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Telephone: 1800 677 342

About the Commissioner

Laurie Harkin AM is the Disability Services Commissioner. The Commissioner is an independent position, and manages and resolves complaints relating to disability services.

Learn more about the Functions of the Commissioner.

Learn more about the Powers of the Commissioner.

The Disability Services Commissioner (DSC) was established in 2007 under the Disability Act 2006 to act as a complaints body independent of government, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and service providers providing a free and confidential complaints resolution process.

The Commissioner is supported in his work by the Deputy Commissioner Miranda Bruyniks and staff members in our Resolutions, Quality, Capacity Development, Legal and Executive Services teams. Find out more about our team.

Functions of the DSC

The Commissioner works with people with a disability to resolve complaints about registered, funded and contracted disability service providers including DHHS, and works with service providers to improve outcomes for people with a disability.

The Commissioner assists the resolution of complaints in a variety of ways including informal discussions, conciliation processes, or under certain circumstances, formal investigation. The Commissioner also has a range of other important functions, including education, training and research to improve disability services complaints culture and systems.

Section 16 of the Disability Act 2006 sets out specific functions of the Commissioner, which include (amongst other functions):

  • handling complaints relating to disability services through conciliation or investigation
  • determining what action should be taken where a complaint has been found to be justified
  • reviewing and identifying causes of complaints and suggesting ways of removing and minimising those causes
  • maintaining a record of all complaints received, and publishing information about complaints
  • providing education, information and training about the prevention and resolution of complaints
  • conducting research into complaints and mechanisms for resolving complaints

Powers of the DSC

Section 17 of the Disability Act 2006 sets out powers the Commissioner may use in performing functions under the Act, including:

  • consulting with any persons or bodies which the Commissioner considers appropriate
  • developing and suggesting ways of implementing procedures for dealing with complaints relating to disability services and making existing procedures more effective
  • providing advice to complainants of alternative means for dealing with complaints
  • encouraging disability service providers to distribute, display or make available material and information produced by the Commissioner about the resolution of complaints relating to disability services
  • seeking information from disability service users and disability service providers about the working of the disability services complaints

To read the Disability Act 2006 in full and understand more about DSC functions and powers, you can visit the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents website.

 

Level 20, 570 Bourke Street,

Melbourne, Victoria, 3000 Australia

Call for enquiries or complaints - 1800 677 342

Email for enquiries or complaints - complaints@odsc.vic.gov.au