Conciliation

Conciliation is one means of resolving complaints to the Ombudsman about public organisations.

Resolving complaints by conciliation at the Victorian Ombudsman

Conciliation is one means of resolving complaints to the Ombudsman about public organisations. It is a voluntary process.

A conciliation meeting brings complainants and public organisations together in a supported conciliator-led environment. Our conciliators will assist the parties in discussing the complaint; they will evaluate parties’ positions and suggest options to help the parties resolve the complaint.

Benefits of conciliation

Under the guidance of our conciliators, conciliation can:

  • achieve a speedy resolution of a complaint
  • offer a controlled and confidential environment, in which parties agree to rules of respectful engagement
  • give parties an opportunity to explain what has happened and what they think is a fair outcome to the complaint
  • enlighten and allow parties to appreciate each other’s viewpoints.

Confidentiality and privacy

  • Conciliation meetings are held in private and are confidential.

After conciliation

  • If an agreement is reached, we will treat the complaint as ‘informally resolved and closed.
  • If parties do not reach an agreement, the complaint may still be closed, we may resume enquiries or we may consider an investigation.

Preparing for conciliation

  • We ask the parties to think about the steps that might resolve the complaint.
  • Parties should bring an open mind and be prepared to listen.
  • Parties need to participate in a respectful conversation and see conciliation as an opportunity to talk about their experience and resolve the complaint.
  • Please advise us if you wish to bring a support person. We recognise support persons can improve the fairness, efficiency, and effectiveness of conciliation.