Ombudsman

Advertising Standards Authority

The ASA is the independent body set up by the advertising industry to police the rules laid down in the advertising codes. Its web site includes annual reports 1997 onwards; research reports; the current editions of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (the CAP Code), and the various other codes relating to radio and television advertising; and a searchable database of recent adjudications.

Adjudicator's Office

The Adjudicator's Office deals with complaints about HM Revenue & Customs, the Valuation Office Agency and the Insolvency Service. The site includes the codes of practice of those organisations, annual reports, and information and guidance on the complaint procedure.

British and Irish Ombudsman Association

The BIOA site provides a list of ombudsmen and other complaint-handling bodies in the UK and Ireland. This gives brief information and contact details, with links to those ombudsmen and other bodies which have their own web sites. Publications on the site include the most recent annual report and an occasional newsletter The Ombudsman.

European Ombudsman

The European Ombudsman investigates complaints of maladministration by institutions and bodies of the European Union. The site includes general information, annual and special reports, the text of the European Code of Good Administrative Behaviour, all decisions 30 June 1998 onwards, and selected earlier decisions.

Financial Ombudsman Service

The Financial Ombudsman Service, created by the Financial Services and Markets Act (FSMA) 2000, settles disputes between businesses providing financial services and their customers. Its site includes details of the complaint process, annual reviews 1999/2000 onwards, a link to the FSMA 2000, and a link to the dispute resolution section of the Financial Services Authority Handbook (on the FSA site), under which it operates. There is a regular online newsletter Ombudsman News.

Housing Ombudsman Service

The Housing Ombudsman Service, formerly known as the Independent Housing Ombudsman, deals with complaints against landlords and agents, and other housing disputes. All social landlords (housing associations) registered in England are members of the scheme, together with certain private landlords and management agents. There are separate "Complainants and Advisers" and "Landlords and Agents" sections, both with extensive downloadable information, reports and forms.

Independent Case Examiner

The Independent Case Examiner investigates complaints made by service users of various government agencies and businesses including the Child Support Agency, the Northern Ireland Social Security Agency, Jobcentre Plus, the Pension, Disability and Carers Service, the Financial Assistance Scheme, Debt Management and Child Maintenance and Enforcement Division (Northern Ireland). The site provides information on the complaint procedure, forms, and annual reports 2000/2001 onwards.

Independent Complaints Adjudication Service for Ofsted

The Independent Complaints Adjudication Service for Ofsted (ICASO) provides a review service for complainants who remain dissatisfied after exhausting the internal complaints procedures of Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills). The web site includes information about the process and how to apply, and all annual reports to date.

Independent Complaints Reviewer

The Independent Complaints Reviewer (ICR) investigates customers' complaints about the Land Registry, the National Archives, the Charity Commission, the Homes and Communities Agency, the Tenant Services Authority, the Audit Commission, the Northern Ireland Youth Justice Agency and the Children's Commissioner for Wales. The site has general information and contact details, and annual reports for each of the individual bodies from 2001 or 2001/02 onwards.

Independent Police Complaints Commission

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has been responsible for the investigation of complaints and allegations of misconduct against the police since 1 April 2004, when it replaced the Police Complaints Authority. The IPCC's web site includes information on the role of the Commission, press releases, consultation papers, annual reports, investigation reports, and links to relevant legislation.

Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman

The Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman investigates complaints about the judicial appointments process and the handling of matters involving judicial discipline or conduct. This section of the Justice portal site has a list of all judicial offices covered by the scheme, information on how to make a complaint, and recent annual reports.

Lay Observer for Northern Ireland

The Lay Observer oversees the complaint-handling function of the Law Society of Northern Ireland. The site includes information on the Lay Observer's role, details of the complaints procedure, and recent annual reports.

Legal Ombudsman

The Legal Ombudsman scheme for handling complaints about providers of legal services in England and Wales came into operation on 6 October 2010. Site content includes the scheme rules, FAQs, news, consultations, guidance and annual reports.

