Complaints Policy for the Department of Professional & Financial Regulation

Reference: PL 2003, Chapter 230

A. Purpose

A relationship of trust and confidence between employees of the Department of Professional & Financial Regulation and the communities that they serve is essential to the effective operation of state government. Department employees must be free to exercise their best judgment in the performance of their duties. Department employees also have a special obligation to respect the rights of all persons. The Department of Professional & Financial Regulation acknowledges its responsibility to establish a complaint system and procedures that not only will subject department employees to corrective action when improper conduct has occurred, but that will also protect department employees from unwarranted or spurious criticism when they discharge their duties properly. The purpose of these procedures is to provide prompt, just, and open disposition of complaints regarding the conduct of department employees in their interactions with the public.

It is the policy of the Department of Professional & Financial Regulation to encourage the public to comment when the conduct of the employee is believed to be improper. The Department of Professional & Financial Regulation will make every effort to ensure that no adverse consequences occur to any person or witness as a result of having brought a complaint or for providing information concerning a complaint. Any department employee who subjects a complainant or witness to such recrimination will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

B. Procedure

  1. The Department of Professional and Financial Regulation encourages the public to bring forward legitimate complaints regarding misconduct by its employees. To this end, a copy of “HOW TO FILE A PERSONNEL COMPLAINT” will be posted at the public entrances to the department’s worksite and on department websites and will be given to anyone requesting this information. Complaints, regardless of nature, can be lodged in person, by mail, or by telephone.
  2. Any employee of the Department of Professional & Financial Regulation who receives a complaint from the public against any department employee shall, as soon as practicable, notify Susan Bell, HR Director, of the details of the complaint for evaluation and assignment.
  3. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Department's HR Director shall determine whether the complaint should be investigated and by whom. Complaints of criminal conduct should be forwarded to the Bureau of Employee Relations to ensure cooperation with appropriate law enforcement authorities.
  4. Investigations of complaints shall be completed within a reasonable time.
  5. It is the responsibility of the investigator to thoroughly and confidentially investigate the matter and, when appropriate, to submit a complete and accurate investigation report. In the event a report is warranted, all relevant information obtained by the investigator shall be included.
  6. All investigations shall comply with the provisions of the applicable collective bargaining agreement.

C. Report

  1. When applicable, the report shall include a summary of interviews with the complainant, synopsis, finding(s) of fact, chronology of the investigation, and documentation of compliance with the employee's contractual rights.
  2. Recommendations regarding the disposition of an investigation or discipline generally are not included in the investigation report. Such recommendations should only be included in consultation with the appointing authority.

D. Notification to the complainant

  1. Upon final disposition, the complainant will be notified of the outcome of the investigation to the extent permitted by civil service and department confidentiality laws.

E. Administrative responsibilities

The Department's HR Director shall ensure that:

  1. All citizen complaint records and investigations remain confidential as allowed or required by statute.
  2. Each complaint and corresponding investigation is documented.
  3. An annual summary report is prepared for the department head that includes statistical data that will aid in identifying the possible need for training, supervision, or other pertinent issues.

Complaints relating to personnel at the Department of Professional & Financial Regulation can be lodged in person, by mail, electronically, or by telephone, directly to the Department’s HR Director. The Department HR Director’s name and addresses are:

Physical address: Mailing address: Phone: E-mail:
Susan Bell
HR Director
Securities and Employment Service Ctr.
45 Commerce Center Drive, Suite 4
Augusta, ME 04333-0108

 
Susan Bell
HR Director
Securities and Employment Service Ctr.
State House Station #108
Augusta, ME 04333-0108

 
Tel: (207) 624-6700
Fax: (207) 287-3042
TTY: (207) 624-8563
 
Susan.Bell@maine.gov

 

Last Updated: January 29, 2014