Complaint resolution process

The Tasmanian Community Fund has established a complaint resolution process to help ensure the Fund is accountable to the community, the process for awarded grants is transparent, and that proper use is made of public funds by grant recipients.

This process is not an appeal process against decisions by the Board made through a fair and objective process. Decisions of the Board made through a proper process are final. A decision of the Board will only be reviewed if it is determined that the Board has not followed its stated processes.

What does the complaint resolution process cover?

Complaints can be made in relation to the following Fund activities:

  • the level, quality or timeliness of services provided by the Fund;
  • our compliance with the provisions of:
    • our grant guidelines;
    • a grant deed;
    • the Board’s Code of Conduct;
    • Tasmanian Community Fund Act 2005; or
    • other statutory provisions governing the distribution of public funds and the employment of Fund staff.

Complaints may also be made about the activities of grant applicants or recipients where:

  • a grant applicant may have provided false or misleading information to the Fund in a grant application or other dealings; or
  • a grant recipient may have used the funds improperly and/or failed to implement the project in accordance with their application/grant deed and/or provided false or misleading information in project reports (including financial reports).

How do I make a complaint?

Informal verbal complaints:

Some complaints can be resolved efficiently through raising the issue in an informal manner directly with the Fund. This may be the most suitable approach if your complaint relates to the level or quality of service provided by the Fund.

Informal complaints will be treated as discussion and feedback and will not result in any formal action being undertaken by the Board. If the complaint is of a more serious nature, you may be requested to provide the complaint in writing.

Formal complaints:

If you are not satisfied with the response provided to you in a verbal complaint, you may wish to lodge a formal written complaint.

It may also be more appropriate to make a written complaint if it relates to the Fund’s compliance with our legal obligations or stated processes or the activities of a grant applicant/recipient.

Formal complaints must:

  • be made in writing;
  • be from an identified individual or organisation. The Fund will not take any action in relation to anonymous complaints;
  • provide details about the complaint including:
    • the person(s)/organisation against whom the complaint is made;
    • the date(s) of the activity;
    • the specific activity to which the complaint relates;
    • any supporting information verifying the complaint; and,
  • provide contact details of the person making the complaint.

All written complaints will be treated confidentially and details of the complainant will not be made available to parties other than Tasmanian Community Fund Board members and staff during the complaint resolution process. However, it should be noted that the Tasmanian Community Fund is subject to the Right to Information Act.

Written complaints should be lodged with:

Senior Executive Officer
Tasmanian Community Fund
GPO Box 1350
HOBART TAS 7001

The Fund will not accept written complaints by email.

Formal complaints against Fund staff

Fund staff are Tasmanian State Service employees and their employment is governed by a specific legal framework. A formal complaint relating to the actions of the Senior Executive Officer should be made in writing and posted to:

Chairman
Tasmanian Community Fund
GPO Box 1350
HOBART TAS 7001

The letter should be marked ‘confidential - to be opened by addressee only’. The Chairman may discuss appropriate action with a senior manager in the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

A formal complaint relating to other Fund staff should be made in writing addressed to the Senior Executive Officer and marked ‘confidential - to be opened by addressee only’.

Complaints against staff alleging conduct contrary to the State Service Act 2000, State Service Principles or Code of Conduct will be addressed under the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s human resource management policies.

How will the complaint be handled?

Complaints against the Board or Staff

All written complaints will be acknowledged in writing within one week of receipt.

The Fund will provide a written response to your complaint within one month of receipt. In the event this timeframe cannot be complied with due to the complexity of the matter, or a delay in receiving information from a third party, this will be communicated to you and an expected response time will be specified.

The Fund will investigate the complaint as they sees fit.

If the complaint relates to alleged unlawful activities by a Board member, the matter may be referred to Tasmania Police and/or the Director of Public Prosecutions.

If the complaint relates to alleged unlawful activities by Fund staff, the matter may be referred to Tasmania Police.

Complaints against a Grant Proponent

All written complaints will be acknowledged in writing within one week of receipt.

The Fund will provide a written response to your complaint within three months of receipt. In the event this timeframe cannot be complied with due to the complexity of the matter, or a delay in receiving information from a third party, this will be communicated to you and an expected response time will be specified.

The Fund will investigate the complaint as it sees fit.

The organisation or person the subject of the complaint will be given an opportunity to respond to the matter raised and, where possible, will be informed of the complaint in person.

What if a complaint is upheld?

Complaints against the Board or Staff

If a complaint is upheld and relates to a decision of the Board, the Board will re-consider the matter in keeping with its stated processes. Following re-consideration, the original decision may be affirmed or changed.

Complaints against a Grant Proponent

If an upheld complaint relates to the activities of a grant applicant or recipient, the Board may:

  • not assess a current application;
  • not assess any future applications from the applicant until the issue has been resolved to the Board’s satisfaction;
  • withdraw a grant;
  • request the return of any grant funds already provided to the organisation (with the option of charging interest on the grant for that period); and/or
  • award a grant with special conditions.

If a complaint concerning an applicant or recipient is upheld but determined to be minor or inconsequential, the Board may disregard the matter for the purposes of assessing an application or administering a grant.

If the matter is determined to involve possible unlawful activities, the TCF may refer the matter to Tasmania Police.

What if I am not satisfied with the outcome?

If a complaint is not resolved by the Fund to your satisfaction, you may wish to contact the Tasmanian Ombudsman’s Office to discuss further options.

The Ombudsman's role is to investigate complaints about the administrative actions of government departments, councils and public authorities. The Ombudsman’s aim is to resolve individual complaints and to promote fairness, openness and good public administration in the state of Tasmania. Services are free, independent and impartial.

The Ombudsman will normally expect complainants to attempt to resolve the matter directly with the Fund in the first instance.

Contact details for the Office are:

email: ombudsman@justice.tas.gov.au

phone: 1800 001 170

website: www.ombudsman.tas.gov.au

Feedback

The Tasmanian Community Fund welcomes feedback on our operations at any time, including on things we do well. To provide feedback, contact the Fund office:

email: admin@tascomfund.org

phone: 6233 2800 or 6233 2920

fax: 6233 4164

post: GPO Box 1350

HOBART TAS 7001