Administrative Action and Human Rights Complaints Process
An Administrative Action Complaint (complaint) is an expression of dissatisfaction, orally or in writing, by a person who is directly affected by an administrative action of Council or its staff (including contractors and volunteers), including a failure to take action.
Administrative matters relate to the actions or decisions made by council administration, but do not include:
- Requests for information
- Requests for service (where you want Council to take action in relation to a service or product provided by Council eg, barking dog, leaking water pipe, pot hole, road maintenance, etc)
- Suggestions, enquiries or petitions
- Comments submitted during formal consultation or negotiation processes
- Councillor conduct
Section 268(2) of the Local Government Act 2009 defines an ‘administrative action complaint’ as a complaint that:
(a) Is about an administrative action of a local government, including the following, for example –
(i) A decision, or a failure to make a decision, including a failure to provide a written statement of reasons for a decision;
(ii) An act, or failure to do an act;
(iii) The formulation of a proposal or intention;
(iv) The making of a recommendation; and
(b) Is made by an affected person.
How do I make a complaint?
There are a number of ways you can lodge a complaint:
- In person at Council's Administration Centre or by calling 07 47461600.
- By filling in the Administrative Action Complaint form (PDF,246 KB)
- In writing, by letter, fax or email, addressed to the Chief Executive Officer:
17 Herbert St BEDOURIE QLD 4829
Fax: 07 47461272
Council does accept and investigate anonymous complaints, however, if insufficient information is provided Council may refuse to investigate.
Information to provide
You will need to provide the following details when you lodge a complaint:
- The nature of the complaint is in as much detail as possible.
- Detail of any loss or detriment you have suffered.
- If the incident has been reported to any other agency or authority.
- The remedy you are seeking.
- Any supporting information and documentation, including names and contact details of anyone else who is able to support the complaint.
- Your contact details*.
*You may remain anonymous but please be aware that Council may need to contact you for further details to properly investigate the complaint. Council may refuse to investigate an anonymous complaint if insufficient information is provided.
How will my complaint be processed?
Council is committed to providing a high level of customer service and welcomes feedback to continually improve our processes and service delivery.
Our Complaints Process - Administrative Complaints Policy is available in the Council Policy section.
Council aims to resolve complaints as quickly and efficiently as possible. The length of time taken will depend on how complex the matter is. The relevant area in Council will keep you informed of the progress of the investigation.
The officer handling the complaint will contact you within 7 working days of receiving the complaint to let you know how they will deal with it.
You will be advised of the outcome of your complaint.
Refusal to investigate
Council can refuse to investigate a complaint if:
- The complaint is considered to be trivial, frivolous or vexatious, lacks substance or credibility
- The complainant does not have sufficient direct interest in the administrative action the subject of the complaint; or
- It is made using rude, aggressive, abusive or threatening language, or where the complainant is physically harassing or stalking a Council officer(s).
- The complainant is pursuing the complaint through an alternative review process, or it has already been reviewed through an alternate review process.
I need help to make a complaint
Where necessary, a Council officer may help you by providing information on how to make a complaint, including how it should be documented. The aim is to help clarify your issue and the outcome(s) you seek.
If you need language assistance, please call the National Translating and Interpreting Service (NTIS) on 131 450. Advise the NTIS of your preferred language and ask to speak with the Diamantina Shire Council on 0747461202.
If you need assistance because of a hearing or speech impairment please contact the National Relay Service on 133 677. If you can speak and hear but sometimes people have trouble understanding you, the number to call at the Relay Service is 1300 555 727.
If you have a general issue with a Council project or service, or you are concerned about something Council is doing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Queensland Ombudsman encourages people to make their complaint count.
An information brochure that features advice, top tips and a hand tear off checklist is available on the Queensland Ombudsman website.
Please review Councils Privacy Statement outlining how Council handles your personal information.
Please contact Council on 07 47461600 or email email@example.com
Public Interest Disclosure
The Public Interest Disclosures Act 2010 (the PID Act) aims to ensure that government is open and accountable by providing protection for those who speak out about wrongdoing or in other words, make a public interest disclosure (PID). Making a public interest disclosure is sometimes referred to as ‘whistleblowing'. Reporting suspected wrongdoing is vital to the integrity of the Queensland public sector.
What is Public Interest Disclosure?
A Public Interest Disclosure (PID) is a report of suspected wrongdoing or danger. For an allegation, to be considered a PID and attract the protections under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010, it must be:
- Public interest information about substantial and specific wrongdoing or danger
- An appropriate disclosure
- Made to the proper authority
What can a PID be about?
Any person, including public sector officers, may disclose information about:
- A substantial and specific danger to the health or safety of a person with a disability
- A substantial and specific danger to the environment (as set out in the PID Act)
- Reprisal action following a PID.
A public sector officer may also disclose information about:
- Corrupt conduct by another person
- Maladministration that adversely affects someone's interest in a substantial and specific way
- A substantial misuse of public resources
- A substantial and specific danger to public health or safety
- A substantial and specific danger to the environment.
