Complaining about a service we have provided

We are committed to giving you the best service we can. If you need to complain about a service we have provided we will ensure that your complaint is:

  • treated seriously
  • handled without bias or discrimination

We will also respect your confidentiality.

If you are dissatisfied with the service we have given you, you should contact us within three months of the event or outcome that you are complaining about indicating:

  • what you think has gone wrong
  • what you think we should do to put it right

Our complaint procedure is available both to:

  • customers who have used our services and
  • those who think they have not received a service we said we would provide

Complaints can also be made by advocates or representatives on behalf of customers but we will need written confirmation that you have agreed to their acting on your behalf.

This service does not cover complaints about charities. If you have a complaint about a charity you should read our guidance Making a complaint about a charity.

What will we do with your complaint?

Stage 1 Review:

Initially, we will try to resolve your complaint within the area of the Commission you were dealing with. In the first instance, someone who has not handled your original case will look fairly and impartially at your concerns. Wherever possible, they will be at a more senior level than the original caseworker.

A stage 1 review will consider the following:

  • complaints about the standard of service experienced and/or
  • dissatisfaction with a course of action within, or the result of, a case which the Commission has carried out (outcome)

The reviewer will look into your complaint and will aim to respond to you within 30 working days, setting out:

  • the conclusions from their review
  • the reasons for the outcome

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, then you can refer your complaint to the Business Assurance Team.

Stage 2 Review:

If you are unhappy with the outcome of the Stage 1 Review, you have one month in which you can ask for your complaint to be reviewed by a member of the Business Assurance Team. This will focus on how the first review was handled, looking particularly at whether it:

  • addressed the issues of your complaint
  • adequately remedied any shortfalls in service
  • articulated the outcome adequately
  • was sufficiently thorough and fair

They will aim to let you know the outcome within 20 working days.

Remedies

At both stages, we always assess cases individually. There are no standard or automatic remedies, financial or otherwise.

In deciding what the remedies will be, we will:

  • consider all relevant information
  • offer what we believe to be a fair and proportionate solution, taking into account any injustice or hardship you have experienced

If we find that we have made a mistake, or not dealt with you properly, we will do what we can to put things right.

This may involve us:

  • apologising
  • correcting any errors so that, where possible, you are restored to the position you would have been in had we not made a mistake
  • taking further action in response to your concerns
  • telling you what we have learnt from the complaint and what action we will take to ensure that we do not make the same mistake again
  • making a consolatory payment if you have experienced a great deal of hardship or injustice

Next Steps

When we notify you of the outcome of the Stage 2 Review, this will be our final response to your complaint.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO)

The PHSO considers certain complaints about the service provided by a range of bodies, including the Commission.

Further information is available from:

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
Millbank
London SW1P 4QP

0345 015 4033

Email: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk

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