As of 31 October 2019, we had 80 unallocated substance and maladministration cases, an increase of 5 cases from last month, which is a backward step. It is still taking us 17 months to allocate a case to an investigator. We have been experiencing a surge in applications for substance and maladministration investigations but are receiving very few applications for undue delay investigations and admissibility reviews. The Investigators, who normally deal with undue delay and admissibility cases, are therefore assisting the Senior Investigators by taking on some of these more complex cases.
To try to reverse this backwards trend in unallocated cases, we have recruited some agency staff, one has already joined the team and is currently undergoing training. As a result of a recent recruitment campaign for permanent Senior Investigators, we have offered two individuals posts. They have accepted and are currently going through the security vetting process before joining us.
The team are working hard to reduce the backlog and we appreciate your patience while we endeavour to resolve this. If you are thinking about making an application to us for a substance or maladministration investigation we encourage you to do so. It is very important that you make your application to the Ombudsman within the 6-week time limit otherwise we may not be able to review your case at all. Our Enquiries Team are able to explain the process and can be contacted on 020 7877 3450, Monday to Friday between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm.