Customer Service Charter

Responsive – Timely - Consistent
 

Purpose

Nambucca Shire Council is committed to serving the community with integrity, efficiency, fairness, impartiality and the encouragement of mutual respect. In keeping with Council‟s values, Nambucca Shire Council is committed to addressing and resolving customer enquiries and complaints, improving service delivery and increasing satisfaction.
Our Customer Service Charter aims to provide a guideline for customers, staff and councillors regarding enquiries, service requests or complaints received by Council and how they should be resolved.
 

Responsibilities

Council will treat all matters, whether an enquiry, service request or complaint, diligently and aim to provide a fair and reasonable outcome to both the customer and Council. Comments about Council‟s service or staff are welcomed and provide valuable feedback about our quality of service.
Council‟s operations are wide and varied but this Customer Service Charter applies to all staff. However, some processes for dealing with customer enquiries and complaints may differ. In some cases Council may not be able to action some requests because of the nature of the enquiry, service request or complaint, or because of Council‟s limited resources. Our response may also vary depending on the nature and complexity of the issue. Other avenues for resolution of the issue, where appropriate, should also be considered.
Council will only deal with Council related matters. Civil issues such as a fencing dispute between neighbours will not be addressed by Council. Other matters being addressed through the judicial system, for example in the Land and Environment Court, may not be able to be addressed by Council for legal reasons.
 

External Agencies

Any issues in relation to corruption, serious or substantial waste, or pecuniary interests should be directed to the General Manager or Public Officer. The General Manager has reporting responsibilities to external agencies such as the NSW Division of Local Government (DLG) and the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). Nambucca Shire Council Customer Service Charter August 2013 Page 2
External recourse is always available to all members of the community and information can be provided on the most appropriate agency if required. External agencies that may be considered include the NSW Division of Local Government (DLG), NSW Ombudsman and the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
 

Access to information

The Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (the GIPA Act) creates new rights to information that are designed to meet the community‟s expectations of more open and transparent government. It encourages the routine and proactive release of government information, including information held by providers of goods and services contracted by government agencies.
For information on GIPA or how to access information, visit:
Council's website Access to Public Information (GIPA) Act page or the
Information and Privacy Commission NSW website www.ipc.nsw.gov.au
 

Response Timeframes

All enquiries, service requests and complaints shall be acknowledged and finalised within timeframes as established in the Customer Service Charter. However, in some cases (eg. Development Applications), incoming correspondence such as objection letters may not be finalised within the time limits as it forms part of larger deliberations.
 

General guide for enquiries and complaints

Customer
Response Target
Mayor and Councillors
Response within 48 hours
Members of Parliament
Response in 10 working days
Send an acknowledgement advice within 5 working days where correspondence cannot be responded to within 10 working days. The acknowledgement will indicate when a reply can be expected and the name of the contact officer.
Incoming correspondence (includes letters, emails, faxes)
Response in 15 working days.
Send an acknowledgement advice within 5 working days where correspondence cannot be responded to within 15 working days. The acknowledgement will indicate when a reply can be expected and the name of the contact officer.
Direct phone calls with council staff
Verbal response for non-complex issues within two (2) working days
Voicemail messages
Return call by close of business the next working day
Public safety issues (general)
Within "five (5) hour inspection" rule
Public safety issues (life threatening)
Immediate - first available officer
 

What is a complaint?

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with a decision, level or quality of service, or behaviour of a councillor, employee, agent or committee member which can be investigated and acted upon.
 

What is not a complaint?

Customer Service Requests

Council responds to works or services requests relating to activities that are the responsibility of council such as road/bridge maintenance, tree clearance and town maintenance.
When handling customer works or services requests by phone, in person, written, email or online we will:

Confidentiality

We will respect and protect the privacy of our customers. Confidentiality of complaints, including the identity of the customer, will be maintained in accordance with appropriate legislation and Council policies.
Further information can be found in Council‟ GIPA Publication Guide, Requests & Complaints Policy and Privacy Management Plan on Council‟ website.
Customer Care

Customer Requirements

In order to provide effective customer service it is necessary that all customers:

Zero tolerance to abuse of staff

Council takes a zero tolerance approach to abuse of its staff. Physical or verbal abuse of any staff member will not be tolerated.
 
Customers acting inappropriately will be asked to leave the premises and may result in a police report or legal proceedings.
 
Verbal abuse over the phone may result in the call being terminated. In the event a caller uses foul or abusive language during a telephone conversation with an employee, the caller will be informed once that, if the use of such language continues, the call will be terminated. If the caller continues to use such language, the employee will invite the caller to put the matter in writing and terminate the call.
 
Council‟s customer service centre is under CCTV surveillance.
 

Location

Council‟s Administration Centre is located at 44 Princess Street, Macksville NSW 2447
Contact Information
Postal Address: PO Box 177, Macksville NSW 2447
Phone: (02) 6568 2555
After Hours: 0417 285 269 (Water) 0417 287 397 (Sewerage) and 0417 488 565 (Roads & Bridges)
Email: council@nambucca.nsw.gov.au
Website: www.nambucca.nsw.gov.au
 

Accessibility

Council's Customer Service Centre (face to face) is open from 8.30am to 4.00pm Monday to Friday. The cash receipting service operates 9.00am – 4.00pm.
Council's Call Centre (telephone) operates 8.30am – 4.30pm.
A Planning, Health & Building Duty Roster operates between 11.00am – 1.00pm daily.
 
Whilst Council endeavours to provide a broad range of services during business hours and have skilled Customer Service Officers to handle the bulk of customer enquiries at the first point of call, customers with more technical queries are encouraged to make an appointment with the relevant officer as this will result in a better outcome for their enquiry.
 
The Administration Centre at Macksville is closed between Christmas and New Years day.
An after-hours service is provided for emergency purposes:
Customers can make payments by a number of options:
Council's website provides a wide range of information about Council strategies, policies, programs and services. The Nambucca Valley 2023 Community Strategic Plan, Delivery Program, Operational Plan and Annual Report are all on our website. Customers can also view and track Development Applications through the Online DA Tracking Tool.
 
MyRoadInfo website provides motorists with ready, reliable access to roads information, especially in times of flood and other emergency events:
www.myroadinfo.com.au
 
Residents who receive a wheely-bin service from Coffs Coast Waste Services can use the MyBin app to find out when garbage, recyclables and organics bins are next due for collection. You can also get the date of the next biannual Bulky Goods collection.
Simply input your street address and press submit, or you can use the
"Current Location" feature to save time. Download the free app at:
www.handybinwaste.com.au or via the iTunes App Store and for Android via Google Play.
Our newsletter is published annually and distributed with the annual Rate Notice to inform the community of events, issues and opportunities.
For emergency help in floods and storms call the SES on 132 500.
 

Councillors

Councillors can be contacted by phone/mobile or email.
Customer Assistance
Council will provide assistance, where available, to customers wishing to lodge a complaint, but who have difficulty in adequately communicating the information.
Justices of the Peace (JP) are available.
The Council Chambers has a Hearing Induction Loop for the benefit of customers with hearing aids fitted with a "T" switch.
 

Monitoring and Reporting

Customer service standards and success will be measured through: