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Dealing with challenging behaviour in the complaints process The Centre for Freedom Of Information 17 November 2010 Valerie Malloch, Policy and Research.

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Presentation on theme: "Dealing with challenging behaviour in the complaints process The Centre for Freedom Of Information 17 November 2010 Valerie Malloch, Policy and Research."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dealing with challenging behaviour in the complaints process The Centre for Freedom Of Information 17 November 2010 Valerie Malloch, Policy and Research Officer, SPSO

2 Overview Unacceptable actions The Research Managing behaviour Boundary issues – Complaints, Appeals, FOI

3 SPSOs Unacceptable Action Policy Defining Unacceptable Actions Focus on behaviour rather than motive Current Definition Aggressive or Abusive Behaviour Unreasonable demands Unreasonable persistence Our Experience

4 The Research The Australian project Lester et al, Unusually persistent complainants, British Journal of Psychiatry (2004) 184, Australian Ombudsman: Unreasonable complainant conduct project report (2009) Australian Ombudsman: Managing Unreasonable complainant conduct practice manual (2009) Parliament of Victoria Law Reform Committees Inquiry into Vexatious Litigants (2008) Litigants/final%20report.pdf

5 Some quotes Measures to deal with vexatious litigants are unlikely to be effective unless people in the justice system are given proper support and resources to protect themselves and do their jobs properly. Unusually persistent complainants not only seriously disrupt their social and financial functioning but also by threatening and intrusive behaviour frighten and distress those attempting to help them. Dealing with unreasonable complainant conduct is an unavoidable and integral part of our core complaint handling work … it needs to be given proper priority and adequate resources between 2% and 6% of complainants consume between 20% and 25% of resources in ombudsmens offices

6 Managing behaviour Clarity Consistency Confidence

7 Boundary issues Complaint Appeal FOI

8 4 Melville Street EDINBURGH EH3 7NS Phone Website


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