SUBMIT A COMPLAINT

Do you have a Complaint?

 

 

                  ENVIRONMETAL COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

INTRODUCTION

The Department of Environment is a government department with the responsibility for the coordination and implementation of projects and programs related to all aspects of environmental management and protection. The Departmen is responsible for ensuring that complaints related to its own work, or related to works being performed for or on behalf of the Department are addressed in a fair and appropriate manner.  The Department will receive complaints related to the function of the Department of Environment regarding general environmental issues, on the quality and standards related to work being conducted by or on behalf of the Department of Environment or regarding any breaches in the Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies of the Adaptation Fund, Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).

PURPOSE

This document is intended to provide information on the issues we can receive complaints on, as well as the procedures that we will follow to record and remedy those complaints.

Issues for which we can receive complaints:

The Department of Environment is required to receive and address complaints related to any aspect of its mandate. The Department of Environment’s mandate and work program is outlined in the Environmental Management and Protection Bill 2015. In the implementation of its own work program the Department has to meet national and international standards, policies and legal obligations with respect to projects and program management including, but not limited to, social and environmental safeguards of the Adaptation Fund, Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF).  Detailed descriptions of these principles can be found here (link to ESS of the AF, GEF and the GCF)

In addition to the mandates outlined above the Department is obligated by law, pursuant to the Physical Planning Act 2003. As a part of its relationship with the DCA the Division also assists with the receipt and remedying of complaints from the general public about general environmental issues related to the work of the DCA and breaches of the PPA 2003.

We also will assess complaints against our own actions or the actions of other government departments or private companies and consultants related to the implementing projects on behalf of the Departemen of Environment. These could be issues related to the quality of work performed, adherence to codes of practice such as the Department of Environment’s Code of Conduct, adherence to standards provided by the Bureau of Standards or any other national standards related to quality adherence and quality control

The Department of Environment also carries out financial and procurement management related to project and program implementation. The procedures related to these types of complaints can be found here.

How complaints are addressed.

                  Complaints will be handled by staff at the Department of Environment. There are several steps that would ensure that the complainant has every opportunity for their views to be heard and an equitable solution to be found. The steps are as follows:

  1. The Department of Environment - The complaints are brought to the Department and a process is set in motion to address the concerns.  
  2. The Ministry of Health and the Environment  – If the complainant is not happy with the response of the Division they can  contact the office of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health and the Environment and make a complaint there;
  3. The Office of the Minister - If steps 1 and 2 do not result in a satisfactory outcome then the complainant can contact the office of the Minister of Environment:
  4. The Ombudsman   - The office of the Ombudsman is an independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. This is done by promoting good practice, ruling on complaints, providing information to individuals and organisations and taking appropriate action when the law is broken.
  5. 5.     The Legal System – If the complaint has not been resolved satisfactorily by taking the steps 1 - 4, then the aggrieved complainant may proceed with legal action.

                  How to submit a complaint

                  The public can submit complaints related to the mandate of the Departemen of Environment via the following channels:

DoEs_Complaint_Form.pdf Fill in the form and send to antiguaenvironmentdivision@gmail.com, or 

In writing to:

Director

Department of Environment 

Ministry of Health and the Environment

#1 Victoria Park Botanical Garden

P.O. Box W693

St. John's Antigua

By email:               antiguaenvironmentdivision@gmail.com

 

By Phone:             Monday to Thursday: 8am to 2pm, Fridays: 8am to 12pm

(268) 462 4625  

(268) 562-2568 or

(268) 460-7278

 

                  Depending on the nature of the complaint, or if for any reason  you are unwilling to make a report to the Department of Environment, you can submit a complaint to your parliamentary representative.

WHAT YOU NEED TO TELL US

Once you contact the Department of Environment someone will discuss the details of the complaint with  you. The following information will be recorded:

  • The nature of the problem
  • The location of the problem
  • When the problem occurred (date and time)
  • Who or what is the perceived source of the problem
  • Any information or evidence you may have—particularly eyewitness information, documents or photographs, a videotape, or a water or soil sample (the information or evidence must be credible and relate directly to the incident being reported).
  • The contact information of the complainant.

What happens when a complaint is received?

The Department of Environment will investigate the complaint. This process may include an on-site investigation. The Department may invite other relevant agencies to participate in the investigation. During the investigation the individuals or agencies responsible for taking action to correct the issue will be identified. The Department will produce a report of its findings and recommendations and take action if necessary. Please submit a request for a copy of the reports related to complaint as per the Freedom of Information Act.

What happens after the Investigation

Once we have completed our investigation the Division will notify you, either verbally or in writing, about the results.

 

We at the Department of Environment value your opinion and feedback. We therefore ask if you have submitted a complaint that was handled by the Department of Environment, please feel free to review our handling of your complaint on the following website: www.knowyourpros.com 

 

 

 

Antigua $amp; Barbuda's Environment Division