Festive Period: Our office will be closed from Thursday 23rd December 2021 at 5 pm until Tuesday 4th January 2022 at 9 am (inclusive). You will still be able to submit enquiries and applications during this period to our contact mailbox: contact@scoaf.org.uk. But, they won’t be actioned until we re-open in the New Year.

Phone line: We are currently operating a voicemail call back service on our contact telephone number 0300 369 0689. All messages received are collected by our Enquiries Team, Monday to Friday, 9:00 am until 16:30 pm. Please leave a voicemail, with your name, phone number, email address (if possible), and enquiryWe aim to respond to all messages within 2 working days. Any messages received to our voicemail on Friday afternoon will be retrieved on Monday, after the weekend. 

August 2018 Backlog Update

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As of 23 August 2018 we have 122 applications for substance (merits) and maladministration investigations that are waiting to be allocated to an investigator. Those applications date back to November 2017.

We now have five Senior Investigators working on substance and maladministration cases after our new member of staff completed their training. We are in the process of interviewing for three more Senior Investigators, on fixed term contracts, and hope to offer successful candidates the posts in early September. In addition we have two Fee Earner Investigators actively working on cases. Due to the nature of their engagement they are only able to work on one case at a time but their work is proving very valuable in managing the workloads. As a result further Fee Earners are due to be trained in September. An Investigator is due to join the team at the end of August and we are actively managing the recruitment of two more Investigators. Investigators handle admissibility reviews and undue delay investigations (for which there is no backlog). This recruitment will enable the Senior Investigators to concentrate solely on substance and maladministration cases which are the most resource intensive and complex cases.

I appreciate this is not the best news but we are continually working to resolve the situation and I apologise for the ongoing delays. If you are thinking about making an application for a substance or maladministration application, please don’t allow the current backlog to put you off doing so. As I said in my blog on 16 July, failing to make an application could see you lose your right to an Ombudsman investigation for your particular complaint.