All disclosures must meet the subjective and objective tests set out in the PID Act. This means:
- the discloser honestly and reasonably believes the information provided tends to show the conduct or danger; or
- the information tends to show the conduct or danger regardless of the discloser’s belief.
What is a reprisal?
Reprisal occurs if a person causes or attempts to cause detriment to you because they believe you:
- Have made, or intend to make a PID; or
- Have participated in, or intends to participate in procedures under the PID Act.
Is Diamantina Shire Council the proper authority for my PID?
Diamantina Shire Council are authorised to receive a PID where:
- The disclosure is about the conduct of the Council or its employees; or
- Council is responsible for investigating a particular issue (e.g. the Crime and Corruption Commission can receive PIDs about Corrupt Conduct).
Does Council have a policy regarding PIDs?
Diamantina Shire Council has adopted a Policy, to ensure the appropriate handling of PIDs.
How do I make a PID?
A PID can be made orally or in writing.
- To make your PID in writing address your PID to the PID Coordinator (The Chief Executive Officer, 17 Herbert Street, Bedourie QLD 4829) and clearly mark the sealed envelope as Public Interest Disclosure - Private and Confidential.
- You can also phone Council on 0747461600 and ask for Council’s PID Coordinator.
- The PID Coordinator will assess your disclosure, and if it does not fit the criteria of a PID, it will be dealt with under the Council's complaints management process.
What if I want to make an anonymous PID?
You can make an anonymous PID. Remaining anonymous means you do not identify yourself as the discloser at any stage to anyone. However, anonymous PIDs are often more difficult to investigate. Council strongly encourages disclosers to identify themselves if possible.
If you do identify yourself to the person who receives your PID, Council shall make every effort to keep your identity confidential. Remember that Council will not be able to inform you of any action it takes if you remain anonymous.
Disclosures to other agencies
Alternatively, you can make your disclosure to the Queensland Ombudsman or a Member of Parliament if it concerns maladministration or a waste of public funds.
Level 18, 53 Albert Street, Brisbane
GPO Box 3314, Brisbane Qld 4001
Telephone: 07 3005 7000 Free call: 1800 068 908 (toll-free outside Brisbane)
Contact information and online options: http://www.ombudsman.qld.gov.au/about-us/contact-us
Crime and Corruption Commission
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Mail: GPO Box 3123, Brisbane, Qld 4001
In person: Level 2, North Tower Green Square, 515 St Pauls Terrace, Fortitude Valley
By Phone: (07) 3360 6060 Toll-free (in Queensland outside Brisbane): 1800 061 611
Website: http://www.ccc.qld.gov.au, http://www.ccc.qld.gov.au/corruption/report-corruption/whistleblowers-and-public-interest-disclosures
Strict confidentiality requirements apply to PIDS. Confidential PID information can be recorded or disclosed:
- To administer the PID Act or to discharge a function under another Act (for example, to investigate something disclosed by a public interest disclosure)
- For a proceeding in a court tribunal
- With the consent of the person, the information relates to (or if the consent of the person cannot be reasonably obtained if the information is unlikely to harm the interests of the person) or
- If it is essential under the principles of natural justice and reprisal is unlikely.
What are my responsibilities as a disclosure?
When making a PID, you have a responsibility to:
- Provide honest and accurate information - deliberately providing false or misleading information is an offence;
- Provide all information currently in your possession - you must not seek to investigate the matter yourself; and
- Make the disclosure to someone you reasonably believe is the proper authority to receive the disclosure.
Those who make a PID will be afforded reasonable protection from reprisals.
- When a disclosure is made, the Council will assess the risk of reprisal and offer the discloser appropriate support. If the discloser has been involved in the wrongdoing they may be subject to criminal proceedings and disciplinary action.
- No protection is afforded to those who make disclosures to the media or via means not stated in the Act.
Where do I get more information?
- For more information refer to the Council's PID Policy.https://www.diamantina.qld.gov.au/downloads/file/46/public-interest-disclosure-policy
- The Queensland Ombudsman is the oversight body of Public Sector agencies for PIDs and Fact sheets and information guidelines regarding PIDs and your rights and obligations under the PID Act are available from The Queensland Ombudsman.
- Visit the Queensland Government's website on the conduct and performance relating to ethics and other matters - https://www.forgov.qld.gov.au/conduct-and-performance
Public Interest Disclosure standards
The Public Interest Disclosure standards, issued by the Ombudsman under section 60 of the PID Act detail the actions public entities must take when preparing for and responding to a public interest disclosure. These standards are:
- Public Interest Disclosure Standard No. 1/2019 – Public Interest Disclosure Management Program (PDF 144KB)
- Public Interest Disclosure Standard No. 2/2019 – Assessing, Investigating and Dealing with Public Interest Disclosures (PDF 169.4KB)
- Public Interest Disclosure Standard No. 3/2019 – Public Interest Disclosure Data Recording and Reporting (PDF 117.8KB)