After Making a Complaint

What happens to your complaint?

When you bring your complaint to us, we will ask you questions to better understand what happened. We will decide whether we can take the complaint. We may ask you for:

  • more details in writing
  • copies of invoices or letters, or other relevant documentation

We will make some initial calls to the government office in question to learn more and to find out if the problem may be solved quickly.

For an overview of the complaint process, see our flowchart.

There are some complaints we do not or cannot take. They may be outside our jurisdiction or we may decide that it would not be appropriate for us to proceed. If we decide not to take the complaint, we will talk with you about the reasons for our decision.

Will we investigate your complaint?

We will look at the information you brought and decide what to do next. Here are some ways we might proceed with the complaint:

  • negotiation
  • mediation
  • investigation
  • system-wide investigation

What kinds of results can you expect?

Our work on a complaint can result in a variety of outcomes. Here are some examples:

  • You and the government office may develop a better working relationship.
  • We may decide that the government office acted fairly and nothing more needs to be done.
  • We may decide that the government office made a fair decision, but could have done a better job of explaining it to you – so we would ask them to do this.
  • We may decide that the government office acted unfairly or could have done better. If so, we would make a recommendation to them, stating what we think they should do.
  • During the course of our work on the complaint, the government office may voluntarily take steps to correct or improve the situation.
Top of Page