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Complaints Office

The Authority aims to provide a prompt and courteous service when dealing with the public, but if things go wrong we will do our best to put the matter right as soon as possible. We will also be pleased to hear from you with any suggestions about how our service could be improved.

Our Commitment to deal with Complaints Effectively


The complaints procedure for services provided by MEPA are as follows:

1. How to complain

2. What type of complaints can you make

3. When to make your complaint

4. What happens when we receive your complaint

5. What happens when we take up your complaint

6. Responding to complaints

7. Referring your complaint to the Ombudsman

 


1. How to complain

Our commitment to you is to give you the best possible service we may. We want to be polite, helpful, efficient and fair when we talk or write to you. If you think that we have not done so, then please tell us so we may put things right straight away. IF you are not pleased with any of our services, we want to hear from you. Your comments can help us to improve our services to you and possibly avoid re-occurrence of similar complaints. Complaints in writing are to be sent to:

Complaints Office
Malta Environment & Planning Authority
PO Box 200
Valletta CMR 01

If you write to us

When writing to us, please be sure to give enough information about your complaint so that we are able to process it quickly. In your interest remember to give us your full postal address and telephone numbers where we can contact you if we require further information from you or else need to arrange meeting to discuss your complaint in more detail.


2. What type of complaints can you make?

Our Complaints Officer deals with complaints alleging maladministration by the Malta Environment & Planning Authority, such as:

- failure to comply with established procedures
- delay or failure in taking action
- incorrect or inappropriate action
- failure to reply to correspondence
- inefficiency
- giving misleading advice or information.

However there are some matters which because of their nature, we cannot investigate or about which complaints cannot be made with us. These include:

- Any matter which is or could be the subject of investigation by the Police
- Decisions taken by the Planning Appeals Board
- The commencement or conduct of civil or criminal proceedings before any court or tribunal
- Decisions on an application for development permission or on a reconsideration of a decision on such an application
- Complaints from persons against whom an enforcement order has been issued
- Any matter certified as confidential


3. When should I make my complaint

You should make your complaint as soon as possible. We may not always be able to investigate complaints if a lot of time has elapsed since the occurrence of the matter giving rise to the complaint relates to something which was dealt with before the Authority came into being.

You must make your complaint in writing. If you complain orally, we will then ask you to put it in writing. If you need assistance in putting your complaint in writing contact our Complaints Office.


4. What happens when we receive your complaint

We will acknowledge a written complaint within 2 working days of receipt by us. When we receive your complaint we may decide not to investigate if, for example, it appears that:

the complaint is trivial or frivolous or not made in good faith, or
you do not have sufficient interest in the subject matter of the complaint

In any case we will notify you of our decision and our reasons for it.


5. What happens if we decide to take up your complaint?

We will contact those among our staff who may be involved for their comments and suggestions about your complaint. Our Complaints Officer may also request our staff members to make a written report accompanied by any documentation he/she may consider necessary. Our Complaints Officer will normally set a reasonable time-frame within which our staff members must report to him/her about your complaint.


6. Responding to your Complaint

Our Complaints Office will prepare a report giving his/her views and make recommendations. If any, as to how your complaint may be settled. Before doing so our Complaints Officer may circulate a draft report for comments, including those of our staff members who were involved.

Our Complaints Officer’s report will include:

A clear identification of the problem and what led to it
Remedial action if possible to address the complaint
Whether the problem may recur and what may be done to prevent or limit similar problems.
Recommendations about improvements.

We will in any case inform you of out investigations within 15 working days of receipt of your complaint in writing. If we are not able to tell you what the results of our investigations are, we will inform you about what progress has been registered. In any case we commit ourselves to conclude our investigations within 30 working days of receipt of your complaint.


7. Referring your Complaint to the Ombudsman

First contact our complaints officer about your complaint

Our complaints officer also acts as the Liaison Officer with the Ombudsman and deals any complaints concerning MEPA that may be lodged with the Ombudsman. Remember that before dealing with your case, the Ombudsman will normally ask if you have exhausted any other remedies available t you, especially if you have in the first place lodged any complaint direct with us. You should contact us first before going to the Ombudsman. Only if you are not satisfied with our reply should you take your complaint to the Ombudsman.

If you are still not satisfied with our reply, you may then consider referring your complaint to the Ombudsman in writing or by calling at the office of the Ombudsman at

11 St. Paul’s Street
Valletta CMR 02

during office hours see table below:

October to May - between 8.30 a.m. and 4.00 p.m.
June, July and September - on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 8.30 a.m. and 3.00 p.m. and
Wednesdays between 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.

August - all days of the week except Saturdays and Sundays between 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.


You may also make your enquiries with the Office of the Ombudsman by phoning on 247944.

If during or after any investigation, the Ombudsman is of the option that there is substantial evidence of any significant breach of duty or misconduct on the part of any officer of the Environment & Planning Authority, he shall refer the matter to the Chairman of the Authority who shall consider what appropriate action may be taken.