The Disability Act 2006 strengthens complaints systems, with the aim of improving the quality of services.
Making a complaint about a disability service provider
The Act says that disability service providers must:
- Have a process for managing complaints about their services
- Make sure that people who use their service know how to make a complaint
- Report every year to the Disability Services Commissioner about the number of complaints they receive and how they managed these complaints
The Disability Amendment Act 2012 changes some of the requirements of the Disability Act 2006 in relation to complaints.
The changes involve extending the complaints processes, including the jurisdiction of the disability services commissioner, to service providers that are contracted, or directly funded by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, under the Disability Act.
These service providers include:
- Advocacy groups
- The financial intermediary
- Information services.
Complaints about contracted or funded service providers
The Complaints About Contracted or Funded Service Providers Information Sheet provides further information about the changes affecting contracted or funded service providers. For more information, see Related resources.
The Complaints Policy (chapter 7 of the Disability Policy and Information Manual) provides clear guidance when developing a complaints management process that meets the requirements of the Act. For more information, see Related resources.
Service providers can check their compliance of section 104-106 of the Disability Act 2006 by using the complaints checklist. For more information, see Related resources.
Disability services commissioner
The Act created Victoria's first disability services commissioner, who works with people with a disability and disability service providers to resolve complaints.
Any person can make a complaint to the disability services commissioner about disability services. The disability services commissioner can also investigate complaints and has broad powers to look into complaints across a wide range of issues.
The disability services commissioner is independent to government and disability service providers. They report annually to Parliament.
The Act makes it clear that it is an offence to threaten or intimidate a person who has made a complaint to the disability services commissioner.
For more information, see the Disability Services Commissioner on our Services website.
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
Under the Act a number of decisions can be made or reviewed by VCAT. This increases protections for people with a disability, who will be able to apply for review of certain decisions by a disability service provider.
VCAT is able to accept, modify or change the decision of the disability service provider, depending on the situation.
For more information, see the Disability Policy and Information Manual in Related resources.