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Process for Submitting a Complaint
The Township of Seguin is committed to the ongoing improvement of our services in an environment where all complaints are dealt with fairly in a respectful, transparent fashion, as quickly as possible. Whenever possible complaints will be resolved informally as quickly as possible to the satisfaction of the citizen.
What is a complaint?
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction related to a program, service, facility, or staff or council member, where a citizen believes that the Township has not provided a service experience to the citizen's satisfaction at the point of service delivery and a response or resolution is expected. A complaint may be about any of the following:
- Timeliness of service.
- Quality of service.
- Access to service.
- Conduct of a member of staff or council.
A complaint is distinct from:
- Request for Service: A request made to the Township for a specific service, or to notify the Township that a service was not provided on time.
- Requesting that the Township repair or maintain a road surface.
- Reporting a blocked culvert.
- Reporting a bylaw or parking infraction.
- Enquiry: A general or specific request for information regarding a Township of Seguin product, program or service.
- Feedback: An opinion and/or comment about a Township of Seguin program, service, facility, or interaction with staff. To submit feedback please complete our online Customer Service Survey
The Complaint Process
Note: The initial contact by a citizen with a complaint should be made in person or by telephone to the Township of Seguin Municipal Office. If possible and the matter can be resolved at that initial contact to the satisfaction of the citizen no further action is required and the complaint is closed.
All complaints will be dealt with in a confidential manner according to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Information will be collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Act.
A complaint process involves the following steps. These steps are further explained below.
- Customer Initiates Contact.
- Informal Resolution.
- Formal Complaint Submitted.
1. Customer Initiates Contact
As noted above the initial contact should be made by the complainant by telephone or in person.
2. Informal Resolution
Complaints will be resolved informally where possible at the initial contact phase. If the matter is resolved at this point no further action is required.
3. Formal Complaint Submitted:
If the initial contact does not result in a resolution satisfactory to the citizen a formal complaint to the Township of Seguin must be submitted in writing and signed by the complainant. The formal complaint must include the following information:
- Details of what happened.
- Where did this happen?
- When did this happen?
- Who was involved?
- What was said or done?
- What kind of resolution is being sought by the complainant?
- Contact details of the complainant - a telephone number is required. The complainant's preferred method of contact.
The written complaint is to be submitted either in person, by mail or by facsimile to:
Township of Seguin
5 Humphrey Drive
Seguin, ON P2A 2W8
Fax: (705) 732-6347
Staff will determine that the complaint is complete, and:
- Confirm the complaint is not a request for service, an enquiry or feedback.
- Check to see if there are any previous complaints from this complainant or about the issue(s) concerned.
- If necessary, contact the complainant to clarify the complaint and capture any missing required details.
- Categorize and prioritize the complaint.
- Ensure complaint information is complete for the investigation.
Staff will determine what has happened and identify appropriate action to resolve the complaint (if possible) and summarize findings. Staff will communicate the findings and/or resolution in writing to the complainant. If the complainant is not satisfied, staff will forward the complaint to their immediate supervisor. If necessary, the complaint will be forwarded to the Manager/Director and if necessary to the Chief Administrative Officer.
Internal review of complaints may not always result in a resolution or be satisfactory to the complainant and a complainant may seek external review. External review is undertaken by the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario. For further information on the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario visit their website at www.ombudsman.on.ca or call the office of the Ombudsman toll free 1-800-263-1830. Note: The Ombudsman is an office of last resort. Citizens should try to address their issue through the Township's complaint process before contacting the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario.
If at any time during the process the complainant is satisfied with an explanation or resolution, the complaint is closed. If the complainant does not accept the explanation or resolution and the internal and external reviews are completed, the complaint is closed. The complainant shall be notified in writing of the explanation and/or resolution.
Frivolous or Vexatious Complaints
If a formal complaint is submitted and the Department Head and/or the Chief Administrative Officer is of the opinion that the complaint is frivolous or vexatious the complainant shall be notified in writing of the decision and provided with the reason(s) for the decision.
A complaint may be considered as frivolous or vexatious if,
a) the complaint is part of a pattern of conduct that amounts to an abuse of the right of complaint or would interfere with the operations of the municipality including repeated submission of the same complaint that has already completed the Internal Review process; or
b) the complaint is made in bad faith.