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FOI Appeals

Please visit our Freedom Of Information section for information on complaints concerning an FOI Request

The purpose of these Guidelines is to set forth the policies and procedures to be followed in receiving, handling and responding to any complaint against the Financial Secretary’s Office, Finance Administration, Risk Management Unit, Revenue Unit and the Budget Management Unit.

It is the intention to provide prompt and fair resolution of complaints in accordance with all legal and regulatory guidelines. The policies and procedures outlined here, therefore, must be fully understood and diligently followed by those personnel engaged in the complaint handling process.

What is a Complaint?

A complaint is any documented oral or written statement (including emails and faxes) from a complainant who alleges a grievance involving the business or scope of activities of the Financial Secretary’s Office, Finance Administration, Risk Management Unit, Revenue Unit, Internal Audit Unit or the Budget Management Unit.

A grievance is a circumstance thought by the complainant to be unjust and injurious.

How do you make a complaint?

Complaints can be made using the Complaints Form available on the website, any electronic means, or by telephone.

How we handle complaints

In the first instance, your complaint will be handled by Anne Owens. We will try to resolve your complaint as soon as we receive it. We will write to acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five working days of it being lodged.

We will send a full written response to your complaint within 25 working days of its being lodged. This could be our final response to your complaint or a progress report of how we are investigating your concerns.

Where we have provided you with a progress report, we will continue to provide you with further reports, until your complaint has been dealt with. If we have not acknowledged your complaint within five days of receiving it or have not provided you with a full written response within 25 days, then we will write to explain the reasons why and to give you a date by which we expect to be able to give you a full or final response.

Documents and information which should be produced with the complaint?

All information should be detailed, and any relevant documentation attached.

When can I expect a response from the Ministry?

An acknowledgement of Complaint Receipt Letter will be sent to the Complainant within five working days of receipt of the complaint.  Normally, matters under consideration should be completed within 30 working days from receipt of the complaint.

Procedure for dealing with a Complaint?

The Complaints Coordinator will:

  1. Receive the complaints whether in writing, in person or by way of telephone
  2. Log the complaint in the Ministry’s mail-log system
  3. Review the Complaints Form and attached documentation to ensure it is properly completed.  The Complaints Coordinator will personally document the complaint if the complaint is by telephone and the complainant is not able to complete the Complaint Form.
  4. Acknowledge the receipt of the complaint by completing the Acknowledgement of Complaint Receipt Letter and sending to complainant within 3 working days of receipt.
  5. Forward the complaint to the Complaints Manager for action.
  6. Maintain records of all complaints received and action taken including complaints forms, supporting documentation, acknowledgement of complaint receipt letter and resolution letters.  All complaint records will be filed in a secured cabinet and access will be restricted to the Complaints Coordinator and Manager.
  7. Follow-up with the complainant to ensure satisfaction.

The Complaints Manager will:

  1. Normally settle the complaint within 30 working days from the receipt of the complaint.
  2. Respond in a reasonable manner to all complaints and dealing with complaints in an efficient and effective manner.  The resolution letter shall indicate the reasons for the decision and should be sufficiently detailed to suit the nature of the complaint.
  3. Liaise with the complainant regarding resolution timelines and tentative resolutions.
  4. Maintain records which provide general information on the Ministry’s complaints including the total number of complaints received within a period of time; a breakdown by type of complaint received; the number of complaints not resolved, out of which the number of complaints referred to the Complaints Commissioner.
  5. Forward copies of the complaints and resolutions to agency management and to the Office of the Complaints Commissioner if requested.
  6. Review the status of the complaints on a regular basis to ensure compliance with agreed timelines.
  7. Provide reports on information as maintained in (4) above, when requested.

If the complainant is not satisfied with the resolution, the Complaint Manager may refer the complainant to the Office of the Complaints Commissioner.

All complaints will be handled with confidentiality and privacy.

Putting Things Right

If your complaint is found to be justified, we will write to apologise to the people concerned, and if necessary, the matter will be reported to the Chief Officer of the Ministry of Finance to consider remedial action.

Anonymous Complaints

We will investigate anonymous complaints in the same way outlined above and seek to put things right if the complaint is found to be justified. However, if an anonymous complaint involves alleged misconduct by a member of staff which, if proven, would be grounds for disciplinary action, then the appropriate officer responsible for disciplinary matters will investigate the complaint.

Last Updated: 2012-02-24

Last Updated 2020-04-24