New system for complaints

The Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) has come up with a standard operating procedure (SOP) to ensure that the public complaints system is managed efficiently.

Petaling Jaya mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad said the task force formed to look into the problems with the system have submitted the SOP and the Service Level Agreement (SLA) from the various departments after evaluating and studying the management process of the complaints system.

“We will classify the complaints from the public into four categories, which is critical, for immediate action, normal and non-critical.

“Complaints received from our hotline, email and website will be monitored by the complaints unit and not directed to the respective departments in the city council,” Alinah said during a media briefing on the MBPJ public complaints management system at MBPJ headquarters in Petaling Jaya yesterday.

She said the complaints unit should be the one to open a file and close it by the end of the day.

“This will be an efficient way of having a record of every complaint, enabling them to track cases easily,” she said, adding that the upgraded system was on a three-month trial run since its implementation on Sept 15.

The critical category (Kat 1) involves cases pertaining to public safety, traffic obstruction and property destruction, while cases seeking immediate action (Kat 2) have the potential to affect public safety or cause traffic obstruction and property destruction.

The normal (Kat 3) cases are those which do not require tender process or issuance of notice and outsourced contractors, while non-critical cases (Kat 4) involve normal maintenance work and tender process, and does not affect public safety.

Meanwhile, complaints unit task force committee member Councillor Sean Oon Chong Ling, who represents Zone 20 (Sections 20, 21 and 22) said the categorisation system was definitely more efficient and an easier way to monitor complaints.

“Just like before, upon receiving a complaint, we would issue them a reference number.

“But instead of giving them a reply saying that it is being looked into or action is being taken, we would classify the complaint into its category and state the time frame needed to resolve it,” Oon explained, adding that the SOP for the unit to respond via email is one working day (not inclusive of Saturday, Sunday and public holiday).

He said the task force had implemented a score board system, which would enable the unit to monitor cases.

Weekly meetings would also be held to ensure its progress.

Alinah said the city council was always open to receiving complaints and constructive criticism from residents.

According to MBPJ’s 2013 statistics, it received 19,570 complaints, of which 15,903 were resolved and 3,386 had yet to be resolved.

A total of 13,675 complaints were received from January to August this year, of which 8,211 cases were resolved and 5,464 were still under the action of the respective departments in MBPJ.

On Sept 19, StarMetro reported that there was no development or progress with the MBPJ online complaints system, which was criticised by residents for its lack of accountability.

Residents voiced their grouses stating that the city council was taking its time to resolve the issues pertaining to the system.

Earlier in July, Alinah had given MBPJ heads of department one month to sort out the SLA in order to have a better complaints system.

Alinah said the SLA, which was part of the SOP to tackle public complaints, was necessary to help the complaints unit provide feedback to residents on the timeframe needed to solve each problem.

The complaints system task force is represented by Oon and other councillors, namely Ang Ming Ern (Zone 11), Tang Fuie Koh (Zone 3) and Azizi Ariffin (Zone 22), while the complaints unit was represented by Tengku Nazaruddin Zainudin.