The Human Rights Commission is an independent agency established by the Human Rights Commission Act 2005 to provide a fair and accessible process for dealing with complaints about:
- health services;
- disability services;
- services for older people;
- community services; and
- services for children and young people
As well, the Commission facilitates service improvement and develops awareness in government, and the community, of human rights.
The Commission strives to deliver services that are fair, accessible, timely, and courteous. This Service Standard establishes the benchmarks against which the Commission will monitor and review service delivery.
- We will follow the principles of natural justice when dealing with complaints and we will work cooperatively with all parties to explore options to resolve the complaint.
- We will be independent and impartial in all our dealings with you.
- We will provide you with high quality information, in plain language.
- We will give reasons for our decisions and recommendations.
The Commission will be open between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.
Information and assistance will be provided by staff at our office, by telephone or by e-mail. Staff will make visits to people, where practicable.
The Commission's office is accessible by wheelchair.
Telephone access is available for people who are deaf, hearing impaired or speech impaired by TTY or through the National Relay Service.
The Commission's internet site will provide up-to-date information and guidance.
All complaints will be acknowledged within five working days of receipt.
We will endeavour to work with parties to finalise consideration of complaints within 10 weeks or 70 days from receipt. Where a significant issue is under consideration, or where the complaint is being conciliated, we will endeavour to work with parties to finalise complaints within 36 weeks or 252 days from receipt.
We will identify ourselves to all people who contact us and we will always provide a contact name and telephone number.
We will at all times treat you in a professional and polite manner.
What we cannot do
Staff cannot provide legal advice or legal representation in matters arising from complaints, and staff cannot act as an advocate for parties in seeking resolution of complaints.
Our expectations of you
In order for staff to provide you with a quality service, the Commission expects that you will:
- treat us with courtesy
- be honest in all your dealings with us
- provide information when requested to help the Commission deal with the issue
- keep the Commission informed of any developments that have a bearing on a complaint to which you are party
How you can make a suggestion or complaint about the commission's service to you
We welcome hearing from people who have used our service. You can make suggestions or complaints about the work of the Commission by contacting us by phone, in person, by letter or email. We will take your suggestions seriously and we will deal with complaints quickly, thoroughly and fairly.
- Complaints by phone or in person will be discussed at the time they are made and, if they cannot be resolved immediately, we will be in contact within a week.
- Written complaints will be responded to in writing, with at least an interim response within a week.
- If the complaint is about a staff member, a more senior staff member will respond to it.
- If you are not satisfied with the processes we offer, you can make a complaint to the ACT Ombudsman.
- We will report on the suggestions and complaints we receive in our Annual Report.