Warringah Council has a robust Customer Service charter and complaints management system.
You can send a compliment to Council, or make any comment using our contact form.
The normal avenue for most complaints is through Customer Service. This is where you make a complaint, inquire about Council services, or ask questions about service delivery on a day-to-day basis, such as rubbish collection, reporting potholes, barking dogs or problems with a neighbour's fence.
A Customer Service officer will log your call and pass it to the relevant department in Council, where it will be dealt with.
You can also write a letter to Council if you prefer; for example, if you have documents you want to send in that help explain your problem. Alternatively, you may wish to come in to the Customer Service front counter in the Council Civic Centre.
Complaints to the Office of the Internal Ombudsman
If you think your complaint concerns a serious issue, for example, corruption, misconduct, maladministration, or otherwise unlawful behaviour by Council administration or Council officers, you may choose to make a complaint to the Office of the Internal Ombudsman.
You are, however, encouraged to first use all other avenues in Council to resolve your problem before making a complaint to the Office of the Internal Ombudsman. This is particularly relevant to inquiries about, or problems with, service delivery or service requests - a quick call to Customer Service will often sort things out, provide you with the information you need, and answer your questions.
Before lodging a complaint with the Office of the Internal Ombudsman, it is useful to ask yourself the following questions: What has Council done wrong in this situation? Has Council breached some law or policy which they have a duty to uphold? Has Council treated me unfairly? Has a Council officer done something that is against the law or Council’s Code of Conduct?
A resident is unhappy with a Development Application approval. This will not be a complaint that is dealt with by the Internal Ombudsman unless:
The resident believes a Council officer has been improperly influenced to grant approval
- The correct process was not followed
A resident is unhappy that a pothole has not been fixed quickly enough by Council. This is not a matter for the Internal Ombudsman and should be dealt with as a request for Council service.
A resident believes an infringement notice has been issued because of a personal grudge. This constitutes a complaint for the Internal Ombudsman and should be lodged with the Office of the Internal Ombudsman.
You are encouraged to lodge complaints in writing; however, complaints can be made by phone, letter, email or personal visit by appointment.
What happens to your complaint?
Within 14 days (10 working days) of receiving a complaint, an acknowledgement letter will be sent to the complainant. Further feedback will be provided until the matter is finalised.
If preliminary inquiries reveal evidence which supports the complaint, it may then progress to an investigation by the Internal Ombudsman. This could include a review of the related file or policies and procedures, interview of relevant witnesses, site visits, facilitated meetings between staff and complainant and a report to the General Manager with outcomes and recommendations. This is a lengthy and often complex process.
Complainants' privacy will be approriately respected at all times, within reason. The Office of the Internal Ombudsman is located in a secure, separate area, where complainants can provide information confidentially and all information is secure.