Complaints Handling Policy

It is essential that all applicants have a clear understanding of the process for reviewing any complaints or grievances against ARC staff and or in relation to ARC processes. If such grievances are related to an employee actions or the issuing of permits, those lodging the complaint should have a fair and unbiased process for appealing against the issue, with which they do not agree and being advised of the outcome of any investigation.

ARC will deal with any formal complaint, grievance and appeals in a constructive and timely manner.

It is our policy to ensure that:

  • Each complaint or grievance, appeal and its outcome is recorded in writing.
  • Each appeal is reviewed by a senior member of staff.
  • The complainant has the opportunity to formally present their case if required.
  • The complainant is advised of the outcome of the appeal.
  • The ARC Manager ensures that if the complaint is as result of personnel failings that the person in question is counselled and that such counselling is recorded in personnel records and or a formal warning or final notice is issued.

This policy ensures that:

  • That the principle of natural justice is observed.
  • All disputes or grievances will be handled professionally and confidentially in order to achieve a quick and speedy result.
  • All parties have a clear understanding of the steps involved in the grievance policy.
  • Participants and staff are always aware of the policy and procedures for handling grievances and are informed of these policies at the ARC induction process.

Definitions

A grievance, complaint or appeal is deemed to be dissatisfaction with the procedures, outcomes or the quality of service or attitude provided by employees of ARC in relation to the delivery of permits and licences.

A grievance, complaint or appeal is deemed to be a formal grievance, complaint or appeal when it is made in writing or verbally to Senior Management of ARC or the Department of Environment (DoE).

Procedures

ARC welcomes suggestions or ideas for improving our services and being informed about any difficulties encountered in the licensing process.

This procedure describes the process by which applicants may have problems addressed effectively, efficiently, professionally and confidentially.

  • The complainant is encouraged to discuss the complaint with a Senior Manager.
  • If the complaint is unable to be resolved, the grievance will be recorded in writing and lodged with the ARC CEO.
  • The ARC CEO will be responsible for investigating the complaint and recommending the appropriate course of action.
  • If the complaint is about a specific individual the CEO’s response will include:
    • Informing the person about whom the complaint is made and seeking their views and perspective.
    • The CEO will consider the use of a mediator.
    • Informing the complainant of the outcome of the complaint in writing within 5 working days.

If the matter remains unresolved the complainant will have the opportunity to directly send a written complaint to the DoE. The Department will investigate the matter, including an opportunity for both complainant and respondent to present their case and respond to both parties in writing within 10 working days.