Feedback and complaints
Diaspora Action Australia (DAA) recognises that complaints, grievances and disputes may occur within an organisation. DAA is committed that complaints be resolved fairly and efficiently in order to promote high organisational standards and to maintain a positive work environment.
Definition of complaint
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about the standards of service, actions or lack of action, by Diaspora Action Australia, its staff and volunteers. Complaints could include the following:
- concern from someone we work with about the quality of program delivery, or
- concern about the behaviour of staff or volunteers.
A complaint has to be about some action for which Diaspora Action Australia is responsible or is within our sphere of influence.
DAA has separate policies for complaints regarding discrimination and harassment or bullying.
Alleged Breaches of ACFID Code of Conduct
The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) is the peak Council for Australian not-for profit aid and development organisations. Diaspora Action Australia is a full member of ACFID and is signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct, which is a voluntary, self-regulatory sector code of good practice. As a signatory we are committed and fully adhere to the ACFID Code of Conduct, conducting our work with transparency, accountability and integrity.
In cases of an alleged breach of the ACFID Code of Conduct, complaints can be made to the ACFID Code of Conduct Committee. Information about how to make a complaint can be found at www.acfid.asn.au
Publicising the policy
The Complaints Policy will be freely available on DAA’s website and in DAA’s policies and procedures manual and it will be included as part of the reading for volunteer induction and other stakeholders.
Who can make a complaint?
Any person, group of persons, organisation, project staff or partner can provide feedback or make a complaint.
How complaints may be made
All formal complaints should be made in verbally, in writing or by telephone, either directly from the individual or organisation making the complaint or via someone acting on their behalf.
To whom should a complaint be addressed?
To ensure consistency of response and to manage complaints effectively, all complaints should be addressed to the Executive Director of DAA. The Executive Director will be responsible for responding to complaints. If the complaint is made about the Executive Director, it should be addressed to the DAA Chair (please mark as private and confidential).
Executive Director (email@example.com)
Chair, Board (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Diaspora Action Australia
601/580 Collins Street
For alleged breaches of the ACFID Code of Conduct:
ACFID Code of Conduct Committee
When possible, all complaints will be handled confidentially if requested by the complainant. If the complaint is about the behaviour of a DAA volunteer or staff member, the individual against whom the complaint is alleged will be informed and offered a right of reply. In some cases it may be necessary to disclose information to third parties. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis and only with the agreement of the complainant.
The DAA will receive and consider but cannot respond directly to complaints made anonymously.
Time limit for making a complaint
Any complaint should be made as soon as possible, when events are fresh in the mind. They must be made no later than three months from the date the complainant became aware of the incident that is the source of the complaint.
This gives adequate time for the complainant to have considered their arguments, and for all relevant facts to remain fresh. Any departure from this time limit will be allowed only in exceptional circumstances, by the recipient of the complaint in conjunction with the Director.
This time limit does not apply if other, relevant organisational or legal procedures lay down a different time limit.
What happens after a complaint is made?
The DAA will aim to resolve complaints within 10 working days of receipt. In the event that a complaint cannot be resolved within this timeframe the complainant will be informed, in writing, about when they can expect a full response.
Challenges to DAA’s response
Complainants are entitled to challenge any response received from the DAA save where these challenges amount to persistent, habitual or vexatious complaints. In the event of a complainant being dissatisfied with the response from DAA to their complaint they may write to the Chair of the Board of DAA who will consider what action should be taken and inform the complainant about what further action may or may not be taken.
When will the DAA not respond to a complaint?
Everyone who makes a complaint to the DAA will be treated with courtesy and respect. In return, DAA expects people who make a complaint to make their concerns fairly and appropriately. Where complainants harass staff, behave abusively, or unreasonably pursue complaints, DAA reserves the right to respond to unacceptable behaviour (if necessary or appropriate) and/or withdraw or modify its complaints process.
A decision about what constitutes a persistent, habitual or vexatious complaint will be taken by the Director, except where the complaint is about the Director, in which case it will be decided by the Chair. The Director, or the Chair, will advise the complainant of the decision and the reasons for it.
Monitoring and Reporting
DAA will keep this policy under review, and complaints registers will be monitored regularly. A report will be produced annually by the Executive Director and Board on the implementation of this policy. This report will not be available to the public. A de-identified report will be published in the annual report.