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Annual Report 2005-06: Office of the Industry Complaints Commissioner established

Office of the Industry Complaints Commissioner established

Inaugural Industry Complaints Commissioner Arthur White

Inaugural Industry Complaints Commissioner Arthur White

Established in February 2006, the office of the Industry Complaints Commissioner provides a new avenue for reviewing CASA’s actions.

Previously, complaints made to CASA were referred back to the original decision-maker, creating a potential conflict of interest. The Industry Complaints Commissioner operates independently, investigating genuine complaints that cannot be resolved through the normal channels. A service charter sets out the commissioner’s role, ensuring a commitment to:

  • independence
  • impartiality
  • accessibility
  • timeliness
  • integrity
  • professionalism.

Arthur White, the inaugural commissioner, emphasises that the complaints process is open and transparent and that complainants are kept informed of progress. Cases are treated individually, and standardised responses are avoided. So far, about half of the commissioner’s recommendations have been in favour of the complainant.

A large number of complaints have been triggered by CASA’s new fee structure and the revised requirements for an Aviation Security Identification Card, but it is expected that in future the commissioner’s work will focus more on operational matters.

The commissioner reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer, and provides him with reports and recommended actions following the investigation of complaints. Where necessary, this includes recommendations for changes to CASA’s procedures or legislation to prevent problems recurring. To date, all major recommendations have been accepted. The commissioner and the CEO’s office have also established follow-up mechanisms to ensure that recommendations are actually implemented.

The creation of the Industry Complaints Commissioner position sends a clear message that CASA is serious about improving the way we operate and the services we provide, and is an important step towards earning greater respect and trust from the aviation industry.