Skip to main content

Policy on Complaints Involving Council Members

Policy overview

1 Purpose

To set out the basis for the handling of Complaints that involve or may reasonably be considered to involve Council members to ensure that the University's procedures:

  • comply with legislation;
  • observe the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness; and
  • provide accountability, integrity and transparency in the way the University Deals With such a Complaint.

2 Scope

This policy and its related procedures apply where a Complaint is received that involves a Council member. For the purposes of this policy a Complaint includes Information or Matter.

This policy applies to the Vice-Chancellor but does not apply to a Council member who is also a University Employee unless the Complaint or an element of a Complaint relates to that individual's Council role.

3 Policy Statement

The University encourages an organisational culture that responds to valid Complaints in an open and constructive manner, and in accordance with the principles of natural justice and procedural fairness.

The University is committed to the maintenance and improvement of a system of Complaints management that facilitates good administration and a safe and cooperative environment.

4 Principles

Complaints about Council members should be handled as fairly, expeditiously and effectively as the circumstances permit.

Council members are expected to comply with the University's Code of Conduct Policy and other University policies that apply to them. Council members are also required to comply with the University of Southern Queensland Act 1998 (Queensland).

An investigation into Complaints of Corrupt Conduct must be conducted subject to the Crime and Corruption Commission's (CCC) monitoring role.

Complaints found to be vexatious, false, or misleading may result in disciplinary action against the person making the Complaint.

Complaints against Council members will be managed in a manner that:

  1. aims for the timely resolution of the Complaint and with minimal disruption to the University's business
  2. complies with the principles of natural justice
  3. ensures as far as possible that privacy and confidentiality are respected for all parties involved in the Complaints process
  4. avoids any actual or perceived Conflict of Interest.

Nothing in this policy or related procedure is intended to interfere with the University's statutory obligations under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 (Queensland), the Crime and Corruption Act 2001, or any other related statutory obligations.

A complainant may withdraw their Complaint at any time, however the University is bound to continue to handle a Complaint that, after reasonable consideration, appears to involve or may involve Corrupt Conduct as addressed in the Crime and Corruption Act 2001.

4.1 Nominated Person

This policy and its associated procedure designate a Nominated Person to deal with a Complaint that appears to involve or may involve Corrupt Conduct as addressed in the Crime and Corruption Act 2001.

The Nominated Person must inform the CCC that they are the Nominated Person for a particular Complaint if necessary.

Once the Nominated Person is designated, the Crime and Corruption Act 2001 applies as if a reference about notifying or dealing with the Complaint to the Vice-Chancellor is a reference to the Nominated Person.

The Nominated Person must at all times, use their best endeavours to act independently, impartially and fairly having regard to the:

  • The Crime and Corruption Act 2001;
  • The importance of promoting public confidence in the way suspected Corrupt Conduct in the University is dealt with; and
  • The University's statutory, policy and procedural framework.

Procedures will ensure the Nominated Person is afforded resources that enable them to handle the Complaint appropriately.

4.2 Communicating with the CCC

The CCC will be informed of confidential contact details for the Nominated Person.

The Chancellor will consult with the CCC when preparing any policy about how the University will deal with a Complaint that involves or may involve corruption of the Vice-Chancellor.

5 References

Crime and Corruption Commission (2014), Corruption in focus: a guide to dealing with corrupt conduct in the Queensland public sector

6 Schedules

This policy must be read in conjunction with its subordinate schedules as provided in the table below.

7 Policy Information

Subordinate Schedules

Accountable Officer

Chancellor

Policy Type

Governance Policy

Approved Date

31/8/2015

Effective Date

31/8/2015

Review Date

31/8/2018

Relevant Legislation

Crime and Corruption Act 2001

Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010

Public Records Act 2002

Public Sector Ethics Act 1994

University of Southern Queensland Act 1998

Related Policies

Code of Conduct Policy

Public Interest Disclosure Policy and Procedure

Related Procedures

Complaints Involving Council Members Procedure

Employee Conflict of Interest Procedure

Related forms, publications and websites

Definitions

Terms defined in the Definitions Dictionary

Chancellor

The person bearing the title of Chancellor, or as otherwise defined in the University of Southern Queensland Act 1998, including a person acting in that position....moreThe person bearing the title of Chancellor, or as otherwise defined in the University of Southern Queensland Act 1998, including a person acting in that position.

Complaint

An expression of dissatisfaction made in relation to an action, Decision or omission within the responsibility and control of the University, a University Member or a Student, where a response or resolution process is expected wherever possible....moreAn expression of dissatisfaction made in relation to an action, Decision or omission within the responsibility and control of the University, a University Member or a Student, where a response or resolution process is expected wherever possible.

Corrupt Conduct

As defined in section 15 of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001....moreAs defined in section 15 of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001.

Council

Council means the governing body, the University of Southern Queensland Council....moreCouncil means the governing body, the University of Southern Queensland Council.

Employee

A person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University....moreA person employed by the University and whose conditions of employment are covered by the USQ Enterprise Agreement and includes persons employed on a continuing, fixed term or casual basis. Employees also include senior Employees whose conditions of employment are covered by a written agreement or contract with the University.

Vice-Chancellor

The person bearing the title of Vice-Chancellor and President, or as otherwise defined in the University of Southern Queensland Act 1998, including a person acting in that position....moreThe person bearing the title of Vice-Chancellor and President, or as otherwise defined in the University of Southern Queensland Act 1998, including a person acting in that position.

Definitions that relate to this policy only

Deals With

Refer to Schedule 2 (Dictionary) of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001.

Information or Matter

Information or matter involving corruption given to the Crime and Corruption Commission. Refer section 36(5) of the Crime and Corruption Act 2001.

Nominated Person

The person designated to deal with a Complaint that appears to involve or may involve Corrupt Conduct as addressed in the Crime and Corruption Act 2001.

Keywords

Record No

13/811PL

Failure to comply with this Policy or Policy Instrument may be considered as misconduct and the provisions of the relevant Policy or Procedure applied.

* This file is available in Portable Document Format (PDF) which requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. A free copy of Acrobat Reader may be obtained from Adobe. Users who are unable to access information in PDF should email policy@usq.edu.au to obtain this information in an alternative format.