Local Government Ombudsman

The Local Government Ombudsman investigates complaints of maladministration by local authorities and certain other bodies in England, including education admissions appeal panels and adult social care providers. The site includes guidance, a "Complaint Outcomes" section which includes all investigation reports published since 1 April 2005, a number of special reports on the handling of complaints in particular subject areas, recent annual reports, and other publications.

Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Ombudsman

The Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Ombudsman was established on 25 September 2006 under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 to investigate allegations by applicants for judicial appointments of maladministration or unfairness on the part of the Northern Ireland Judicial Appointments Commission, the Northern Ireland Courts and Tribunals Service or the Lord Chancellor. The site provides details of the complaints procedure and annual reports.

Northern Ireland Ombudsman

The Northern Ireland Ombudsman combines the two offices of Assembly Ombudsman for Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints. The site has general information, guidance, forms and recent annual reports.

Office for Judicial Complaints

The Office for Judicial Complaints (OJC) was established on 3 April 2006 under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. It handles complaints about the personal conduct of all judicial office holders in England and Wales and some judicial office holders who sit in tribunals in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Leaflets, annual reports and other publications are reproduced on the site, and there are links to relevant regulations.

Office of the Complaints Commissioner

The Complaints Commissioner investigates complaints against the Financial Services Authority under a scheme which came into operation on 3 September 2001. Information on the site includes all annual reports to date, final reports on the Commissioner's investigations, and links to the FSA's responses to those reports on the FSA web site.

Office of the Independent Adjudicator

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) has operated an independent complaints scheme for students in higher education in England and Wales since 2004, when it replaced the previous visitatorial system for higher education institutions. The site has the Rules of the scheme, forms, guidance both for students and for higher education institutions, recent decisions and annual reports.

Ombudsman Services: Communications

The Ombudsman Service Limited provides independent dispute resolution for the communications, energy, property and copyright licensing sectors. Ombudsman Services: Communications deals with complaints from consumers about companies which provide communications services to the public; this includes phone and broadband companies. Site content includes a list of participating companies, information on the complaint procedure and contact details.

Ombudsman Services: Energy

The Ombudsman Service Limited provides independent dispute resolution for the communications, energy, property and copyright licensing sectors. Ombudsman Services: Energy deals with disputes between customers and their energy supply companies relating to billing, transfer, service and sales issues. The site provides a list of participating companies, information on the complaints process, contact details and summaries of investigated cases.

Ombudsman Services: Property

The Ombudsman Service Limited provides independent dispute resolution for the communications, energy, property and copyright licensing sectors. Ombudsman Services: Property deals with complaints from consumers about chartered surveying firms, surveyors, estate agents, residential managing agents, letting agents and other property professionals. The site includes a list of participating companies, information relating to the complaints procedure and investigation process, contact details and summaries of investigated cases.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

The Parliamentary Ombudsman and the Health Service Ombudsman (two separate posts, held by the same individual) investigate complaints about government departments and agencies and certain other public bodies in the UK, and the National Health Service in England. The site contains information on the complaint procedure, links to relevant legislation, and documents, including reports and press releases.

Pension Protection Fund Ombudsman

The office of Pension Protection Fund Ombudsman was established on 6 April 2005 to deal with disputes and appeals in relation to the Pension Protection Fund and the Financial Assistance Scheme. Site content includes guidance, forms and determinations.

Pensions Ombudsman

The office of Pensions Ombudsman was established in 1991 to investigate and decide complaints and disputes about the way that occupational and personal pension schemes are run. The site has information, guidance, forms, annual reports and other publications. Determinations are available from 1995 onwards.

Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland

The Ombudsman's office provides an independent police complaints system under the Police (Northern Ireland) Acts 1998 and 2000. There are links to those Acts and to other relevant legislation. Publications include press releases, research reports and investigation reports. There is brief information, and where relevant the full text of judgments, on decisions of the Ombudsman which have been subjected to judicial review.

