Important Announcement
PubHTML5 Scheduled Server Maintenance on (GMT) Sunday, June 26th, 2:00 am - 8:00 am.
PubHTML5 site will be inoperative during the times indicated!

Home Explore Complaint Handling Mechanisms workshop summary report Final updated on 8 Aug

Complaint Handling Mechanisms workshop summary report Final updated on 8 Aug

Published by accmelibrary, 2022-07-05 03:06:46

Description: Complaint Handling Mechanisms workshop summary report Final updated on 8 Aug


Read the Text Version

Complaint Handling Mechanisms workshop Purpose 1. The purpose of this paper is to: a. provide a brief background to the complaint handling mechanisms workshop held on 1 July 2019; b. identify and summarise the key areas of discussion from the workshop; and c. outline potential next steps. Background 2. In late June 2019, the Chief Ombudsman, Peter Boshier, and New Zealand’s Ambassador to Myanmar, Steve Marshall, met with a number of ministers and commissioners to discuss complaint handling mechanisms. This included meetings with: a. Minister of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations. b. Minister of Labour, Immigration and Population. c. Chairman of the Union Civil Service Board. d. Director-General of the State Councillor’s Office. e. Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission. f. Speaker of the Pyithu Hluttaw. 3. On 1 July 2019, a complaint handling mechanisms workshop, co-hosted and organised by the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Union Civil Service Board was held. The workshop involved participants from around 12 different organisations (a full participant list can be found at Appendix 1). 4. The objectives of the workshop were: a. to share the good practices of New Zealand’s complaint handling mechanisms; b. to discuss and understand the different procedures required for handling complaints by different government agencies taking account of their respective mandates; c. to consider options for the efficient operation of those different complaints mechanisms identifying potential areas of cooperation, of common approach, of common standards and of common systems; Page 1

Office of the Ombudsman | Tari o te Kaitiaki Mana Tangata d. to exchange knowledge and experience of complaints handling in Myanmar and New Zealand; and e. to discuss, and as appropriate agree, recommendations for ongoing cooperation between New Zealand and Myanmar in this important element of democratic governance. 5. During the course of the workshop, the following organisations delivered presentations about their existing complaint handling mechanisms: a. Chief Ombudsman; b. Anti-Corruption Commission; c. Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population; and d. Pyithu Hluttaw, Complaints and Petition Committee. Key areas of discussion 6. During the course of the workshop a number of topics or themes emerged, including: a. overlap between existing complaints mechanisms; b. the importance of the effective triage of complaints; c. the importance of timeliness; and d. whether there is a need for a central complaints handling mechanism for Myanmar? 7. Each of these matters will be briefly outlined and summarised below. Overlap between existing complaints mechanisms 8. It was apparent from the workshop that many organisations are currently in the process of developing complaints handling mechanisms. There are also a number of existing specialist complaints handling mechanisms in place, which handle complaints about specific types of complaints (eg, Anti-Corruption Commission and the Union Civil Service Board (code of conduct matters) and the Pyithu Hluttaw, Public Complaints and Petition Committee). 9. In practice, it appears that some complaints about the same or similar matters are sent to multiple organisations (eg, the President’s Office, the Anti-Corruption Commission or the Union Attorney General’s Office and the Pyithu Hluttaw), which all follow their own complaints processes. This can lead to a duplication of effort. 10. The Anti-Corruption Commission also highlighted that, as a high profile and trusted organisation it receives a large number of complaints about matters that do not relate specifically to corruption, such as land disputes, maladministration and personal affairs (only 0.4% of complaints received related specifically to corruption). As a result, it spends Page 2

