What happens first?

First, we check that we are allowed to handle your complaint. We may ask the public service provider you have complained about to send us a report. We may examine their files and records and ask them questions. It can take time to gather the information we need.

What happens next?

Next, we will decide if:

  • your complaint should be upheld
  • you have suffered because of the action or decision of the public service provider

If we decide you have suffered and the public service provider has not taken steps to put this right, we may ask the provider to:

  • look again at what it has done
  • change its decision
  • offer you an explanation, an apology and/or money (we do not always seek compensation or indeed receive it even if we do request it)

Usually, we handle complaints by discussing the problem with the public service provider and looking at the relevant files. If necessary, we do a detailed investigation. More information on how we handle complaints can be found here.

Review procedure

If you are not happy with how the Office of the Ombudsman has examined your complaint, you can ask us to review our decision. This involves taking another look at how this office examined your complaint. It is not a review of the original actions or decision of the public service provider you have complained about.

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