Council establishes “independent ear” for complaints

Council administration and chambers in Wyong.

If people make a complaint to Central Coast Council the internal ombudsman will inform them of the progress of the complaint on a monthly basis at least and, if there is any delay, will provide a reason, until the matter has been either resolved or closed.

The councillors adopted the internal ombudsman’s charter at the May 11 meeting and it will now be made publicly available on the council website.

The ombudsman provides an “independent ear” for complaints and reviews administrative processes and services. “But only within three months of the issue at hand,” the report to the councillors said.

The ombudsman can investigate code of conduct complaints and public interest disclosures.

Corruption complaints can be referred on to ICAC.

The ombudsman won’t get involved in the merits or otherwise of decisions from local planning panels or any Development application decision.

Councillors decided in October last year to Increase the transparency associated with the Internal Ombudsman function by developing a Charter to clearly describe the role and function of the role and the types of complaints that are investigated.

The Audit, Risk and Improvement Committee endorsed the charter on 17 March 2020 before it went to the councillors for their vote.

Source
Agenda item 3.3
Central Coast Council meeting May 11.