I suppose this matter does truly belong to the issue of open government. I have been dealing with a government department now for 5 months. I have been referred from one person to another for over the course of that time. The department has retained monies due me. I have had two, and possibly three (depending on interpretation), explanations for this. I am told I can appeal, but in the absence of being able to ascertain the facts of my case how can I do that.
Nobody seems to be able to help. My questions go unanswered. I receive responses that don't relate to questions posed. My case is perpetually being referred from one person to another. The last letter I received suggested that the sender had been in receipt of the case (it had been referred to him) and that if I wanted to appeal it would have to be referred to another section. The letter had no email, phone or fax number where I could contact the sender.
I'm sure that a competent person could clarify this for me in 2-3 minutes. Instead 5 months after the process began I'm none the wiser.
I have worked for many years in the private sector is customer service related businesses. I can't imagine treating a customer like this and if we ever had I can't imagine they'd be a customer for very long.
Is this just my experience of the public sector or do others find that this is a common occurence? I would like to hear your stories and experiences.