Office of the Ombudsman | Tari o te Kaitiaki Mana Tangata a considerable amount of time and resource referring and following up these other types of complaints. 11. The Pyithu Hluttaw, Complaints and Petition Committee outlined its broad mandate to consider complaints and provided examples of the type of complaints it had dealt with. It is notable that, in a constitutional sense, this committee of Parliament is the closest existing complaint handling mechanism to the New Zealand Ombudsman. 12. It was acknowledged that it was important that the respective roles and mandates of different complaints handling mechanisms or organisations was clear and well understood to avoid duplication and ensure clarity for organisations and the public. 13. Given the overlaps, there was also some brief discussion about the potential to develop electronic complaints databases and the need for more accessible complaints processes eg, online forms. Importance of effective triage of complaints 14. It was apparent from the workshop that there is scope to introduce a greater level of ‘triage’ of complaints. Triage is the process of determining the nature and priority of a complaint to ensure the most effective and efficient response. This may include considering factors such as whether the complaint is within jurisdiction/ mandate of the organisation, risk, urgency, complexity and available resources 15. The New Zealand Ombudsman’s experience is that the effective triage of complaints is essential for the efficient handling of complaints. Importance of timeliness 16. It was acknowledged that timeliness was a critically important feature of any effective complaints process. It was accepted that ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ and timeliness issues could result in a loss of trust and confidence in the complaints handling mechanism or organisation. 17. It was also clear that many of the existing complaints mechanisms required responses from ministries within specific timeframes (eg, Anti-Corruption Commission requests responses within 60 days and the Pyithu Hluttaw, Public Complaints and Petition Committee requests responses within 6 weeks ie, 42 days). However, in practice these timeframes were not always adhered to by the ministries and the quality of the responses were inconsistent. 18. A number of organisations also noted that they operated under time and resource constraints and often lacked specialist technical or administrative assistance. This created challenges in providing a timely and effective service. A central complaints mechanism for Myanmar? 19. There was discussion about the desirability of a central complaints handling mechanism for Myanmar. This could range from a Parliamentary Ombudsman with the ability to Page 3

Office of the Ombudsman | Tari o te Kaitiaki Mana Tangata independently investigate complaints through to a more administrative ‘clearing-house’ or ‘secretariat’ body, which could simply receive and refer complaints. 20. If Myanmar were to develop an Ombudsman’s office careful consideration would need to be given to matters such as: a. The legal basis for the Ombudsman eg, would it be established in the Constitution or in a Law or by way of a Presidential Order or Regulation and would it report to Parliament (eg, Pyithu Hluttaw) or the Executive (eg, the President’s Office). It was acknowledged at the workshop that independence and impartiality was critical to the effectiveness and credibility of the mechanism and that international best practice was for an Ombudsman to report to Parliament; b. The source of its funding; c. The appointment and removal processes for an Ombudsman; d. The term of office; e. The extent and nature of its powers and jurisdiction; and f. Any other roles it might have (eg, under a Protected Disclosures Act). 21. There was a general sense that an Ombudsman’s office or similar concept would be desirable in the future, but it would take time to move to this type of model and it would need to be carefully tailored for Myanmar. It was noted that in around 2014, Myanmar had sent a delegation to Norway to investigate the Ombudsman concept and had seriously considered establishing one in Myanmar. In the interim, it was felt that a ‘clearing-house’ or ‘secretariat’ body might be a sensible first step. 22. It was seen however that such a ‘clearing house’ should also play an oversight role being the body that maintained the central data base of complaints, triaged them, and then followed up with the responsible entity to ensure that the matter had been acted on and satisfactory conclusion achieved thus maintaining the credibility of the system. How can the New Zealand Ombudsman’s office assist? 23. The New Zealand Ombudsman’s office is happy to assist Myanmar with the development of complaint handling mechanisms. This may include: a. Assisting with the design and development of systems and process (eg, technical assistance with policies and legislation); b. Provision of training; and c. Hosting of international delegations or short-term placements. Page 4