Prisons and Probation Ombudsman for England and Wales

The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman investigates complaints from prisoners, those on probation, and those held in immigration removal centres. Since April 2004 the Ombudsman has also been responsible for investigating all deaths of prisoners and residents of probation hostels and immigration detention accommodation. Downloadable publications include fatal incident reports, special investigation reports, annual reports 1996-1997 onwards, and a newsletter On the Case.

Property Ombudsman

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) (known before 1 May 2009 as the Ombudsman for Estate Agents) provides an independent service for dealing with disputes between member estate agencies and customers who are buying and selling residential property in the UK. The site has TPO's codes of practice for residential estate agents and for letting agents, summaries of recent cases, recent annual reports, and information and guidance on the complaint procedure.

Public Services Ombudsman for Wales

The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales investigates complaints about public services in Wales, including local government, National Health Service organisations, the National Assembly for Wales, and many public bodies. The web site has information and guidance on the Ombudsman's role and the complaint procedure, annual reports, investigation reports, and an occasional Ombudsman's Casebook containing summaries of recent cases.

Removals Industry Ombudsman Scheme

This scheme provides the removals industry with an independent service to resolve disputes between member companies and their clients, if the normal complaints procedure has not produced a satisfactory conclusion. The site has information, contact details, a downloadable complaint form, and the latest annual report.

Scottish Legal Complaints Commission

The Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) was established on 1 October 2008, under the Legal Profession and Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 2007, to investigate complaints by members of the public about services provided by legal practitioners in Scotland. The site has information on the complaints process, the SLCC Rules, complaint forms, news, and details of any current consultations.

Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman

Before 1 October 2008, when the new Scottish Legal Complaints Commission (SLCC) was established, complaints about the way the Law Society of Scotland or the Faculty of Advocates had handled a complaint against a legal practitioner were dealt with by the Scottish Legal Services Ombudsman (SLSO). Annual reports 2000-2001 to 2007-2008 are amongst material still accessible on the SLSO site: since the abolition of the SLSO most other content has been removed.

Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

The Commissioner investigates alleged breaches of the Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). The web site contains advice on how to submit a complaint about a MSP, and explains how complaints are dealt with. The Code itself is available via a link to the Scottish Parliament site. Annual reports for 2003 onwards are also available.

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO), established under the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act 2002, can investigate complaints made by members of the public against most public authorities in Scotland. Since 1 October 2010 this includes unresolved complaints about prisons, which prior to that date had been the responsibility of the former Scottish Prisons Complaints Commission (SPCC). There is advice for people wishing to complain, and for authorities complained against. The monthly Ombudsman's Commentary (see Our Findings>Investigations Reports) publishes outcomes of complaints.

Service Complaints Commissioner

The post of Service Complaints Commissioner for the Armed Forces was created by the Armed Forces Act 2006, following recommendations made by Nicholas Blake QC in the Deepcut Review. The site has information on the role of the Commissioner, details of the complaint procedure, a downloadable complaint form, and annual reports.

Standards Commission for Scotland

The Standards Commission for Scotland was established pursuant to the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 to assure compliance with the Code of Conduct for Councillors and the Code of Conduct for Devolved Public Bodies. (Complaints of alleged breaches of a code are investigated in the first instance by the Public Standards Commissioner.) The "Acts, Codes & Regulations" section of the web site contains both of the codes. Rules for the conduct of hearings are published on the web site, as are full-text decisions, 2004 onwards and annual reports, 2003/04 onwards.

Standards for England

Standards for England is the operating name for the Standards Board for England, a non-departmental public body which was until 31 January 2012 responsible for promoting ethical standards amongst elected and co-opted members of local authorities. The Board's regulatory role has been abolished and it will be wound up by the end of March 2012.

Waterways Ombudsman

The Waterways Ombudsman considers complaints and disputes between British Waterways and its customers and visitors. The site has general information and contact details, the current Rules of the Waterways Ombudsman Scheme, and the Ombudsman's annual report 2005-06 onwards, in which summaries of decisions are published.

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