Complaint procedure

Harwich Haven Authority strives to provide the very highest levels of service to customers and stakeholders… and we welcome feedback on all aspects of our service. If our service levels fall short, and our activities/actions impact negatively, we want to be told about it. As the Statutory Harbour Authority, we provide services to five port operators within the Haven and our jurisdiction covers approx. 150 square miles, covering rivers, estuaries, and the seaward approaches. We understand that sometimes accountability for a specific complaint isn’t always obvious, but we will always try to seek resolution, even if a complaint doesn’t specifically fall under our remit, by signposting to the relevant body.

Purpose of this procedure
The purpose of this procedure is to ensure any complaint received by Harwich Haven Authority related to our services or actions are handled appropriately, effectively, and in a timely manner. This procedure sets out a clear process for those wishing to make a complaint and informs how and when a complaint will be responded to.

Objectives of the Harwich Haven Authority Complaints Procedure

  • Everyone understands how to make a complaint and how a complaint is handled
  • All complaints are dealt with consistently and equitably within clearly defined timeframes
  • Our stakeholders and customers have a clear process to make a complaint about our work
  • Complaints are monitored and used to make improvements to our services.

Scope of the procedure

Definition of a complaint
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction by an individual, whether justified or not.

Complaint or concern
A concern or enquiry is a problem raised that can be resolved / responded to straight away (by the end of the next working day). These are not reported as complaints and fall outside this procedure. These informal matters are not officially recorded as part of our complaint procedure. However, unsatisfactory resolutions of concerns can be escalated to a formal complaint by following the Complaints Procedure.

The complaint procedure
There are up to 3 stages to the complaint procedure

a. Stage 1 – Complaint
A complaint should be submitted via the contact form featured on the website (add correct link) Complaints will be acknowledged within 48 hours. The manager responsible for the business area the complaint relates to will be appointed to liaise directly with the person making the complaint. A written response to a complaint will be sent within 7 working days by Harwich Haven Authority.

What if I don’t agree with the outcome of the investigation?
Anyone dissatisfied with a response to a complaint can appeal by writing formally to the CEO. This is Stage 2 of the complaint procedure.

b. Stage 2

Send to:

Chief Executive Officer
(Complaint appeal)
Harwich Haven Authority
Harbour House
The Quay
Harwich CO12 3HH

Alternatively email [email protected]

A complaint and appeal will be acknowledged by the CEO within 7 working days. The CEO will form a view on any further action to be taken and will respond in writing within 14 working days.

What if I still don’t agree with the outcome?
Decision appeals should be directed to the Chair of the Board. This is stage 3 of the complaint procedure.

c. Stage 3 Appeal – Board

Send to:

Chair of the Board
(Complaint appeal)
Harwich Haven Authority
Harbour House
The Quay
Harwich CO12 3HH

Alternatively email [email protected].

The Chair will form a view on any further action to be taken and respond in writing within 14 working days.

This stage is the final stage available to resolve a complaint and the decision resulting from this process is final.

Anonymous complaints
Complaints received anonymously will be recorded and considered. However, action may be limited if further information is required through the investigation.

Storing data (GDPR)
Information we gather as part of the complaints process will be stored in line with our Privacy Policy [add link]. The indentity of the complainant will only be known to those within our organisation that are dealing with the complaint. We will NOT share or reveal the name of anyone making a complaint publicly or with other organisations without seeking permission.

All complaints provide useful insight into how Harwich Haven Authority can improve its services. Therefore, to utilise this information we need to collect the following data:

  • Name
  • Address and contact details
  • The Nature of the Complaint

Complaints are considered on a regular basis by the Harwich Haven Authority leadership team and reported quarterly to the Haven Haven Authority Board.

B. Revisions
Version Date Issued By Details
0.1 04/22 CEO Refresh