Dear Mr Baldwin
What does it take to get action following a formal complaint?
I draw your immediate personal attention to this matter.
It is now fully 11 weeks since I submitted four simple questions to Dr Vertessy’s office (Reference REF2015-089-17) , nine weeks since my follow up request with a copy to you, and four weeks since I made a formal complaint to you. Sam Hussey-Smith of your office emailed me on Tuesday 19th May, saying he would “seek to get a response as soon as possible”.
I may be a mere insignificant individual with a minor query, but surely I deserve to be treated with a little respect, and surely the Bureau of Meteorology, the Environment Department, and the office of its Parliamentary Secretary, all need to demonstrate transparency and public accountability.
Perhaps Dr Vertessy hopes I will get sick of waiting and will lose interest, saving him the embarrassment of an apology and a probable retraction. He should not underestimate my determination. The longer he delays, the more it looks as if he has something to hide.
I seek your urgent personal intervention to ensure an immediate response.
Here is my formal complaint, sent 4 weeks ago (18 May).
Dear Mr Baldwin
Formal Complaint re: Dr Bob Vertessy, Director and C.E.O. of the Bureau of Meteorology
It is seven weeks since I submitted four questions to Dr Bob Vertessy, Director and C.E.O. of the Bureau of Meteorology, through the Bureau’s feedback channels, and two full weeks since I followed this up with a complaint with a copy to your office. The Bureau acknowledged receipt (ReferenceREF2015-089-17) and an officer of the Bureau has confirmed that my queries were indeed passed on to the Director’s office. However, there has been no other response at all, either from the Bureau or from your own office.
Seven weeks, Mr Baldwin, seven weeks! This is beyond simple negligence. It is now in the realm of conscious breach of the Bureau’s own Service Charter for the Community proudly displayed athttp://www.bom.gov.au/inside/services_policy/serchart.shtml .
Dr Vertessy demonstrably fails to meet several elements of his own Charter, in that:
- I have not been treated with respect and courtesy;
- The Director has not been clear and helpful in his dealings with me, and has given no reason for delay;
- My enquiries, which it appears the Director cannot answer, have not been referred to an appropriate source;
- The Director has not dealt with my enquiries and subsequent complaints quickly and effectively;
- The Charter claims the Bureau will “Reply to your letters, faxes and e-mails within two weeks – on more complex issues, our initial reply will give you an estimate of the time a full response will take, and the cost, if any.” While lower level officers reply courteously well within this time (usually within hours or at most days), it seems the CEO is above this requirement.
It seems the Bureau has a long way to go in its aim to “Develop a more streamlined system of handling your enquiries and feedback on our services”.
I therefore request that you act to obtain for me an immediate reply to my queries from Dr Vertessy. I also expect his apology and an explanation for not meeting “acceptable standards of quality, timeliness or accuracy”.
Until then, Dr Vertessy’s lack of response speaks volumes about his own credibility as a scientist, a communicator, and the Bureau head, as well as the credibility and accountability of the Bureau of Meteorology as a whole.