The Service Complaints Ombudsman’s Annual Report 2017 describes the work undertaken by the Office of the Service Complaints Ombudsman (OSCO) throughout 2017 and reports on the current state of the Service complaints process.
In its second year of operation, and despite clear improvements that have been made, the Ombudsman finds that the Service complaints process is neither efficient, effective or fair at this stage.
In making an assessment about whether the system is efficient, effective or fair, the Ombudsman takes into consideration a number of factors.
The Ombudsman is exceptionally pleased with the work undertaken by her office in 2017, particularly in light of the investigations team not operating at full capacity. The Ombudsman is committed to reviewing and improving the service provided by her office in the coming year.
The work of the Service complaints system
- 1,009 Service complaints were received by the Services.
- 775 of those complaints were deemed admissible.
- 41% of those complaints concerned Terms and Conditions of Service (TACOS) and 25% concerned pay, pensions and allowances.
- Both female and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Service personnel were overrepresented in the complaints system (20% and 10%) when compared to their representation in the Armed Forces (11% and 7%).
- There was a general improvement in the time taken to resolve complaints across the single Services.
- 47 complaints from the old Service complaints system remained open at the end of 2017 (i.e. complaints made on or before 31 December 2015).