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Festive Hours: Please note that our office will be closed from 5 pm on Friday 21st December 2018 until 9 am on Wednesday 2nd January inclusive. During this period you can still send queries or applications by email to contact@scoaf.org.uk, and we will get back to you when we reopen in the New Year. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Service complaints

The importance of educating personnel on the Service complaints process

In my first Annual Report as Service Complaints Ombudsman, one of the recommendations I made concerned the importance of training and education on the Service complaints system at all levels. It was a recommendation that I made after receiving feedback from a number of personnel who felt there wasn’t enough training on this issue. While work on this recommendation is still continuing, I wanted to let you know more about what we have been doing and why I think education in this area is so important.

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Just and equitable – what does it actually mean?

There are time limits for making a Service complaint and also for making an application to my office. These time limits are set in law.  Complaints that are made outside of those time limits can still be accepted if it considered “just and equitable”. But what does that actually mean?

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September 2017 – Unfair treatment for having made a Service complaint?

Last month we asked our Twitter followers what issues they thought I should be blogging about.  The responses all centered on the same theme – what happens if there are repercussions for making a Service complaint? This is a longstanding area of concern for myself and many members of the Armed Forces and their loved […]

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June 2017 – Reserves Day

Today is Reserves Day – an annual day that aims to showcase the important contribution Reservists make to the UK Armed Forces.  Therefore it is only fitting that my blog this month looks at Reserve Forces and why they are a particular area of focus for my office this year. Each year, in addition to […]

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April 2017 – Annual Report

Yesterday the first Annual Report detailing the work of my office was laid in Parliament. Instead of providing a summary of the report in my blog this week, I have decided to look at the importance of my reporting function. Generally when the work of my office is discussed it is about the day to […]

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March 2017 – International Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts about the importance of this day and this year’s theme #BeBoldForChange. International Women’s Day is an important annual event to celebrate the achievements of women in all aspects of life.  How the day is recognised and the importance placed on it […]

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January 2017 – The Ombudsman’s visit to the Falkland Islands

The Falkland Islands aren’t just home to Rockhopper Penguins and pale maidens – the archipelago is also home to the men and women serving with the British Forces South Atlantic Islands.  I had the great honour of starting my new year with a trip to visit the Service personnel based there and thought you might […]

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January 2017 – The year ahead

This week marks the second year of the Office of the Service Complaints Ombudsman and our 1st birthday!  I thought it only fitting to use my first blog of the year to at the year ahead and what I hope to achieve in 2017. Our office reopened Tuesday after the Christmas break and we are already […]

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December 2016 – What makes a good decision letter?

One of my powers as the Service Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces is to review decisions made by the chain of command to not accept a complaint for investigation.  In the first 9 months my office has upheld 53% of reviews of this type in favour of the complainant. In some instances it isn’t […]

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