26 September 2023

Ombudsman opens new PS complaints guide

Start the conversation

Australian Public Servants can now access new complaint handling guidance with the Commonwealth Ombudsman launching the 2023 edition of his Better Practice Complaint Handling Guide.

In the Guide, Ombudsman Iain Anderson said the Guide marked the 25th anniversary of his Office publishing advice on complaint handling for public services and private providers.

“In that time expectations of complaint handling systems have grown,” Mr Anderson said.

“New technology, data analysis and behavioural insights have become commonplace and necessary components of effective complaint handling,” he said.

“With such changes the expectations placed on complaint handling staff have grown.”

Mr Anderson sand recent years had further tested complaint handling systems, with rapid changes needed in service delivery to ensure continuity, as well as increased Agency visibility and accessibility by way of social media, creating new opportunities and risks.

However, he said something that had not changed over was the critical importance of handling complaints well.

“This 2023 edition of the guide recognises all of these issues and provides the principles of complaint handling and key considerations to support complaint handling staff, at all levels, in the operation of a resilient and successful system,” the Ombudsman said.

“This Better Practice Guide is a resource to help your Agency ensure it has an effective and customer focused complaint handling system.”

He said the Guide outlined what Agencies stood to gain from a good complaint handling system, what a good system looked like, and practical steps for handling complaints well.

Mr Anderson said the Guide also explained the standard that his Office expected from Agencies when investigating complaints from members of the public.

The Ombudsman’s 42-page Guide can be accessed at this PS News link.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.