The Clean Energy Regulator Complaints handling policy draws on the
Better practice guide to complaint handling developed by the Commonwealth Ombudsman, and the
NSW Ombudsman’s Effective complaint handling guidelines.
Complaints provide the agency with valuable information about our scheme and service delivery. Good administration involves continuous improvement through regular reviews incorporating positive and negative feedback.
Negative information detailing dissatisfaction about the agency’s products, services, actions or staff that
can be managed routinely. Negative feedback can be a suggestion or expression of dissatisfaction, and is not a
Example 1: A client contacts the agency, they are unhappy because it is taking longer than usual to audit their application to create STCs, even though the agency is working well within the published/legislated time frames.
A Complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction made to or about the Clean Energy Regulator, related to its products, services, actions or staff where a
response or resolution is explicitly or implicitly expected or legally required and cannot be managed routinely.
Example 1: A client writes to the agency stating they wish to make a Complaint about the service provided to companies in Western Australia, stating that there has been a longstanding issue with the call centre only operating during Eastern Standard Time (EST) business hours. The Complaint is that the company was locked out of EERS without warning while entering data required for NGER compliance. When the agency was called to find out how long the outage would last, there was no staff to answer the call because it was made outside EST business hours.
Example 2: A client contacts the agency claiming that a requirement by the agency for them to disclose their gender and date of birth when registering for the Client Portal is a breach of privacy.
The purpose of this policy is to outline the agency’s approach to handling Complaints. The policy and its associated processes have been developed to complement existing client service processes, meet the expectations of clients, stakeholders and the Commonwealth Ombudsman, and align with the Government’s
Regulator Performance Framework.
The policy supports a culture of openness to feedback from our clients and stakeholders by actively providing transparent and accessible feedback management processes.
This policy applies to all Complaints.
This policy does not include situations where a client is seeking review of a statutory decision. In these situations the
Internal Decision review process must be followed.
It is important to note the difference between dissatisfaction with the agency’s service and dissatisfaction with the agency’s statutory decisions. The model described in the Complaint Handling Policy and this process focuses on general dissatisfaction with the agency’s services.
Where a complainant raises an issue with the operation or interpretation of legislation, including the policy behind the legislation, consideration must be given to whether the matter is best handled by the Clean Energy Regulator or the Department of the Environment and Energy. Until a formal handover has been agreed and confirmed by the Department, this policy and its processes will apply. If a formal handover occurs, arrangements must be made for the Complaints handling team to monitor the Complaint and the Department’s response.
The agency’s Complaints handling process is modelled on the principles of fairness, accessibility, responsiveness, efficiency, and integration with core business.
All complainants have a right to expect that their privacy will be respected and their Complaint will be treated confidentially. A complainant is entitled to know how a Complaint will be handled and the outcome of the inquiry.
Clients and stakeholders can easily access information about our Complaints handling process and the types of Complaints that we can address including clients with special needs i.e. those with a disability or who are from non-English speaking backgrounds.
All Complaints will be resolved within an agreed timeframe with the least possible impact on the resources of the complainant, and the agency.
The agency’s Complaints handling process is considered a core business activity, however, Complaints are managed outside of the scheme functions to maximise independence and objectivity.
The preferred methods of making a Complaint are listed below:
Letter - Addressed to:
Complaints Clean Energy Regulator GPO Box 621 Canberra ACT 2601
Complaints may, however, be received by the agency through any number of channels. These may include:
It is the responsibility of the receiving officer to assess whether the correspondence or interaction is a Complaint and refer the matter to the Complaints handling team in line with the Standard Operating Procedure.
To help the Clean Energy Regulator respond quickly and effectively to Complaints complainants should be asked to:
Most Complaints are managed within the Office of General Counsel, which is independent from the agency’s scheme delivery functions. Officers managing Complaints seek information from relevant business areas to form independent conclusions, highlight systemic issues and ensure prompt action.
The Clean Energy Regulator will endeavour to acknowledge all complaints within
two business days and to provide a formal written response within
20 business days.
Every effort will be made to meet these timeframes, where it is practical to do so. However, if the matter is complex, it may take longer to resolve. In these instances, complainants will be informed about the delay.
The preferred method of providing additional information or making enquiries in relation to a Complaint is via email.
As a general rule, officers managing a Complaint will not accept unplanned calls from Complainants. Complainants may request an appointment to speak with the officer by calling 1300 553 542 or emailing
If a complaint has been made to the Minister for the Environment and Energy, the Minister’s office will coordinate a timeframe for a response which may differ from the timeframes indicated in this policy.
Similarly, if a Complaint is received by the Chair, the office of the Chair will liaise with the Office of General Counsel to coordinate a timeframe for a response which may also differ from the timeframes indicated in this policy.
If a complainant is unsatisfied with the handling of their Complaint, they may pursue the Complaint with an external body such as:
There may be instances where the Clean Energy Regulator must deal with unreasonable demands or behaviours from clients. This may include:
In these instances, Complaints may not be acknowledged and the Accountable Authority may exercise their discretion to minimise or control its dealings with the complainant. The complainant will be given clear advice and reasons why.
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