected to serious consideration, particularly insofar as it provides important information on Lionbridge International’ policies and practices.
Initially, complaints should be open to conciliation, i.e. there should be an attempt by the people involved to understand and try to come up with resolutions for the issues. However, should the complaint be treated unsatisfactorily in the client’s view, the matter should then be referred to the appropriate supervisor. A complaint suggestive of poor welfare practice would inevitably permit full investigation – for example, a complaint suggesting rights of the client have been neglected or breached, or a complaint that a worker has operated outside Lionbridge International’ policies.
The agency must deal with complaints as promptly as possible; however we must balance the need for a fair hearing against other clients’ needs for service. The Centre Senior Manager must make every attempt to ensure that support is offered to workers who have had a complaint made against them.
At the initial conciliation effort, the supervisor of the program will mediate between the complainant and the worker involved. When a coordinator or Program Manager is involved in the complaint, the Senior Manager of the service center should be the one to mediate. If possible, an agreed written report outlining the issues and resolutions should be put on file. In
the event no resolution is reached, the matter should then be referred to the next most senior level, ex. Centre Senior Manager or Chief Executive Officer, for further attempts at conciliation. If conciliation still cannot be achieved, the complaint can then be directed straight to external bodies such as the NSW Office of the Ombudsman or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.
Complaints can be made externally by speaking or writing to NSW Ombudsman or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal if you believe that Lionbridge International has acted irrationally –
In the way they provide or manage a service to someone;
- By not rendering a service to someone
- By withdrawing or altering a service to someone
- By providing a service to someone that you believe should be receiving that service
A complaint may be about the conduct of Lionbridge International and/or the conduct of workers.
The Ombudsman defines a service provider as having acted irrationally if their decision or conduct;
- Does not conform to the relevant legislature or guidelines
- Does not meet satisfactory standards
- Has anunfavorable impact on a particular consumer or consumers of that service.
Further details: www.nswombudsman.nsw.gov.au
As an alternative you can contact the Administrative Decisions Tribunal on www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au or telephone 9223 4677.