Service Complaints Commissioner: Sixth Annual Report

"The current Service complaints system is failing and will not be able to work efficiently, effectively or fairly until it is simplified, made to work faster and become more accountable.

This is the main conclusion of the Service Complaints Commissioner’s sixth Annual Report. The report provides further evidence for the need for a Service Complaints Ombudsman to be established without delay.

At the end of her second term, Service Complaints Commissioner (SCC) Dr Susan Atkins confirms that none of the goals she set for the Services to be achieved by the end of 2013, including a timely resolution of complaints, were met."

"In the Naval Service

7. Despite almost a doubling in the number of new Service complaints in 2013, the Navy has built on its strong 2012 performance. Most of the
increase was accounted for by an eight fold increase in complaints about pay, pensions and allowances. Service complaints about bullying, harassment and discrimination account for only 9% of all complaints. Three quarters of all new Service complaints brought in 2013 were resolved by the end of the year, nearly all at Level 1 and within 24 weeks.

8. Overall the Navy resolved 78% of new 2013 Service complaints within 24 weeks. This is the best performance of the three Services. The main cause of delay in relation to Naval Service complaints is reported to be lack of resources.

9. Whilst the ability of Commanding Officers to resolve complaints at Level 1 during 2013 maybe linked to the types of complaints brought, nevertheless it appears that the culture change, focussed on resolution, timely handling and good communication, pioneered at Navy HQ at Level 2 in 2011 and 2012, has now been embedded with Commanding Officers."



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