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Public complaints - Chapter 6 - Annual report 2019-20

Number of public complaints reported: Attorney-General's Department

Complaint categories



Number of Complaints 2019-20

Professional behaviour

Staff attitude

Failure to demonstrate values such as empathy, respect, fairness, courtesy, extra mile, cultural competency


Staff competency

Failure to action service request; poorly informed decisions; incorrect or incomplete service provided


Staff knowledge

Lack of service specific knowledge; incomplete or out-of-date knowledge




Communication quality

Inadequate, delayed or absent communication with customer



Customer’s confidentiality or privacy not respected; information shared incorrectly


Service delivery



System offline; inaccessible to customer; incorrect result/information provided; poor system design


Access to services

Service difficult to find; location poor; facilities/ environment poor standard; not accessible to customers with disabilities



Processing error; incorrect process used; delay in processing application; process not customer responsive



Policy application

Incorrect policy interpretation; incorrect policy applied; conflicting policy advice given


Policy content

Policy content difficult to understand; policy unreasonable or disadvantages customer


Service quality


Incorrect, incomplete, out dated or inadequate information; not fit for purpose


Access to information

Information difficult to understand, hard to find or difficult to use; not plain English



Lack of staff punctuality; excessive waiting times (outside of service standard); timelines not met



Maintenance; personal or family safety; duty of care not shown; poor security service/ premises; poor cleanliness


Service responsiveness

Service design doesn’t meet customer needs; poor service fit with customer expectations



No case to answer

No case to answer

Third party; customer misunderstanding; redirected to another agency; insufficient information to investigate





Additional Metrics*


Number of positive feedback comments


Number of negative feedback comments


Total number of feedback comments


% complaints resolved within policy timeframes



*  Refer comments on next page under service improvements for CBS

Data for previous years is available on the Data SA website.

Attorney-General’s Department - Service improvements 

Service Improvements resulting from complaints or consumer suggestions over 2019-20

The AGD has developed a central complaints management system, which was implemented on 1 July 2019. This will act as a central repository for all contacts and allow for greater visibility of all complaints, compliments and feedback.

AGD Business units are able to provide information on complaints, compliments and feedback, covering:

  • The details and number of complaints, compliments and feedback received.
  • Issues arising from complaints and feedback, for example complaint trends, risks, systemic issues and improvements made as a result of contact.
  • Category of the complaint or feedback
  • Status of matter (open, referred for investigation, under investigation, closed).
  • Length of process, from initial contact to closure.


Within the central site, officers are able to log complaints, compliments or feedback on behalf of customers, which will then (if required) be escalated for review. It will also capture correspondence made from the whole of government complaints form and department’s website, email, letter and phone contact.

Consumer and Business Services - service improvements

Service Improvements resulting from complaints or consumer suggestions over 2019-20

In 2019-20, CBS launched new behavioural pillars for staff that link to each of CBS’s strategic goals. CBS has defined ‘go the extra mile for our customer’ as a behavioural pillar in recognition of the customer focused nature of CBS’s business. These behaviour pillars are integrated in to the employee performance review and development process for all staff. CBS migrated its phone system to ‘CXone’, allowing for all calls made to CBS to be recorded and feedback to be provided to staff where appropriate.

The percentage of complaints resolved within policy timeframes for 2019-20 includes complaints for CBS which reflects some system limitations and issues with the recording of complaint resolutions. CBS has engaged independent experts in the area of customer service who have redesigned a significant number of customer facing services to ensure consistent information, process efficiency and improved customer satisfaction.  CBS is currently working through a series of improvements relating to the complaints management system.

CBS’ Senior Management team have also elevated the reporting and analysis of trends and open complaints, which is now a standing agenda item at management meetings.