Grievance Procedure

Grievance Procedure for People Served by GAO

A grievance is a complaint which you feel is important and justified by either a policy of GAO or a practice of GAO staff.

The grievance procedure should not be seen as an adversarial process but simply as a means of providing you a way to facilitate the resolution of complaints rapidly and fairly.

A grievance may be filed under any of the following circumstances:
1. When there is disagreement about the decision of GAO not to provide technical assistance or advocacy services;
2. When there is dissatisfaction regarding the quality or extent of the services actually provided;
3. When there is a belief that GAO has failed to fulfill one or more of its obligations; or
4. It is believed that GAO  has discriminated in the provision of its services on the basis of disability, race, or another prohibited basis.

Step 1:  If you are, have been, or wish to become a recipient of GAO’s advocacy services and have such a complaint, first discuss it with the staff member involved.  Inform him or her that you have a grievance and wish to have it resolved.

Step 2:  If after discussion the situation is not resolved to your satisfaction, the Program Director shall meet with you, if requested, within 10 working days of the grievance and issue a written* determination within 5 working days of the meeting.  If no meeting is requested, the Program Director shall decide the outcome of the grievance and send you a written response within 15 working days of submission.  (Note:  If the appropriate Program Director was the person with primary responsibility in the situation, you have the option of skipping Step 2 and beginning the Grievance Procedure with Step 3).

Step 3:  If the grievance is not resolved to your satisfaction, it may be appealed in writing* within 15 working days by calling or writing in care of the Executive Director, GAO, 150 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 430, Decatur, Georgia  30030, 1-404-885-1234 or 1-800-537-2329.  The Executive Director shall consider all the written materials submitted and shall render a decision within 15 working days of the appeal.  This decision will be sent to you in writing.

Step 4:  If, after the problem is reviewed by the Executive Director or her designate, the situation is not resolved to your satisfaction, you should submit your appeal within 15 working days from the date of the Executive Director’s response to the President of the GAO Board of Directors at the above address.  A representative of the Board will contact you to review and discuss your complaint.  The Board or subcommittee shall make a decision on any possible agency action related to the grievance.  This decision shall be final and excepting any extenuating circumstances, shall be made within 30 days of submission to the Board President.  You will be immediately informed in writing of their decision.

It is the responsibility of the Executive Director to assure staff compliance with the recommendations of the Board.