Ombudsman's report says councils can do better

Ombudsman's report says councils can do better

The South Australian Ombudsman's report into complaint handling by Councils has found there is room for improvement.

Local Government Association CEO, Wendy Campana, said while the Ombudsman's report card has given Councils a 'can do better' it was positive that Councils involved in the audit agreed with the finding and were working toward change.

"I was pleased that 12 Councils took part in the Ombudsman's audit and laid their practices out for scrutiny," Ms Campana said.

"It is important that complaints from the community are given a high priority by Councils and it is pleasing to note that Mr Bingham has recognised that Councils are generally responsive to complaints from members of the public," she said.

"The audit's findings will give us some direction on the changes that need to be made to improve Council complaint handling mechanisms."

Ms Campana said the LGA had already begun a process to draft new model policies and procedures for complaints handling. The LGA State Executive Committee will consider these at its January 2012 meeting. The association also consulted with the Ombudsman during the audit process.

"We are keen to ensure there are relevant and consistent mechanisms for complaint handling across the sector," Ms Campana said.

"The Ombudsman's audit has highlighted areas that need improvement and we will work with Councils to ensure they are more responsive and timely in their management of complaints."