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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.

Application for an investigation into Maladministration and/or Substance

You can request an Ombudsman investigation into Maladministration, Substance or both Maladministration and Substance.

Maladministration. There is no legal definition of maladministration, but in general terms, it means that something about the way your Service complaint was dealt with was wrong or improper. If you believe this has happened, you can ask the Ombudsman to investigate the handling of your complaint. You can only request this type of investigation if your Service complaint has been finally determined – that means you have exhausted the internal appeals process.

Substance (Merits). If your complaint has been finally determined (you have exhausted the internal appeals process) and you believe an incorrect decision was reached, you can ask the Ombudsman to investigate the substance (merits) of your Service complaint.

Maladministration and Substance (Merits). If you believe that the wrong decision was reached AND there was something wrong with the way your complaint was handled, you can ask the Ombudsman to investigate both your allegations of maladministration and the substance (merits) of your Service complaint.

We are in the process of updating our application forms. Before you submit your application please make sure that you read our privacy policy.

Application for an investigation into Maladministration and/or Substance (273 KB)

The PDF form has highlighted fillable form fields. Please use these fields to enter your information and not the ‘insert comment’ tool.

How to submit your form

  • You can submit your application form by post or email
  • Double check that you have completed all sections, signed and dated the form
  • Save the form to your desktop or device
  • Send your completed form by email to contact@servicecomplaintsombudsman.gsi.gov.uk or post to Service Complaints Ombudsman, PO Box 72252, London SW1P 9ZZ
  • If you have any difficulty completing the form, contact our Enquires and Referrals Team on 0207 877 3450 who will be able to assist you

Timeframes for processing your application

Once your application has been allocated to an investigator we aim to provide you with a final decision within 100 working days.   Your application will be allocated to an investigator within 10 working days of your initial acknowledgement.

Please note that:

  • You only have 6 weeks from the time you receive the final decision on your Service complaint to apply to the Ombudsman for an investigation into Maladministration or Substance (merits)
  • Not all applications for investigation are accepted. Complaints might not be accepted if they are out of time or there is no reasonable prospect that a new investigation would result in a different outcome. If your application is not accepted, you will receive a decision letter that explains why it was not accepted.
  • It is important that we can contact you once you have submitted an application.  If we can’t contact you we may be unable to process your application or there may be delays in starting an investigation.