CAIN Update – 5 June 2015

Items of interest for the Complaints, Accountability, Integrity Network

Complaint handling

Guidance on a Model Complaints Handling Procedure
A Scottish publication "designed to provide broad direction and support to public service providers in improving their complaints handling procedures. ... Underpinning the guidance is the ethos of 'getting it right first time'. The emphasis is firmly on quicker, simpler and more streamlined complaints handling with local, early resolution by empowered and well trained staff. Complaints should address customer dissatisfaction by providing a quick, fair and considered response to complaints, explaining clearly the reasons for any disagreement with the service user's position, and using the lessons learned from complaints to improve service delivery issues. Whilst recognising that each service provider has their own way of working and has unique staffing and operational considerations, the guidance is designed to be followed by all service providers."
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, 2011

Learning to get better: An investigation by the Ombudsman into how public hospitals handle complaints: Executive Summary and Recommendations
Investigation by the Office of the Irish Ombudsman into how public hospitals in Ireland handle complaints about their services. In particular, it looks at how well the Health Service and public hospitals (including voluntary hospitals) listen to feedback and complaints and whether the Health Service and public hospitals are learning from complaints to improve the services they provide. There are detailed recommendations about process that may provide a useful checklist for officers involved in developing complaint handling processes.
Ombudsman Ireland, 2015


Ragless v Office of the Police Ombudsman [2015] SAOET 2
Complaint under the Whistleblowers Protection Act (WPA) and the Equal Opportunity Act alleging victimisation by the respondent on the ground that the complainant had made an appropriate disclosure of public interest information – public interest information asserted to be a failure by the Firearms Branch of South Australian Police to investigate properly an incident which complainant said occurred on the firearms range of his shooting club and the allegedly illegal behaviour of some officials at his club – complainant asserted that, in turn, the respondent failed to properly investigate his concerns – even on the assumption that the information disclosed was public interest information within the meaning of the WPA, it is not reasonably arguable that the respondent committed an act of victimisation in that any detriment suffered was not caused on the ground of his disclosure.
South Australian Equal Opportunity Tribunal (District Court), 12 March 2015

Whistleblowers and Protected Disclosures podcast
Interview with Professor AJ Brown on the history, rationale and current status of whistleblower protections.
Independent broad-based anti-corruption commission, Victoria, April 2015

Public sector innovation

Better Public Services Through Experimental Government
This British paper is based on the premise that "if we want effective public services, we need an experimental, learning government – robustly and systematically testing things out, measuring them and growing what works." It shows how experimental methods are being used, and how they could be used in practice. It also covers the question of how to fit experiments into the daily life of public organisations.
Breckon J, Alliance for Useful Evidence and Nesta, March 2015

Innovation teams and labs: A Practice Guide
A different take on policy and service development. "This practice guide outlines how an innovation team, lab, unit or fund can be created, and is based on Nesta's long experience – both practical and research-driven – around public and social innovation. ... The guide is primarily aimed at governments, but the methods, lessons and tips are also applicable to a wider audience of businesses, NGOs, and others interested in developing a structured, disciplined and impactful innovation capability."
Puttick R, Nesta Innovation Skills team, 2014

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