Customer Care Charter
- What you can expect
- Service Standards
- Official Languages
- What we expect from you
- What to do if you are not happy with our service to you
- How to make a formal complaint (Stage One)
- Right of Appeal (Stage Two)
- Ombudsman (Stage Three)
- Unreasonable Complaints
Monaghan County Council is a public sector organisation, our role is to provide a good quality service to our citizens. Our aim is to improve the quality of life and environment for all our residents, businesses and visitors.
Our Core Values state that – We provide strong Governance. We are open to scrutiny and transparent in our dealings with stakeholders.
We provide a public service that has a strong customer and citizen focus. Our Staff is responsive. We are fair, honest and impartial. We treat all Individuals respectfully and are aware of those with specific needs and instill an ethos of Age Friendliness within the organisation.
As a resident, business, or customer of Monaghan County Council there are certain standards of service that we aim to provide to you. We will ensure that all our service users are treated equally regardless of age, gender, religion, race, disability, sexual orientation, marital status and family status. We aim to ensure that there are no barriers to the services we deliver so that all our services are accessible by everyone.
We will treat all our customers with courtesy and respond promptly to request for service. We will give a contact name on all communications.
- We will aim to acknowledge all letters in need of a reply within 5 working days of receipt.
- We will aim to answer the phone within 20 seconds of the first ring.
- If we are out of the office we will transfer our phones where possible or provide a voice mail service.
- All phone calls will be answered by staff stating “Monaghan County Council” and the name of the person answering.
- If we have to transfer your call, we will tell you why and will give you their name and number.
- We will endeavour to complete any public desk procedures, cash receipting or queries in a timely and efficient manner with due regard to the time demands of our customers particularly during prolonged waiting periods.
We operate a transparent complaints procedure to ensure that all complaints are dealt with efficiently.
We will facilitate English and Irish to the maximum possible extent and recognise other languages as appropriate where resources allow.
If we are to provide a quality service to you we would expect the following in return;
- All staff are treated with dignity and respect
- That you provide us with accurate information
- That you keep us informed of any changes in circumstances
What to do if you are not happy with our service to you
There is a difference between making a formal complaint and reporting a fault. For example contacting the roads section to report a pot hole is a fault. It only becomes a complaint if the council does not respond to your report, then you will have valid grounds to make a complaint.
For the purposes of this charter a “complaint” is when your dissatisfaction has not been addressed. This dissatisfaction can apply to the way we deliver services or to services not delivered to you to which you believe you are entitled.
How to make a formal complaint (Stage One)
If you have reported a fault or problem to particular department and are unhappy with the response you should write to the;
Customer Care Officer
Tel: 047 30500
Your complaint should state the full contact details of whom you logged the original complaint with, and should include what department you dealt with and the name of the person who logged the complaint.
We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 5 working days, giving you the contact details of the staff member and the relevant department of the council directly responsible for investigating the problem. You will be notified of their decision within 15 working days. If it is not possible to make a decision in this time you will be told the expected date for the final decision. We will also inform you of the appeals process if you are unhappy with our decision.
You can appeal our response to your complaint for the following reasons:
- If you do not get a response within the specified time period.
- If you are unhappy with the decision that has been made.
Appeals should be sent in writing to:
Designated Appeals Officer
Tel: 047 30500
All appeals should be made within 4 weeks of a decision that has been made or within 4 weeks of the expiry date (where you haven’t received a response). We will acknowledge receipt of your appeal within 5 working days. All appeals will be investigated and you will receive a formal, written response explaining the outcome and any action taken. You will receive this response within 15 working days of receipt of your appeal.
We hope that we have been able to resolve your complaint satisfactorily. However, if you remain unhappy with our response then you can refer your complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is fair, independent, and free to use.
The Ombudsman will ask you for details of your complaint and a copy of this letter/email (our final response to your complaint). The best way to contact the Ombudsman is by:
- Clicking on the ‘Make A Complaint’ link at www.ombudsman.ie
- Writing to: Office of the Ombudsman, 6 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2, D02 W773 or
- Calling the Ombudsman on 01 639 5600 if you have any queries or if you need help making your complaint.
If we consider that a complaint is unreasonable it will be passed to the relevant Head of Service, who will consider whether further investigation of the complaint will be carried out.
Unreasonable complaints would include, but are not limited to:
- Sending the same complaint to a number of points within the Authority for response at the same time
- Making excessive demands on staff time and resources whilst investigating your complaint
- Refusal to accept a decision that has been made and upheld
- Resubmitting a complaint that has already been dealt with in the last 6 months
- Using abusive, threatening or libellous language
If your complaint is considered unreasonable you will be informed in writing and advised of any action to be taken or right of appeal.