Application for an investigation into Maladministration and/or Substance
Once you have exhausted the internal Service complaints system, you can ask the Ombudsman to investigate Maladministration, Substance or both.
|What is maladministration?||It means that something was wrong or improper in the way your complaint was handled.
If you believe this has happened, you can ask the Ombudsman to investigate the way your complaint was handled.
Any investigation will not look at whether your complaint should have been upheld or not.
|What is substance?||It means what your complaint was actually about.
If you believe the final decision on your Service complaint was incorrect, you can ask the Ombudsman to investigate your complaint
|When can I ask the Ombudsman to investigate a maladministration and/or substance decision?||You have 6 weeks and 2 days from the date your final decision was posted or emailed to submit your application to the Ombudsman.
Please note: The Ombudsman is not a third level of appeal. This means that not all applications will be accepted.
Decision Body decisions
The Ombudsman can only help you at this stage if you had no right of appeal after the Decision Body decision. If you had the option to appeal and chose not to, the Ombudsman cannot assist you. This is because the Ombudsman can only investigate if the complaint was finally determined in the internal process.
If your Service decides that the appeal cannot proceed because the complaint is ruled out of time or it is not just & equitable for it to proceed, you can apply to the Ombudsman to review this admissibility decision. If the Ombudsman disagrees with the decision made, the complaint will go back to your Service to appoint an Appeal Body.
However if the Ombudsman upholds the Service’s decision that the appeal can’t proceed this means that the Service Complaint is considered finally determined. This means that you can only make a make a further application to Ombudsman for a substance and/or maladministration investigation. You will have 6 weeks and 2 days from the date of our appeal admissibility decision letter to submit your application to the Ombudsman.
|How will you process my application?||Applications received will be assessed against the following criteria to determine whether an investigation will be conducted:
If your application is not accepted, you will receive a decision letter that explains why it was not accepted. For more information on the Ombudsman’s powers read What the Ombudsman can and can’t do
To complete the application form, you will need to open it in Adobe before filling it in. If you don’t do this, you won’t be able to save the form.
Application for Substance and/or Maladministration investigation (366 KB)
How to submit your completed form
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or post to SCOAF, PO Box 72252, London SW1P 9ZZ
Please note that if you are sending your application by email the system cannot accept emails larger than 20MB. Emails that exceed the size limit will be blocked by our email system.
If you have any difficulty completing the form, contact our Enquiries and Referrals Team on 0300 369 0689 for assistance.
Timeframes for processing your application
|2 days||Once we receive your application you will receive an acknowledgement within 2 working days.|
|10 days||The initial assessment of your application will take up to 10 working days.|
|100 days||Once your application has been allocated to an investigator, we aim to provide you with a final decision within 100 working days.|
Please note: 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 a delay in starting an investigation.
- Download the file: What can the Ombudsman do for me? (116 KB)
- Download the file: Substance and Maladministration pamphlet (300 KB)
- Download the file: What redress can the Ombudsman recommend? (285 KB)
- Download the file: SCOAF Financial Remedy Guidelines (298 KB)
- Download the file: What can the Ombudsman do for respondents to a Service complaint? (112 KB)
- Download the file: Judicial Review & the Office of the Service Complaints Ombudsman (135 KB)
- Download the file: Where can I get welfare support during a Service complaint (136 KB)