The Feedback and complaints practice:

Scope

This practice describes BDM’s lodgement and handling of feedback and complaints from citizens, stakeholders and service partners. It applies to all citizens, citizen’s representatives, stakeholders, service partners and employees of the Registry. It should be read in conjunction with the Victorian Department of Justice and Regulation’s Feedback, complaints and compliments policy (External link).

Practice statement

A key corporate value of the Department of Justice and Regulation is service to the community.

BDM recognises the importance of community feedback to maintaining a high standard of service.

Where a citizen, stakeholder or service provider makes a complaint or compliment about services provided by BDM or the conduct of its staff, BDM is committed to responding to that feedback within a reasonable time.

BDM will review complaints in accordance with principles of procedural fairness and natural justice and will communicate the outcome to the complainant within a reasonable time.

BDM is committed to recognising compliments made about team members from citizens, stakeholders and service providers.

Difference between feedback and a complaint

BDM classifies citizen feedback as the following:

  • Specific enquiries mean a request for specific information regarding an existing application
  • Feedback means information from a customer about their experience of our service, or suggestions
  • Complaint means an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, policies, procedures, costs, or staff of BDM.

Contact BDM

To ensure that all feedback and complaints are recorded and actioned by the most appropriate team, feedback and complaints must be submitted in writing to:

A complaint should include:

  1. A return email or mail address
  2. Complainant’s given name and family name (surname)
  3. Phone number
  4. Receipt number (if available)
  5. Details of complaint.

Complaints may also be received by mail:

Attention: Feedback / Complaints
Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
GPO Box 4332
MELBOURNE VIC 3001

Responding to feedback and complaints

BDM will respond to all feedback it receives from citizens, stakeholders and service partners.

Action will be taken as follows:

  • Upon receipt, compliments and suggestions will be forwarded to the area to which they relate. Where compliments name a member of the team, the feedback will be referred to that person and/or their Team Leader to acknowledge their contribution
  • Feedback related to citizen service including enquiries related to specific applications will be acknowledged and responded to
  • Complaints will be recorded, actioned and responded to. All complaints will be assessed to determine urgency. If the complaint is urgent it will be processed as a matter of priority. Urgency is defined where a certificate is required as a matter of urgency, for example a priority passport application due to unforeseen travel.

BDM will ensure:

  • All aspects of the complaint have been considered and addressed
  • A fair and reasonable outcome has been achieved
  • The complainant is advised of the outcome in writing.

BDM may make exceptions and choose not to respond to feedback or complaints when:

  • A complaint is made anonymously
  • The complainant is abusive or threatening
  • The subject matter of the complaint has already been managed and investigated by the appropriate area(s) and BDM has exhausted all reasonable options to resolve the complaint
  • A complainant does not require a response.

Timelines

BDM will respond to all complaints received in writing. Where the matter is urgent, the Registry will follow up with a telephone call on the day of receipt.

BDM will provide written acknowledgement of receipt of the feedback or complaint to the correspondent within three working days of receipt.

BDM will respond to complaints within 20 working days of receipt.

An extension of the standard 20 working day period for responding to a complaint may be necessary in certain instances where further investigation is required. In such cases, BDM will notify the complainant in writing of the revised time frame before the 20 working day period has elapsed.

Recording and tracking complaints

All matters to which this practice applies will be recorded in the department’s electronic document records management system.

Information privacy protection

Personal information collected by BDM for the purpose of responding to, reviewing and monitoring complaints will be managed in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.

Only team members who require access to records for the purpose of responding to, reviewing or reporting complaints will have access to complaint information.

Review a decision

Complainants are entitled to be provided with an opportunity to be heard, to be treated fairly, and to be given reasons for BDM’s decision.

Any complainant may request an internal review of the decision if they are not happy with the outcome. Their request should specify any concerns about the handling of the complaint.

The request for the review should be made in writing and sent to BDM by email or mail:

Contact us by email

Email: bdmcomplaints@justice.vic.gov.au (External link)

Contact us by mail

 The Registrar
 Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages
 GPO Box 4332
 MELBOURNE VIC 3001

Escalate to the Victorian Ombudsman

After the internal review is conducted and if the complainant is still unsatisfied with the resolution, the matter may be escalated to the Victorian Ombudsman.

Complaints can be made to the Victorian Ombudsman through the following:

Visit the Victorian Ombudsman's website (External link)

Contact the Victorian Ombudsman by mail

 Level 1 North Tower
 459 Collins Street
 Melbourne VIC 3000

Contact the Victorian Ombudsman by telephone

(03) 9613 6222 or 1800 806 314 (regional callers only).