Ombudsman's Quarterly Update | April 2023Date posted:
“In the midst of every crisis lies great opportunity…. Never let a good crisis go to waste.”
That’s the message of my latest report: A good practice guide to complaint handling in a crisis. Great thinkers and leaders often observe that from crisis comes opportunity; and while the COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly presented many challenges, it also opened many possibilities for improvement in services to the community.
The guide draws on experiences across four different Victorian government agencies, with a focus on how they handled complaints. The people involved had to learn fast, move resources, and often do things that had never been done before, or at the pace required. They present a useful snapshot of how agencies can prepare for, and respond to, the next crisis – because crisis is a certainty, whenever or however it next evolves. And the more we can learn from the last one, the better we will handle it.
Whatever the crisis at hand or in the future, the work of my office continues, including its core business of investigations and complaints handling. Some of this work makes it into the public domain but the nature of the work means most of it doesn’t, which I recognise can lead to mystique or even misunderstanding. So in a new webinar series coming up soon we are going to lift the veil and go behind the scenes of our investigations and complaints handling. Ever wondered how I decide what to investigate or table in Parliament? When or how the office uses coercive powers? The different options we have to handle the multitude of complaints that come in? How we engage with complainants and agencies?