Challenge # 4: Outstanding and New Complaints
55. There is important unfinished business with regard to compensation to ensure fairness, transparency and independent validation of QMM’s arrangements and commitments. QMM is fully aware of this and is currently preparing a Protocol that should specify clearly how claims and complaints will be processed, including appeals and independent verification procedures and the criteria against which complaints will be considered to have been closed. The sooner this can be completed the better: full clarity and transparency in this will benefit all parties, help to facilitate the work of the ONE and enhance corporate credibility.
56. Although apparently only 27 formal complaints have been made (which is an impressively – indeed surprisingly – low number, considering the number of persons affected by the project during its construction phase and current production phase), three of these remained unresolved at the time of the Panel visit. More complaints are to be expected in the course of operations. The Panel was advised of other grievances that may not be in the form of official complaints. Thus, a clear, transparent, rules-based framework that is available to all interested parties is imperative.
Recommendation # 12
The Panel endorses the importance QMM attaches to the preparation and dissemination of a comprehensive Protocol on the treatment of grievances. The absence of such a Protocol leaves the company open to accusations of arbitrariness and unfairness. Clarity, transparency and consistency in dealing with all claims & complaints are imperatives for QMM. A Protocol stipulating a clear process for grievances, independent adjudication and ultimate validation by ONE will enhance its reputation and better serve the interests of all parties.