Feedback, Review and Formal Complaints Policy and Procedure
(Effective From June 2012)
Screen NSW is committed to providing high quality service to screen practitioners.
Screen NSW seeks to:
- provide clear, informed information and advice;
- exchange information in ways that are timely and accessible;
- have streamlined internal processes; and
- be responsive to changing industry needs.
Screen NSW complaints handling policy provides a framework to address complaints from clients. Its objectives are to ensure:
- complaints are handled in a structured, timely and professional manner that is fair, courteous and respectful of privacy;
- staff are aware of their responsibilities regarding handling complaints; and
- complaints are used to identify problems and to continuously improve the organisation’s services.
Screen NSW’s complaints handling procedures provide a structured mechanism to allow complaints and concerns about Screen NSW service delivery to be notified and managed in a professional manner.
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about the services provided or the performance of staff in providing that service.
Screen NSW values feedback, including complaints, as a means of identifying problems and enabling improvements to systems and processes to improve services. Effective complaint handling is an essential part of the organisation’s approach to providing services that are responsive to needs and meet the expectations of clients.
If you wish to give feedback on Screen NSW procedures or other issues relating to your dealings with Screen NSW, please provide it either verbally or in writing with the Screen NSW staff member with whom you have been dealing or with the Director who supervises the staff member.
Upon receipt of your feedback, Screen NSW staff will respond with a view to addressing any concerns as early as possible.
Request for copy of project assessment of development applications
If you wish to receive a copy of the Assessment Form of a development application you have submitted, you may make this request directly to the Screen NSW staff member with whom you have been dealing or with the Director who supervises the staff member.
A hard copy of the form will then be sent to you by mail within 7 days of the request. The Assessment Form contains a brief summary of the evaluation of your project against each of the criteria in the published guidelines, and constitutes the full written record of the decision held by Screen NSW.
The following sets out Screen NSW policy on the handling of complaints.
- Clients have a right to know they can complain and how to go about it. Screen NSW will publish its complaints policy and will provide straightforward means for client to raise concerns or make a complaint related to service delivery.
- Staff receiving a complaint will aim to resolve it at the earliest possible opportunity. It is expected that the majority of complaints will be addressed and resolved by frontline staff providing further information or explanation at the time the matter is raised. Where the client is not satisfied with the initial response to the complaint, they will be given the option to progress the issue through the formal complaint handling process.
- Staff will treat all complaints fairly and impartially.
- All complaints will be acknowledged and complainants kept informed about the progress of their matter, particularly if delays occur.
- Complainants will not be subjected to any form of prejudice, lose services or be disadvantaged in any way as a result of having complained.
- Complaints will be treated with an appropriate level of confidentially. Information about complaints will only be shared on a need to know basis, both within the organisation and externally.
- Reasons will be provided for decisions made in relation to complaints received.
- Complainants are expected to:
- clearly identify the issues of complaint or ask for help from staff to do this;
- give Screen NSW all available information in support of the complaint in an organized format at the time of making the complaint and not provide any information that is intentionally misleading or knowingly wrong;
- co-operate with Screen NSW inquiries or investigations;
- treat Screen NSW staff with courtesy and respect.
If complainants do not meet these expectations, Screen NSW may set limits or conditions on the handling of their complaint. Any abuse, harassment or threats to the safety or welfare of staff will result in discontinuation of the complaint investigation and contact with the complainant will cease. Similarly, if it is found that the complainant has made a frivolous, trivial, knowingly false or vexatious complaint future contact with the complainant may cease.
Complaints handling procedures
The following describes how Screen NSW will manage situations where a client makes a service-related complaint. It does not include complaints involving allegations of possible corrupt or criminal behaviour, matters where there is a legal remedy or complaints solely about the activities of third parties.
- A complaint will be initially addressed by frontline staff – during a conversation or in writing in response to a written complaint.
- If a complaint is not satisfied and resolution is unlikely, a complainant may ask to progress the matter through the Screen NSW complaints handling process. In that case, the matter will be referred to the Manager, Stakeholder Relations who will manage the complaint within Screen NSW.
- Complaints that Screen NSW has failed to follow its own published procedures on your funding application, and that the failure was significant, cannot be considered on the basis that you disagree with the decision made by Screen NSW. Also, complaints cannot be considered in relation to an application from another applicant, successful or otherwise.
- To make a formal complaint in relation to a funding application, please follow the procedure outlined:
- complaints must be made in writing and received at Screen NSW, within 20 working days of the date of our formal written communication notifying you of the decision;
- set out the specific element of the process that has not been followed and which you therefore believe warrants making a formal complaint. If you refer to any documents within your complaint or wish other material to be considered, please ensure copies are attached to ensure that they are considered in the complaint process;
- send your complaint to:
Chief Executive, Screen NSW, GPO Box 1744, Sydney 2001
You may also refer your grievance to the NSW Ombudsman for assistance with resolution if required.
The NSW Ombudsman can be contacted at the NSW Ombudsman website.
Anonymous complaints will be investigated where sufficient detail is provided to substantiate a valid complaint.
In these circumstances, however, any investigation may be affected by the inability to seek further information and details and no advice can be issued on outcomes to the complainant.
Screen NSW Dealings with Clients in Exceptional Circumstances
In exceptional circumstances, Screen NSW may assess that a client is a:
- Persistent Complainant, or
- Vexatious Complainant, or
- Threatening Complainant.
And may restrict access to Screen NSW services on the basis that continuing communication with that complainant would:
- unreasonably impact on its ability to fulfill its functions by unreasonably diverting resources and/or
- prevent other clients from receiving services and/or
- potentially affect the safety of Screen NSW staff or third parties.
This may include refusal to respond to attempted personal contact, telephone enquiries, email and written correspondence or withdrawal of Screen NSW advice and services.
When deciding whether or not to limit the access to Screen NSW services, Screen NSW will take the following into account:
- in the absence of strong reasons to the contrary, clients have the right to seek advice, help or access the Screen NSW services;
- clients have the right to provide feedback about things like poor service, inaction, overreaction and maladministration;
- criticism is a legitimate and valuable part of the relationship between Screen NSW and its clients and stakeholders;
- clients should not be unconditionally deprived of their right to have their concerns addressed.
Screen NSW reports on formal complaints in its Annual Report.