COMPLAINTS UNDER THE COMMUNITY SERVICES (COMPLAINTS, REVIEW AND MONITORING) ACT 1993 QoN

Ms Barham to the Minister for Finance and Services, and Minister for the Illawarra representing the Minister for Ageing, and Minister for Disability Services—

  1. How many people or service providers have been found guilty of an offence under Section 47 of the Community Services (Complaints, Review and Monitoring) Act 1993?
  2. What action has Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC), under the Department of Family and Community Services, taken to make clients of ADHC and non-government service providers aware of their right to be free from threats of retribution?
    1. Has ADHC through its internal complaints handling mechanism received allegations of threats of retaliation?
    2. If so, what course of action is ADHC required to take?

 

Answer—

  1. Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) is not aware of any people or service providers who have been found guilty of an offence under Section 47 of the Community Services (Complaints, Review and Monitoring) Act 1993.
  2. ADHC’s current Feedback and Complaint Handling Principles and Guidelines (2005) indicates that “all parties to a complaint should have the opportunity to have his or her say, without fear of a negative reaction or victimisation”. 
    In addition, ADHC’s publication, ‘Standards in Action – Practice requirements and Guidelines for services funded under the Disability Service Act’ provides in its minimum practice requirements a similar standard for practice. 
    ADHC’s revised Community Complaints Policy will strengthen the principles regarding threats and retribution such that: 
    “ADHC will treat complainants with respect and will ensure that complainants (and other parties to the complaint) are not subject to harassment or discrimination, are free from threats of retribution or disadvantaged as a result of having made a complaint.” 
    The policy statement and principles will be included on the complaints section of ADHC’s internet site, within revised brochures for clients, non–government service providers and other stakeholders. A communication strategy will be developed to promulgate the revised policy in the second half of 2011.
  3.  
    1. No
    2. Allegations of threats of retaliation would be treated as a breach of policy ⁄ Code of Conduct under Chapter 9 of the ‘Public Sector Employment and Management Act’ 2002 and action would be taken in accordance with ADHC’s processes for dealing with these matters. In addition if may be referred to the Law and Justice Directorate for prosecutorial consideration as an offence under the Act.