Office of the Ombudsman | Tari o te Kaitiaki Mana Tangata Next steps 24. Individual ministries review internal complaints handling mechanisms and assess whether they are fit for purpose or could benefit from any capacity building or technical advice or assistance. Their resultant decision/assistance request to be submitted to the Chairman of the ACC as the focal point. The New Zealand Ombudsman’s office guide entitled ‘Effective complaint handling’ may be helpful in this respect. 25. Workshop participants to review and provide comments on this paper to the Chairman of the ACC. 26. Focal Point, supported by technical advisors from New Zealand Embassy as deemed necessary, to revise this document taking account of the participants inputs 27. Focal Point to meet the President’s Office and the Speaker’s Office to present and discuss the revised paper and its recommendations for moving forward. 28. Subject to the joint responses of the President’s and Speaker’s Offices establish a joint working group to develop a strategy for the establishment of an Ombudsman’s office or clearing house mechanism as the case may be and to determine the nature, responsibility and functions of any such body. 29. In their deliberations on the above the Myanmar Authorities may care to a. consider sending a delegation to the New Zealand Ombudsman’s office to study the operation of the Ombudsman and other relevant public sector agencies complaints handling mechanisms. b. Consider possible technical support requirements from the New Zealand Embassy/Ombudsman as per 23 above. Page 5

Office of the Ombudsman | Tari o te Kaitiaki Mana Tangata Appendix 1. Position Depa Deputy Director General Presid No. Name Deputy Director General Presid 1. U Aung Naing Deputy Director General State 2. U Han Min Aung Deputy Director General Union 3. U Tin Moe Zaw Deputy Director General Union 4. U Aung Soe Thein Deputy Director General Minis 5. U Min Zaw Deputy Director General Minis 6. U Thein Naing Tun Deputy Director General Minis 7. U Ye Min Thu Director Minis 8. U Tin Ko Ko Naing Deputy Director General Minis 9. Daw Hnin Theingi Wint Regist 10. U Shein Win Director General Minis Deputy Permanent Secretary Minis 11. U Myint Lwin 12. Daw Khin Thet Htar

artment/Organisation dent Office dent Office Counsellor Officer n Government Office n Government Office stry of Home Affairs, Bureau of Special Investigation stry of Home Affairs, Department of Fire Service stry of Labour, Immigration and Population, Department of Labour Relations stry of Labour, Immigration and Population, Department of Labour Relations stry of Labour, Immigration and Population, Department of National tration and Citizenship stry of Commerce stry of Commerce Page 6

Office of the Ombudsman | Tari o te Kaitiaki Mana Tangata No. Name Position Depa 13. U Aung Naing Oo Permanent Secretary Minis 14. U Thant Sin Lwin Acting Director General Minis and C 15. Dr. Thi Thi Myint Deputy Permanent Secretary Union 16. Dr. Su Su Haling Deputy Director General Union 17. U Nyi Nyi San Director General Union 18. U Kyaw Win Han Deputy Director General Union 19. U Myint Lwin Chairman Pyithu 20. U Saw Thalay Saw Secretary Pyithu 21. U Aung Kyi Chairman Anti-C 22. U Aung Than Myint Commissioner Anti-C 23. Daw Myat Myat Soe Commissioner Anti-C 24. U San Win Commissioner Anti-C 25. U Thant Zaw Director General Anti-C

artment/Organisation stry of Investment and Foreign Economic relations stry of Investment and Foreign Economic relations, Department of Investment Company registration(DICA) n Attorney General office n Attorney General office n Civil Services Board n Civil Services Board u Hluttaw Public Complaints and Petition committee u Hluttaw Public Complaints and Petition Committee Corruption Commission Corruption Commission Corruption Commission Corruption Commission Corruption Commission, Investigation department. Page 7

Office of the Ombudsman | Tari o te Kaitiaki Mana Tangata No. Name Position Depa 26. H.E. Mr. Steve Marshall Ambassador New Z 27. Mr. Peter Boshier Chief Ombudsman Office 28. Mr. Alex Schroder Manager Strate 29 U Khin Maung Htwe Policy Advisor New Z

artment/Organisation Zealand Embassy e of Ombudsman, New Zealand egic Advice, The Office of Ombudsman Zealand Embassy Page 8

Like this book? You can publish your book online for free in a few minutes!
Create your own flipbook