Better practice guides

  • Better practice Complaint Handling guide

    This Better Practice Guide is a resource to help your agency ensure it has an effective and customer focused complaint handling system. It will tell you what your agency stands to gain from a good complaint handling system, what a good system looks like and practical steps for handling complaints well.

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    Automated decision-making better practice guide

    Advances in technology have made it easier for agencies to make automated decisions. Government decisions, like most decisions, affect people’s lives, so it is important that automated decision-making systems uphold the legal rights and privacy of individuals. In collaboration with the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and the Attorney-General’s Department (AGD), the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman has published a Better Practice Guide for Automated Decision-Making. Updated in 2020, it draws on the experience of our Office, the OAIC and AGD in overseeing the rollout of digital programs, and includes references to the complementary resources that have been developed since the original guide was published in 2007. The guide was originally published in February 2007 by a cross agency Working Group, building on the Administrative Review Council (ARC) Report No. 46 to the Attorney-General entitled Automated Assistance in Administrative Decision Making. We have revised this guide to ensure agencies have current guidance on how to design, monitor and evaluate automated systems to ensure they comply with administrative law and privacy principles and best practice administration. The Office acknowledges the valuable input provided by the NSW Ombudsman’s Office, Australian Human Rights Commission, Digital Transformation Agency, members of the Artificial Intelligence Inter-Departmental Committee, members of the Integrity Agencies Deputies group, Dr Will Bateman of the ANU, and the Gradient Institute.
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  • Better practice guide to complaint handling

    Better practice guide to complaint handling

    In 1997 the Ombudsman published the Good Practice Guide to Effective Complaint Handling, created to address the failure of most government agencies to establish effective internal complaint handling mechanisms.
    Substantial change has occurred since then, and agencies now accept that complaint handling is a necessary part of service delivery. This is reflected in the well-developed complaint handling systems that now operate in Australian government agencies.
    This Guide builds on that network by defining the essential principles for effective complaint handling, and can be used by agencies when developing or evaluating their complaint handling systems.

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  • Better practice guide to managing unreasonable complainant conduct

    Better practice guide to managing unreasonable complainant conduct

    This manual is designed to help organisations and their staff take a systematic and consistent approach to managing their interactions with complainants. It provides a series of suggestions and strategies to assist all staff members—not just frontline officers—to deal with complainants, in particular those who behave unreasonably.
    The strategies have been developed by complaint handlers for complainant handlers, and although the focus of this manual is on the public sector, the suggested strategies may be equally applicable to customer and private sector situations.

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  • Better-practice-complaint-handling-for-education-providers

    Better practice complaint-handling for education providers

    The Overseas Students education providers better practice complaint-handling guide is a checklist and workflow of industry best practice advice.

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  • Complaint-handling-at-universities-Australasian-best-practice-guidelines

    Complaint handling at universities: Australasian best practice guidelines

    The Australasian best practice guidelines for complaint handling at universities are tailored specifically for universities and are intended to assist them to make their complaint-handling systems more robust and effective. The purpose is not to infringe on the independence of universities, but to identify best practice minimum standards that will protect the rights of students, staff and the university itself.

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