CAK Complaints Regulation

Complaints are dealt with within the CAK in accordance with Chapter 9 of the General Administrative Law Act (Awb). In view of the need to clarify what the CAK understands as a complaint and how the CAK implements Chapter 9, the scheme within the CAK is set out below.

Article 1

The scheme considers the following to be a ‘complaint’: any discontent expressed by telephone1, in writing or digitally (via the web form) as to how the CAK has behaved towards the complainant as an administrative body. The conduct of a person working under the responsibility of the CAK is also considered to be conduct of the CAK.

Article 2

The purpose of these rules is to correct, as quickly and efficiently as possible, all acts and omissions which are the subject of a complaint, while fully respecting the interests of all the parties involved in that situation. In this respect, the complaint is considered to be an important signal for changes to be made.

Article 3

The CAK registers each complaint. On a weekly basis, they communicate this registration to the complaints coordinator and the relevant department manager.

Article 4

If complainants wish their written complaint to be dealt with under this scheme, complaints must contain at least the following:

a. name and address;

b. date;

c.a description of the conduct against which the complaint is directed;

d. a signature in the case of a letter

e. in the case of an email, the date of dispatch and the customer's personal details;

f. we recommend that the complainant clearly indicate that it is a complaint.

Article 5

1. The complaints handler should not have been directly involved in the conduct related to the complaint. The investigation and handling of complaints is carried out by a complaints handler. The Board may decide to transfer a complaint that is directed against the Board to a complaints handler.

2. The first paragraph shall not apply if the complaint concerns one of the board members of the CAK. In such a situation, the chair of the board shall determine how the complaint will be handled. If the complaint concerns the chair, the Management Board shall determine how it will be dealt with.

3. The complaint falls outside the scope of the CAK if the complaint is directed against:

a) regulations;

b) the conduct of a health care office or health insurer;

c) the conduct of a health institution or healthcare provider.

Article 6

1. A complaint does not need to be processed and handled if:

a) the requirements of Article 4 are not met, provided that the complainant has been given the opportunity to complete the complaint within four weeks;

b) it relates to conduct which can or could have been objected to by the complainant or against which the complainant can or could have appealed;

c)a previous complaint about the same conduct has already been dealt with under the scheme;

d) the complaint relates to conduct which took place more than one year ago;

e)the complaint is minor (the interest of the complainant or the nature of the contested conduct is clearly not serious enough);

f) the complainant was satisfied with how their complaint was handled.

2. The complaints handler shall inform the complainant of the failure to deal with the complaint as soon as possible and at the latest within four weeks of receipt of the complaint, stating the reason for this failure.

3. The failure to deal with the complaint and the reason for it shall be recorded in the complaint register by the complaints handler.

Article 7

1. As soon as possible, and in any event within two weeks of receiving the complaint, the complaints handler shall inform the complainant that they have received the complaint in writing.

2. A copy of the complaint and the accompanying documents shall be sent to the person whose conduct is the subject of the complaint and to the manager concerned.

Article 8

1. The complainant and the person whose conduct is the subject of the complaint shall be given the opportunity to provide oral explanations.

2. The hearing is recorded digitally and in writing before being added to the file.

Article 9

1. In any case, the complaint shall be dealt with within six weeks of its receipt.

2. The handling of complaints may be postponed for a maximum of four weeks. The complainant as well as the person against whom the complaint is directed shall be notified of the postponement in writing.

3. Further postponement is possible if the complainant agrees to this in writing.

4. Progress is monitored by the complaints handler.

Article 10

1. The complaints handler shall inform the complainant, in writing and with an explanation, of the findings of the investigation of the complaint, as well as of any conclusions drawn from it.

2. The complaint processing letter mentions the possibility of lodging a complaint with the National Ombudsman.

3. The complaints handler receives a copy of this letter and keeps a record of it. Complaint records shall be transmitted to the Information Facility Unit on a quarterly basis for quarterly reporting.

4. The CAK may provide the complainant a written confirmation that the complaint has been addressed by Article 6(1)(f).

Article 11

1. This scheme is referred to as the CAK complaints scheme.

2. The complaints scheme is published on the CAK website.

Comments

General

On 1 July 1999, the General Administrative Law Act (Awb) was supplemented by Chapter 9 The Complaints Scheme. This chapter provides a legal regime for the handling of complaints by administrative bodies. Chapter 9 of the Awb must be seen in the light of the principles set out in the Awb according to which the relationship between the administration and citizens is a legal relationship in which both parties are in a two-way relationship, meaning they must take account of each other’s position and interests. The law (Law of 12 May 1999 supplementing the General Administrative Law Act with a regulation on the handling of complaints by administrative bodies, government gazette 214) to a large extent codifies the principles of the proper handling of complaints that are already applicable. Moreover, the complaints scheme provides an unambiguous procedure, while current complaint procedures cover a wide range of areas and are very diverse in nature. The scheme is simple and flexible and contains only a few mandatory minimum requirements. The new scheme strikes a balance between providing sufficient procedural guarantees for the proper handling of complaints and avoiding unnecessary formalisation or bureaucracy. An example of the latter is Article 9:5 of the General Administrative Law Act, which provides that the obligation to continue to apply the complaints scheme ceases as soon as the complainant is satisfied with how their complaint was handled by the administrative body. This reflects the idea that due care can be taken in the handling of complaints to resolve conflicts in a flexible manner outside of the legal framework.

The CAK’s complaints scheme

Often, complaints are not resolved as described. According to Article 9:5 of the General Administrative Law Act, the CAK aims to avoid dealing with complaints unnecessarily formally, but to resolve them to the customer's satisfaction at an early stage, in accordance with Article 9:5. Of course, complaints should be processed with due care, and the complainant should not be deterred from submitting complaints under this scheme. However, in order for complaints to be taken into account, the complainant is advised to submit the complaint in writing and to sign it. If the complainant wishes to use means of communication such as fax or e-mail, this may in some cases mean that they have to prove that they are the ones who filed the complaint. In the event of reasonable doubt, the complainant may be required to submit a written reply with an original signature.

The National Ombudsman

 The National Ombudsman is competent to rule on complaints concerning the CAK. The new Chapter 9 Awb must be considered in the light of the effectiveness and manageability of the Institute of the National Ombudsman and has two implications for the role of the National Ombudsman. First, this national legislation further formalises the requirement of identification. Secondly, the scheme has a considerable effect on the role of the National Ombudsman. The identification requirement means that the National Ombudsman will only grant the request to deal with a complaint once the complainant has first submitted their complaint to the administrative body and the administrative body has had the opportunity to respond to it. The CAK’s complaints scheme has both an external and internal scope. Customers shall be informed of the existence of a complaints scheme and about how complaints are handled. Internally, the scheme provides for a procedure whereby complaints are dealt with in a positive manner. The starting point involves an attitude where the open handling of complaints can lead to better services.

1 Oral complaints should also be dealt with expeditiously and correctly, but not necessarily in accordance with Chapter 9 of the Awb.

 

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