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How does one compain about senior public servants?

By Mbn 7 May 2009 32

Hello Riot Act. Long time reader, first time poster. I have a small question and thought someone on here might have a sensible answer.

How does one officially complain about the actions of a Senior ACT public servant?

Several of my friends have children with Disabilities and are dependant on the Government for funding.

The problem is, while they want their kids to use some particulr services,  the big wig at Disability ACT has decided that they will be told where their children can and can’t go.

If they do not agree with what they are told then it is intimated that they may lose the funding.

They are not given a choice of what they want to do, in direct contradiction to this departments rhetoric.

Where does someone go to complain about very senior public servants? I know the minister is an obvious choice however this route has been taken in the past and appears to get nowhere.

Is there an ombudsman?

Thanks in advance for any advice. 

What’s Your opinion?


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How does one compain about senior public servants?
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Muttsybignuts 4:09 pm 08 May 09

sexynotsmart said :

How does one complain about serial pains-in-the-arse?

This sort of troll posting verges on defamation. Seriously, there ought to be a facility to declare abusers of public services something akin to “vexatious litigants”.

Sincerely, I hope your “friend” gets what you want for “them”. We’ve all had unpleasant run-ins with bureaucrats – my biggie was when trying to secure a nursing home place for my senile grandfather.

You mention you’ve has already gone to the relevant minister, and know about the Ombudsman, so it sounds like you already have a working knowledge of administrative review processes.

Slagging off someone in public where you know they can’t respond due to privacy constraints? That’s pretty low.

Remind me never to ask for help when you are around. I’m sorry you are so bitter about something or other but there is no need to take it out on some other poor bastard who just asks for some advice. If they really wanted to sink the slipper I imagine they could have.
Anyhow I hope the first poster got some good advice.

Fiona 8:24 am 08 May 09

http://www.dhcs.act.gov.au/complaints_and_advocacy

I assume you’ve gone through the DHCS complaints/advocacy already?

tortfeaser 12:30 am 08 May 09

Does the ACT have the equivalent of the AAT? If so, I’d go there.

sexynotsmart 11:43 pm 07 May 09

How does one complain about serial pains-in-the-arse?

This sort of troll posting verges on defamation. Seriously, there ought to be a facility to declare abusers of public services something akin to “vexatious litigants”.

Sincerely, I hope your “friend” gets what you want for “them”. We’ve all had unpleasant run-ins with bureaucrats – my biggie was when trying to secure a nursing home place for my senile grandfather.

You mention you’ve has already gone to the relevant minister, and know about the Ombudsman, so it sounds like you already have a working knowledge of administrative review processes.

Slagging off someone in public where you know they can’t respond due to privacy constraints? That’s pretty low.

Felix the Cat 10:46 pm 07 May 09

Today Tonight or A Current Affair

bd84 10:41 pm 07 May 09

“The problem is, while they want their kids to use some particulr services, the big wig at Disability ACT has decided that they will be told where their children can and can’t go.”

I somehow don’t think we’re getting the complete story here. From my understanding there are different services that are available for the children with the disability and each is provided funding based on the individual needs of the child for a certain number of hours or days care. Each of these services would have a certain number of spaces available based on staff availability etc. If this is the case I would suggest the “big wig” may be telling these mothers that some of the services are full and they cannot have any activity they want, despite their protests that they don’t want their children to do some of them. The insinuation of “losing the funding” may therefore be a comment that if the parent does not place their child into an available service, they will lose/forfeit that funding and it will be re-allocated to another child on the waiting list. I’m fairly certain that there will be people on waiting lists because there isn’t enough funding to go around in the first place.

In which case the position of Disability ACT would be understandable. The main issue would be that the Government doesn’t provide enough funding for every person with a disability to access the services and the service they want everytime.

taninaus 6:59 pm 07 May 09

weeziepops said :

If you have a complaint about the performance/behaviour of a particular public servant, I would consider taking it to the public service commission.

sorry weezie this is ACT Government being talked about there is no public service commission. there is a commissioner but she will likely direct the person elsewhere.

the suggestions about the human rights commission are good – this person is new and probably motivated to do some good work. unfortunately though there may not be a huge change as I think the government vet the providers for price and service. But this is definitely against the rhetoric and what was being aimed for with the new arrangements being put in place. One other option is the disability adisory council. I am not sure who is on it but a group like adacas should know – some of the players are quite powerful.

If the person your friends are dealing with is lower than the Executive Director, then try approaching her, if this is where the concern is then the Departmental Chief Executive or external may be your best bet.

sunshine 6:52 pm 07 May 09

could try giving ADACAS (ACT Disability Aged and carers advocacy service) a call

housebound said :

After reading all this I have to wonder what country we live in – where state employees can vindictively ruin people’s livces with no means of accountability; and the rule of law is no protection.

Communist Russia or China spring to mind, or perhaps medieval England where the king and his minions could do what they liked to the peasants.

Sensibly, try the Human Rights Commissioner and the Community Advocate. The Advocate has had great success on this type of issue, and the ‘complaining’ mechanism is less loaded against you.

Who had their life ruined by the state? Other than Crazy Chester of course.

ant 3:10 pm 07 May 09

There’s some interesting info on this thread, and I hope people are taking note of the contributors who clearly have some experience. People often think that they have lots of bright, shiny Rights which are easily upheld, and a nice government man on a white horse will run in and fix everything.

The reality is more like what RayP and Co. have outlined. Listen to what they say and advise.

weeziepops 2:56 pm 07 May 09

There is a Disability and Community Services Commissioner in the ACT Human Rights Commission – P 6205 2222.

If you have a complaint about the performance/behaviour of a particular public servant, I would consider taking it to the public service commission.

But, as others have said, nothing will happen. You may, however, feel a bit better after having a say and at least making things a bit awkward for this person.

housebound 1:51 pm 07 May 09

After reading all this I have to wonder what country we live in – where state employees can vindictively ruin people’s livces with no means of accountability; and the rule of law is no protection.

Communist Russia or China spring to mind, or perhaps medieval England where the king and his minions could do what they liked to the peasants.

Sensibly, try the Human Rights Commissioner and the Community Advocate. The Advocate has had great success on this type of issue, and the ‘complaining’ mechanism is less loaded against you.

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