Complaints & Compliments About City Services

Complaints Handling Procedure

Purpose

Acting as the Purchasing Agent for the City of Toronto, Purchasing & Materials Management Division ("PMMD") provides accurate and timely services to the City of Toronto Divisions and designated Agencies, Boards and Commissions as well as to the vendor community (the "Customer"). PMMD strives to provide excellent customer service. However, should a Customer have a complaint regarding the level of service provided, the Customer should follow the Complaints Handling Procedure summarized below.  If a vendor has a dispute with respect to a procurement process, please refer to the Pre-Award and Post-Award Bid Dispute process.

For the purpose of this procedure, a complaint can be about one or more of the following categories:

  • A PMMD staff member

  • Access to service, including issues related to the purchase of call documents through the online call document system

  • Timeliness of service

  • Quality of service

  • Standard of service

  • Charges or fees


To assist in defining a complaint and to provide clarity, a Customer complaint is distinct from the following:

  • Bid Dispute – A dispute about a specific procurement process including but not limited to being declared non-compliant, biased specifications or requirements, failure to respond to questions through the addendum process, failure to follow a procurement process, failure to provide notice of award; failure to meet a technical threshold; biased evaluation team. The dispute could be made either prior to the award of the specific procurement or after the award has happened. 

  • Enquiry – A general or specific request for service or request for information regarding a City of Toronto product or service made by a Customer that is resolved at the point of service delivery.

  • Feedback – An opinion, comment and expression of interest in a City of Toronto program or service by a Customer.

  • Compliment – An expression of approval for a City of Toronto service, staff member, program, product or process.

  • Suggestion – An idea submitted to the City of Toronto by a Customer with the aim of improving services, programs, products or processes.


This procedure addresses the handling of complaints and is separate from other processes relating to handling bid disputes, enquiries, feedback, compliments and suggestions.

To provide further clarification, some complaints are exempt from this procedure and include the following:

  • Anonymous complaints – Anonymous complaints are difficult, if not impossible, to assess or investigate and will not be dealt with through the complaint handling process.

  • Complaints by City employees – Alternative procedures are available to employees to initiate complaints within the organization.

  • Complaints about services for which 311 provides service request numbers, such as missed garbage pick-up, no water service, etc.


Procedure

  1. Complaints should be submitted to PMMD using the Complaint Tracking Form. Or alternatively by email, regular mail or fax.

  2. All complaints should be directed in writing to the two (2) PMMD management staff identified below, under No. 3.

  3. Both of the following staff are to be copied on all complaints to ensure the continuous and consistent application of the Complaints Handling Procedure during periods of absence from the office.

    Jacquie Breen, Manager, Corporate Purchasing Policy & Quality Assurance
    Purchasing and Materials Management Division Corporate Purchasing Policy & Quality Assurance Section
    18th Floor, West Tower, City Hall Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2
    Telephone: 416-392-0387
    Email: jbreen@toronto.ca

    and

    Arthur Terashita, Supervisor, Policy, Training & Technology
    Purchasing and Materials Management Division Corporate Purchasing Policy & Quality Assurance Section
    18th Floor, West Tower, City Hall Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2
    Telephone: 416-392-1305
    Email: aterashi@toronto.ca

  4. If the complaint involves the above mentioned staff members, please forward the complaint to:

    Michael Pacholok, Director
    Purchasing and Materials Management Division
    18th Floor, West Tower, City Hall Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2 Telephone: 416-392-7312
    Email: mike.pacholok@toronto.ca

  5. After a complaint has been received by the Manager, Corporate Purchasing Policy & Quality Assurance (CPPQA) and the Supervisor, Policy, Training & Technology, it will be forwarded to the appropriate staff member within the Corporate Purchasing Policy & Quality Assurance Section to be logged in the Complaints Handling Database.

  6. Once the complaint has been logged, a tracking number will be provided to the complainant for future reference.

  7. A review of the complaint will be made to determine which service area of PMMD the issue of concern relates to.

  8. A formal internal request will be sent to the respective PMMD Section Manager asking that they investigate the complaint and provide a formal written reply to the individual within 10 business days (where operationally feasible and provided all records needed to obtain the facts about the complaint can be acquired within this period of time to effectively respond to the complainant). 

  9. The Section Manager responsible for responding to the complaint will copy the designated CPPQA staff from whom they received the request, and in addition will copy the Manager, CPPQA, and the Supervisor, Policy Training & Technology on their response, so that this information can be logged into the Complaints Handling Database. This will reflect that the complaint has been addressed, and to ensure complaint history is maintained for reporting purposes.

  10. A written reply to any complaint will be made within 10 business days. If for whatever reason the necessary files to investigate the complaint cannot be obtained and a response provided to the complainant within the 10 day period, e.g. files need to be retrieved from archives, and it has been determined that an additional period of time is required to effectively respond, then a written response to the complainant must be provided by the respective responding PMMD Manager notifying them of the reason for an extension and to provide the Customer with a proposed date that a response to their complaint will be provided.

  11. A copy of this response should be provided to the designated CPPQA staff from whom they received the complaint, and in addition, the Manager, CPPQA, and the Supervisor, Policy Training & Technology to ensure that this information is logged into the Complaints Handling Database for record and reporting purposes.

  12. Once the complaint has been fully investigated and a formal reply has been prepared by the appropriate PMMD Manager, a copy of the reply should be sent to the designated CPPQA staff member from whom the request was received, and in addition to the Manager, CPPQA, and the Supervisor, Policy Training & Technology to ensure that the Complaints Handling Database has been updated to reflect that the complaint has been addressed and fully resolved.

  13. Should the individual who filed the complaint be dissatisfied with the response received from the respective PMMD Section Manager relating to the issue, a reply from the individual indicating their dissatisfaction, along with a copy of the original complaint and response should be forwarded to the Director, Purchasing and Materials Management for his review.

  14. A final response from the Director, Purchasing and Materials Management will be provided to the complainant within 10 business days or sooner, where operationally feasible. A copy of the reply should be sent to the Manager, CPPQA, and the Supervisor, Policy Training & Technology to ensure that the Complaints Handling Database is updated.