Decision Maker: Audit and Governance Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Tony Bygrave, Senior Assurance Officer for the complaints team set out a report proposing a change to the current complaints process, to remove the second stage response. This had a perception of increased bureaucracy before complainants could seek the independent review from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
The report also presented a revised “unreasonable behaviours” protocol.
Members discussed the report and following observations were made: -
· Members were assured that although complaints were on the increase, cases of maladministration were few and going down.
· The single complaints process would continue to be monitored.
· Acknowledged the council’s duty of care to employees in terms of “unreasonable behaviours” and discussed councillors’ role in supporting that process.
· Discussed the unreasonable behaviours also faced by councillors and the support available to them in such circumstances.
· The need to recognise that councillors were part of the process and this should be reflected within the protocol.
· All councillors would be supported by officers when dealing with difficult complaints and should not be subject to harassment.
· There was further work required to develop software to improve links between services and councillors in terms of managing the protocol and process.
Members welcomed the proposed changes to the whole authority complaints policy to a single stage process and supported the approach set out within the report. Further information and support would be provided to all councillors in dealing with these difficult situations.
Delegated decision of the Corporate Director of Legal and Democratic Services
(a) That the revised Whole Authority Complaints Policy (set out in Appendix A of the report) to change to a single stage process for non-statutory complaints.
(b) The revised arrangements for managing unreasonable behaviours (as set out in appendix B of the report) be noted.
Reason for the decision
To improve the complaint management process.
Publication date: 14/07/2021
Date of decision: 09/07/2021
Decided at meeting: 09/07/2021 - Audit and Governance Committee