|Home> Competitive Neutrality>Investigation Process|
Step 1: A formal complaint
A complaint is formally registered when the Competitive Neutrality Unit (the Unit) receives written advice from the complainant preferably on the complaints proforma. For information on making a complaint please refer to the "Making a complaint" section.
We recommend that complainants first contact the "competing" public business agency to discuss any concerns, before lodging a complaint. Complainants will be asked to do this if it has not been done before contacting the Unit.
Before the Unit can undertake an investigation, complaints must be lodged in writing. There is no filing fee. Complaints may also be faxed or emailed directly to the Unit.
The Unit treats the identity of complainants as confidential unless the complainant advises otherwise. However, in some instances it may be impossible to preserve anonymity due to the specific nature of the complaint issue.
The Competitive Neutrality Unit cannot initiate a complaint of its own volition.
Step 2: The investigation
The Unit acknowledges written complaints within five days of receipt. The Unit also notifies the agency against whom the complaint has been made, as well as the responsible department, that an investigation is underway. For each complaint, the Unit:
Step 3: Final responses
The Unit writes up its findings and may also provide recommendations. Copies of the findings of the investigation are sent to the complainant, the subject of the allegation, and the responsible department. Where a breach of policy is found, the Unit will notify the relevant departmental secretary of the breach and of the obligations of the agency to comply with the policy.
The report, subject to any specific commercial-in-confidence exclusions will be published on the VCEC website under"Competitive Neutrality Findings" one month after finalisation.
Also, the Unit will request information on how compliance with competitive neutrality policy has been achieved from the subject of the allegation three months after the investigation has been finalised.