The department’s commitment
The department’s aim is to provide you with high quality service delivery. If you are not satisfied with our service delivery, services, products, decisions or actions and you have not been able to resolve the matter with our staff, you can lodge a complaint.
We value your feedback and will use the complaints process to identify opportunities to improve our efficiency and effectiveness.
The department is committed to ensuring that all complaints are managed in a responsive, efficient, effective and fair manner and that you are treated with respect throughout the complaints process.
In accordance with Section 219A of the Public Service Act 2008 the Department of Environment and Science reports the following for 2017–18:
- 161 complaints received by the Department of Environment and Science
- 75 complaints resulting in further action
- 86 complaints resulting in no further action
Department’s services—is a complaint about dissatisfaction with the department’s services, products, decisions or actions. Refer to section 2.
Public Interest Disclosures—a complaint of suspected serious wrongdoing by a departmental employee/s. Refer to section 4.
Privacy complaint—you believe that the department has breached your right to privacy in its handling of your information. Refer to section 5.
2. Complaint about the department’s services, products, decisions or actions, what is the first step?
- Let staff know as soon as possible about your concerns and they may be able to quickly resolve it for you.
- If they can’t, you can lodge a complaint by giving us as many details as you can, such as what happened, who was involved, when and where it happened.
- Also, were there any others involved who may be able to provide further information?
How can I make a complaint?
Complaints can be lodged in a number of ways:
- online—by completing the online complaint form below
- print—complete the printable complaint form and:
- post it to Client Engagement Unit, Level 32, 400 George Street, Brisbane. GPO Box, 2454, Brisbane QLD 4001; or
- scan and email it to: DEScomplaints@des.qld.gov.au
- in person—complaints can also be submitted by telephone or face to face at any publicly accessible departmental office. These complaints will be documented by the staff member who receives the complaint
- anonymously—you can complain anonymously, although if clarification is needed during the resolution process we won’t be able to contact you, which may affect achieving a successful outcome. We will also not be able to advise you of the results of the investigation.
Assistance with lodging a complaint
- Please let us know if you require assistance with lodging your complaint by contacting DEScomplaints@des.qld.gov.au
- Assistance will include explaining the complaints process and providing information on how to make and lodge a complaint
- Additional assistance, such as documenting details of the complaint and lodging it on your behalf will be provided for people who have a disability, literacy or language difficulties
- If you prefer to lodge your complaint at a publicly accessible departmental office, the local staff will provide the appropriate assistance that you need.
General complaints about the department’s services, service delivery, products, actions or inactions are managed as follows.
- All complaints will be dealt with in a responsive, confidential and fair manner.
- Complaints will initially be assessed by the local area responsible for the service that is the reason for your complaint. Assessment will include; severity, safety implications, complexity and the need and potential for immediate action.
- The senior manager of the local service area will allocate a complaint manager to investigate the complaint and a separate manager will consider the findings and recommendations provided and make a decision regarding an appropriate resolution of the complaint.
- The complaint manager and the decision maker will not have been involved in any prior decision or action that was involved in the complaint.
- Unless your complaint must be dealt with under a law or another mechanism, our aim is to resolve your complaint within 30 business days. Please note that more complicated issues may take longer. We will notify you if this is the case.
- When we have investigated your complaint, we will contact you via your preferred method of contact to advise you of the outcome of the investigation.
The department's policy and procedure for managing complaints can be downloaded below:
- The department's Customer Complaints Management Policy
- The department's Customer Complaints Management Procedure
Privacy and your personal information
Your personal information will not be released to a third party without your consent unless required to do so by law (Information Privacy Act 2009). For more information on privacy, please visit our privacy page.
All documents relating to your complaint will be stored in a secure location, and only accessible to staff who are involved in resolving the complaint.
Will I be kept informed of what is happening about my complaint?
The employee who is managing your complaint will keep you informed of any delays, requirements for additional information and the outcome.
What can I do if I am not happy with the outcome of my complaint?
You can request a review of the decision made by the department’s decision maker. The department will arrange for an employee who has not been previously involved in the resolution of your complaint to review the information and the decision.
If you are not satisfied by the results of the department’s review you can ask the Queensland Ombudsman’s Office to review the department’s decision. You can contact the Queensland Ombudsman by:
Telephone: 07 3005 7000
Toll free: 1800 068 908
Post: Level 18, 53 Albert Street, Brisbane QLD 4000 GPO Box 3314
What is a Public Interest Disclosure?
A Public Interest Disclosure (PID) is a report about suspected serious wrongdoing in the public sector and can be made by an employee or a member of the public. A PID may be made to an appropriate public sector entity as specified in the Public Interest Disclosure Act, 2010.
As a member of the public you can make a PID complaint about:
- suspected danger or harm to the health or safety of a person with a disability
- significant environmental harm; or
- a reprisal action has been or will be made against a PID or a person who is believed to be a PID
For an allegation to be considered a PID, and gain the protections of the PID Act, the discloser must honestly believe on reasonable grounds there is wrongdoing or have information that tends to show wrongdoing and make a disclosure to a proper authority.
How to lodge a PID?
Members of the public may make their disclosure to any of the following:
- the Director-General
- a divisional or branch head (e.g. Deputy Director-General, Executive Director, Senior Director, Regional Director)
- a line manager or supervisor of the discloser
- Head of Internal Audit
- Executive Director, Human Resources, or
- Director, Executive Services.
Alternatively, you can lodge your PID by completing the online complaint form below, specifying that it is a PID matter.
Ideally, PID information should include:
- the name and job title of the person, or the name of the company or organisation that is the subject of the disclosure
- information about relevant events, dates and places
- the names of people who may be able to provide additional information
- your contact details (for communication about the PID assessment and outcome).
A PID need not include all this information. For example, a PID may include information about an event, time and place but the names of the officers involved may be unknown to you.
The PID Act requires that anonymous disclosures be accepted. However if you choose to be an anonymous discloser, the department cannot contact you to clarify your disclosure or to seek additional information. If you are an anonymous discloser, it will not be possible to keep you informed of progress in handling the disclosure; or to offer you PID Act protections.
The department's policy and procedure for managing PIDs can be downloaded below:
- Former EHP Public Interest Disclosure Policy and Procedure
- Former NPSR Public Interest Disclosure Policy and Procedure
If you are concerned that the department has breached your privacy by not dealing with your personal information in accordance with the Information Privacy Act you can submit a complaint in writing to the department or use the online complaint form in section 6 below.
The complaint should outline the basis for the complaint in as much detail as possible and include an address to which notices and correspondence may be sent during the complaint investigation process. Written complaints should be sent to:
Business and Professional Services
Post: Level 32, 400 George Street, Brisbane
GPO Box 2454
Brisbane QLD 4001
Phone: (07) 3330 6270
If you believe that your complaint has not been dealt with satisfactorily, or the department has not responded, you may make a complaint to the Office of the Information Commissioner. The complaint will then be mediated if deemed appropriate, or may be referred to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
A complaint may not be made to the Information Commissioner until at least 45 business days after the complaint has been made to the department. The postal address of the Information Commissioner is:
Office of the Information Commissioner
PO Box 10143
Brisbane QLD 4001
Note: Fields marked with "*" are required fields.