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Governmentwide Findings: Complaints

Procuring and using non-conformant ICT can expose reporting entities to Section 508-related complaints.

The majority of reporting entities (131 reporting entities or 53% ) reported providing instructions about how the public and employees can file complaints related to Section 508. Conversely, as depicted in Figure 24, 110 reporting entities (44%) said they lack formal, written policies and procedures for processing and resolving complaints filed in relation to Section 508 non-conformance issues. This breaks down to 40 reporting entities (16%) that have no established policies, procedures, or processes, 51 reporting entities (20%) that manage Section 508-related complaints only on an ad hoc basis but have a plan to establish formal policies and procedures, and 19 reporting entities (8%) that did not know the status of a policy, procedure or process for handling Section 508 complaints.

A bar graph shows the count of responses indicating formal, written policies and procedures for processing and resolving complaints filed in relation to Section 508 non-conformance issues (<a href='/manage/section-508-assessment/criteria-03/#q29'>Q29</a>): 40 respondents selected no, responding entity has not established any policies or procedures to process Section 508-related complaints; 51 selected responding entity manages Section 508-related complaints on an ad hoc basis and has a plan to establish formal policies and procedures for processing and resolving complaints specifically related to Section 508 non-conformance; 98 selected responding entity has a formally established complaint process with specific procedures for dealing with Section 508-related complaints; 17 selected responding entity has established specific, repeatable policies and/or procedures to process Section 508-related complaints and has established performance measures related to processing Section 508-related complaints; 24 selected responding entity has established specific policies and/or procedures to process Section 508-related complaints with a tracking system and feedback loops for continuous improvement; and 19 selected Unknown.
Figure 24. Response count indicating formal, written policies and procedures for processing and resolving complaints filed in relation to Section 508 non-conformance issues (Q29)

Furthermore, 100 reporting entities (40%) reported they did not know the total number of Section 508 non-compliance-related complaints received within the reporting period, while 149 reporting entities (60%) reported a known number of complaints ranging from 0 to 66. Of the reporting entities that reported knowing the number of complaints, only 31 reporting entities (21%) reported a number greater than 0.

Of the Section 508 compliance-related complaints that were successfully addressed, resolved, or adjudicated by the reporting entity within the reporting period, results indicate that the majority of complaints were resolved, with 17 respondents reporting 100% resolution. In addition, 10 reporting entities resolved between 20% and 92% of complaints, while four resolved none.

Conclusion

While the majority of reporting entities (53%) provide instructions regarding how the public and employees can file complaints related to Section 508, 44% of respondents lack formal written policies, processes and procedures for processing and resolving complaints. This resulted in a large number of reporting entities (40%) that could not determine how many complaints were received over the one-year reporting period. A formalized process, with appropriate stakeholder engagement within each reporting entity, would likely help increase transparency, accountability, and complaint resolution and would also lead to better data collection in future years.

Reviewed/Updated: December 2023

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