Future proofing budgets and reputations*

The Royal Commission into Financial Services and the upcoming Royal Commission into Aged Care reflect the vital importance of effective complaints handling and dispute resolution mechanisms to all sectors.

The fact that over 10,000 submissions relating to individual disputes or instances of misconduct have been lodged with the Financial Services Commission, highlights the extent of complaint resolution issues facing large, complex organisations.  

Effective complaints resolution mechanisms are a vital aspect of all private and public sector entities.

A successful complaints process identifies systemic issues and provides appropriate solutions to resolve current complaints, and prevent the emergence of future ones.

Accordingly, appropriately resourcing complaints management is cost-effective in getting the job done right and preventing repeat complaints.    

A significant aspect of all successful complaints procedures is early resolution.

A prolonged dispute results in an increase in discord that often proves to be an obstacle to agreement.

Failure to engage in timely and effective internal dispute resolution may also end in expensive and complex external dispute resolution mechanisms, such as litigation and ombudsman reviews. Such delayed resolutions inevitably result in widespread damage to the organisation’s reputation and a significant loss of public good-will.

By training and empowering staff to resolve complaints quickly and - where this has not been possible - utilising the expertise of experienced mediators and other dispute resolution professionals, large and complex entities such as local government can continue to enhance its reputation for speedy, durable and fair resolution of complaints and disputes.   

*Copy supplied by Australian Disputes Centre