Complaints about us
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) is committed to providing the highest quality regulatory services to the Victorian public and building and plumbing industries. We are constantly striving to improve our service standards, in order to meet the expectations of the community we protect and the practitioners we regulate.
The VBA welcomes complaints and feedback about its policies and processes, the actions and conduct of its staff, overall service standards and handling of complaints. We aim to consider all complaints about us that can improve the quality of services we provide, to best serve the community and industry.
For further information about the types of complaints we can and cannot consider, and how to lodge a complaint with us, please continue below.
Before you make your complaint
Before lodging your complaint here, we ask that you first try and address it with the team or individual handling your matter. You should clearly explain to them what your complaint is about and your desired outcome.
You should raise your complaint in writing by directing it to the team or individual who you have been in contact with already.
After first trying to resolve your complaint, if you have not received a response within a reasonable period of time, or otherwise continue to remain dissatisfied, then you can escalate your complaint here.
We accept unresolved complaints about the VBA’s policies and processes, the actions and conduct of its staff, overall service standards and handling of complaints. If your complaint is not about any of these then it cannot be escalated here.
The VBA cannot address the following types of escalated complaints:
Freedom of information decisions
- If you have a complaint about a specific freedom of information request or decision, you can make an application to the Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner . Information about how to make an application with OVIC can be found in the decision letter you receive.
- If you raise a complaint about a specific freedom of information request or decision with the VBA, we will not respond to you as all of the information you need is provided here.
Note: If you have a complaint about the freedom of information process generally, not about a specific request or decision, then you can escalate your complaint here.
- If you have a complaint about a decision made by the VBA pursuant to its statutory functions under the Building Act 1993 and/or regulations, you must submit this to the Victorian Ombudsman as the VBA cannot address these types of complaints.
At the VBA, we are proud of our ethical standards, and we are committed to the highest standards of public service in regulating the building and plumbing industries. However, every organisation is susceptible to fraud and corruption.
VBA employees, consumers and anyone in the building and plumbing industries are encouraged to make disclosures of misconduct if they believe someone at the VBA is carrying out fraud or corruption.
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2012 (the Act) helps people to make disclosures of improper conduct by public officers and public bodies and provides protection to people who make disclosures. The Act sets out a system for the disclosed matters to be investigated and enables rectifying action to be taken.
The VBA will work collaboratively with Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) to ensure that any person who makes a disclosure is protected. Any allegations that someone has suffered reprisals from a VBA employee for making a disclosure will be reported to IBAC. We will take disciplinary action if an allegation is substantiated.
If you wish to make a disclosure, you can do it here.
Making your complaint
It is best to make your complaint in writing as it means we will have a record of it, when it was received and how long it has taken for us to respond.
To ensure your complaint can be handled as efficiently as possible, we suggest that you provide only the necessary information and details; such as any reference numbers, dates and names of individuals relevant to your matter, as well as your desired outcome.
To submit your complaint to us, please email us at ServiceComplaints@vba.vic.gov.au.
Important: We do not accept complaints lodged verbally and ask that you please submit your complaint in writing to the above nominated email address. If you are concerned about this, you can email us with your name and contact number and we will endeavour to call you to discuss your concerns.
The VBA welcomes all complaints, including from those who may wish to remain anonymous. Unless there is sufficient detail provided about the complaint, the VBA may not always be able to fully assess the concerns.
The VBA is not able to provide a response to an anonymous complaint for which no contact details exist.
Your information and privacy
The VBA will use the information you have provided to address and respond to your complaint, including your personal information. Information relating to a complaint, including personal information, will be used, and disclosed in accordance with relevant laws, including privacy and freedom of information laws.
To effectively manage your complaint, your information may need to be shared with the team or person your complaint is about, and other people within the VBA who may assist with appropriately addressing your complaint, such as relevant subject matter experts.
The VBA may need to collect further information from you to better understand your complaint. If you do not provide this information, the VBA will determine whether it can proceed or if the complaint should be closed.
How we will communicate with you
The VBA will acknowledge receiving your complaint either by telephone or in writing. You will be provided with the contact details of the team or individual who is managing your complaint.
We will provide updates to you as they arise. If you have not heard from us, this means that there is no new information or updates to share with you for the time being.
The VBA endeavours to respond to most complaints within 30 days, or 45 days for more complex matters. Where a response is likely to take longer than this, you will be informed of why and when a response may be expected.
The VBA will provide a written outcome letter to your complaint clearly explaining its decision and reasons. If you have ongoing concerns about the written outcome letter you receive, you can escalate your complaint externally, see below ‘Are you still dissatisfied with the VBA’.
We are committed to addressing complaints as fairly and efficiently as possible. We recognise that people using our services have diverse backgrounds and needs. We also recognise they will sometimes be angry, frustrated or distressed or act in other ways we may find challenging.
We commit to ensuring our staff are adequately equipped to be able to handle complaints and challenging stakeholders. We also commit to providing a safe and healthy workplace and for this reason have zero tolerance for unreasonable behaviour. We expect our officers to treat people with courtesy and respect, and in turn expect the same from you. We do not tolerate behaviour that is offensive, abusive, threatening, intimidating, belittling or that consumes disproportionate resources.
If such behaviours are exhibited towards us, we may choose to no longer handle your complaint, or may take steps to limit your contact and communications with us while we manage your complaint.
If you remain dissatisfied after having your complaint addressed by the VBA, you may wish to escalate your concerns externally to the appropriate agency, listed below:
- Victorian Ombudsman (phone: 1800 806 314)
- Office of the Victorian Information Commissioner (phone: 1300 006 842)
- Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (phone: 1300 292 153)