Complaints Handling Procedure
Kildare County Council intends to maintain the highest standard of customer service. However, it is recognised that there may be, from time to time, cause for complaint. This Complaints Handling Procedure aims to ensure that any and all complaints are dealt with in a consistent, equitable and transparent manner.
Kildare County Council’s Commitment
Kildare County Council has a positive attitude to complaints. We understand that complaints can generate discussion about our services and can, ultimately, help us to improve our services. In this regard, we are committed to investigating all complaints in a fair and impartial way. We will treat all complaints, received by Kildare County Council, in confidence and only discuss the complaint with the relevant staff on a “need to know” basis. We also wish to reassure prospective complainants that the making of a complaint will not, in any way, affect the complainants’ future dealings with Kildare County Council.
What is a complaint?
A complaint exists where:- a decision or action is taken which relates to the provision of a service or the performance of a function which, it is claimed, is not in accordance with the rules, practice or policy of the organisation or the generally accepted principles of equity and good administrative practice and which adversely affects the person concerned' …..Office of the Ombudsman, Ireland.
Requests for information or matters for which there is a statutory right of appeal, e.g. a planning appeal, are not dealt with through the Complaints Handling System as there are separate processes and procedures for handling such matters.
You have the right to complain if you feel:
- You have been unfairly treated by Kildare County Council
- That a service to which you are entitled is not being provided
- That a service, that is being provided, is inadequate
- That a decision made with regard to you is wrong or did not take into consideration all of the facts
- That a request for service / information has been ignored.
How to Make a Complaint
Kildare County Council wants to know if you are unhappy with our services. If you have a complaint then you can follow these simple steps:
You can use our online customer portal (online portal) or your can send us a letter, visit our offices, telephone us or send an email. If you have difficulty in doing any of the above then please contact us and we will try to assist you. Step One is the step before a formal complaint is made and seeks to resolve the matter for you so that you do not have to make a formal complaint. However, if you are not happy with the Council’s reply then you can proceed to Step Two.
The next step is to make a formal complaint in writing by filling in a Customer Complaint Form (online form) and submitting it by post to Kildare County Council’s Customer Service Team, Aras Chill Dara, Devoy Park or by email to email@example.com The Customer Complaint Form details the level of information required in order for the Council to deal with your complaint. All formal complaints must be in writing. If required, a member of the Council’s Customer Care Team is available to assist the complainant to complete a Customer Complaint Form based on details given over the phone, in person or by email.
Kildare County Council will confirm that we have received your complaint within three working days. Your complaint will then be forwarded to the department concerned and you will normally be sent a full written reply within four weeks.
If for any reason a longer period is required to investigate your complaint, you will be informed of the reason and the extended deadline for reply.
If you are not happy with the reply then you can appeal in writing to the Council’s Customer Care Officer. Your appeal will be acknowledged within three working days and you will normally receive a full written reply within four weeks. Your appeal will be considered by senior staff from outside of the department originally involved in the complaint.
If, for any reason, a longer investigation period is required, you will be informed of the reason and the extended deadline for reply.
Office of the Ombudsman
We hope that we have been able to resolve your complaint satisfactorily. However, if you remain unhappy with our response then you can refer your complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is fair, independent, and free to use.
The Ombudsman will ask you for details of your complaint and a copy of our correspondence to you (our final response to your complaint). The best way to contact the Ombudsman is by:
Clicking on the ‘Make A Complaint’ link at www.ombudsman.ie
- Writing to: Office of the Ombudsman, 6 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2, D02 W773 or
- Calling the Ombudsman on 01 639 5600 if you have any queries or if you need help making your complaint.
Freedom of Information
Freedom of Information legislation enables members of the public to obtain access, to the greatest extent possible consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy, to information in the possession of Kildare Local Authorities and to enable persons to have personal information relating to them in the possession of Kildare Local Authorities corrected. It provides for right of access to records held by Kildare Local Authorities and for necessary exceptions to that right and for assistance to persons to enable them to exercise it. There are provisions for the independent review both of decisions of the body relating to that right and of the operation of the act generally.
For more information regarding Freedom of Information you can visit the Council’s Website http://kildare.ie/countycouncil/YourCouncil/GovernanceandCompliance/FreedomofInformation/