2 Complaints against MDBA Members
2.1 Complaints Criteria
1. The MDBA places a high importance on having a fair and just system for investigating complaints against our members. We will investigate formal complaints for any member who has breached the Code of Conduct applicable to their membership category.
We encourage anyone dissatisfied with the services provided by a member or if they believe a member has breached our Codes of Conduct, to fill in our complaint form below . If after reviewing the complaint we believe our member has breached a Code of Conduct, we will investigate the matter. The MDBA cannot become involved with any issues unless a formal complaint is lodged and supporting documentation is provided for any accusations..
2. We will take action against any Member where our investigation proves the complaint to be true, which can include notifying authorities where there have been breaches of any Laws and/or Regulations.
3. If any person makes a complaint that is vexatious and/or where the sole reason for lodging the complaint has been to jeopardise the good standing and reputation of the MDBA and/or its members, then the MDBA will dismiss the complaint immediately.
2.2 Complaints Process
- The MDBA will not deal with anonymous complaints, whether by telephone, email or in writing.
- The MDBA will not discuss complaint matters over the telephone. All enquires or discussion of complaints must be by email.
- The MDBA will not become involved in disputes in relation to any contractual matters whether written or verbal regarding the sale or transfer of dogs . These are determined by the agreements between parties and the MDBA has no authority to intervene in those matters. Disputes on contractual matters should be resolved through legal processes.
- Complaints must be submitted by the complainant who must be the owner of the dog. The MDBA will not accept complaints by a third party.
- An acknowledgement receipt will be sent to Complainants within 5 working days of receipt of the complaint documents.
- The MDBA Member subject to the complaint will receive all documents relating to the complaint to enable them to prepare a defence.
- The complaint will be investigated and a report provided to the MDBA Board within 21 days at which stage the Board will decide what action is appropriate.
- The Member will receive written notification of the Board’s decision within 28 days of the receipt of the complaint notification. The Complainant will receive notification of the completion of the complaint process.
2.3 MDBA Standards Oversight Committee (SOC)
2.3.1 Committee Composition
The Committee comprises of MDBA Board members and others appointed by the Board as required.
2.3.2 Committee Role
The Committee’s role is to:
1. Oversee the MDBA – Codes of Conduct.
2. Approve any revisions, updates or new items in the Codes of Conduct.
3. Approve any revisions, updates or new policies and procedures relating to existing Codes of Conduct.
4. Hear, assess and make determinations relating to complaints against MDBA members and expediting disciplinary action if required.
5. Hear, assess and make determinations relating to issues of non-compliance with MDBA Policies.
6. Oversee the annual compliance process as managed by the Secretariat and provide a report of activities.
7. The SOC may conduct or cause to be conducted all such inquiries and investigations as it considers appropriate in relation to:
a) Any alleged misconduct or breach of the codes of conduct by a Member;
b) Any matter or thing referred to the Board of Directors by a Member;
c) Any other matter or thing as the Board of Directors may from time to time decide.
2.3.3 Disciplinary Action
Where the SODC decides to take disciplinary action, it may take the following forms:
1. Require the Member to undertake education in specific areas
2. A public or private censuring of the member with their membership suspended
3. Termination of the member’s MDBA membership
4. Should the member be suspended or have their membership terminated, the MDBA will notify the member of the Board’s decision by registered mail
5. A Member has the right to appeal any Board decision by following the appeals process
2.3.4 Appeals Process.
1. Any appeals will be assessed by an independent party, who was not involved in assessing the original complaint. Appellants should be aware that every case is different so it is not possible to estimate how long the appeal process will take.
2. Any appeal against a decision must be in writing in the form of a Statutory Declaration and must be received at our Head Office, MDBA Pty Ltd, P.O. Box 31 Ganmain, NSW 2702 Australia no later than 28 days after you have been notified of the decision.
3. The appeal must be accompanied with evidence and documents to substantiate the grounds of the appeal.
4. Upon receipt of appeal documents, any disciplinary action will be put 'on hold' pending the review of the appeals documents.
5. The MDBA may at its discretion undertake further investigation.
6. Appellants will be advised in writing of the outcome of their appeal within 14 working days of the determination. The decision is final and no further correspondence will be considered.