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Appendix 4 - Service charters

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Service charters

The Attorney-General’s Department service charter and associated complaint-handling policy have been in operation since June 1998.

The AusCheck service charter was released on 20 August 2009 to describe to the public, and to the aviation and maritime communities, the service experience that can be expected in dealing with AusCheck and its staff. The charter is available from <http://ag.aglink.ag.gov.au> ‘National security and counter-terrorism | Background checking’.

Tables 21 and 22 set out the customer service standards contained in each charter and the extent to which they were met during 2010–11.

Table 21: Attorney-General’s Department charter—compliance with customer service standards, 2010–11

Charter Service standard Compliance with
service standard
Attorney-General’s Department A reply in plain English within 28 days of receipt of complaint, including the name and telephone number of the person dealing with the complaint Nine of 11 complaints were compliant with the service standard
Personal information used only in accordance with the law Complied
Work will be undertaken with care, diligence and sensitivity to the needs of clients Complied
Strong commitment to accountability and continuous improvement Complied
Clients will be treated with courtesy, fairness and respect Complied
Staff will act responsively to client needs Complied

Table 22: AusCheck service charter—compliance with customer service standards, 2010–11

AusCheck service charter Service standard Compliance with service standard
AusCheck – provide timely and effective background checks for the Aviation Security Identification Card and Maritime Security Identification Card schemes Acknowledgement of 100% of all ASIC and MSIC applications in one business day Achieved
Completing AusCheck’s part in the background checking process in five business days or less 98% of the time (ie excluding time awaiting responses from checking partners or the person being checked) Achieved
Provide a consistent decision making process that ensures privacy and legal rights are protected No AusCheck decisions were overturned on appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Achieved

Four appeals were lodged with the AAT during the reporting period

Three have been withdrawn and one AusCheck decision was upheld

Other comments

There were 11 complaints received during 2010–11. Nine were responded to or withdrawn within 28 days and two complaints were not.

The first of these related to a broken link on the Department’s website. The link was repaired almost immediately but the Department failed to advise the complainant within the 28 days stated in the service charter.

The second complaint related to an application to become a marriage celebrant. The Department did not address this complaint because the application was still being assessed. A second complaint was then received and soon after, both complaints—together with notification of the outcome of the complainant’s application—were addressed.

The Office of Legislative Drafting and Publishing (OLDP) received one formal complaint about inability to access legislation on ComLaw in October 2010. An investigation found that the site was operational for most of the day, except during a one-hour outage, which was notified to clients more than one week in advance. The complainant did not respond to a request for more information.

OLDP also received many compliments about the professionalism of its staff. The ComLaw Help Desk—which handled hundreds of public queries about Commonwealth legislation and the new ComLaw website during the year—received the most feedback, but agencies were also complementary about OLDP’s contribution to resolving a number of urgent and unavoidable matters.

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