At all times we aim to treat you with respect and courtesy, but there may be times when you are unhappy with the standard of our service.
If you feel that we have treated you unfairly, have failed to explain things clearly or follow Office procedures, or that we have caused unreasonable delay with your case, then you can complain about our service.
For the purposes of the Service Standards complaints procedure, a complaint is defined as a written or verbal expression of dissatisfaction with the handling of a case by the Ombudsman’s Office.
During assessment of public service complaints, we aim to:
- acknowledge your correspondence within three working days of receiving it.
- let you know within two weeks of your complaint being received whether the initial assessment of your case has been completed.
- interview you by phone or arrange a face to face meeting where we believe this would be beneficial in considering your complaint.
- let you know within 10 weeks of your complaint being received whether it has been accepted for investigation.
- let you know if we are unable to meet a target timescale and the reasons for this. We will also provide you with a revised timescale for response.
- provide you with information on what to do if you disagree with the decision that has been made about your case.
Where we accept your complaint for investigation, we aim to:
- update you by telephone, email or letter approximately every eight weeks on the progress of the investigation of your case
- issue a draft report to you and the organisation, detailing the Ombudsman’s proposed findings and conclusions from her investigation of your complaint, within 50 weeks of informing you that your complaint was accepted for investigation
- provide you with information on what to do if you disagree with the decision that has been made about your case
In general we expect you to make any complaint about our service reasonably soon after the issue you wish to complain about has occurred and no later than three months of your case being decided by this Office. If you wish to ask us to review a decision about your complaint, you should ask us within 20 days of being informed of the decision.