Up until Autumn 2006, the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman provided a document titled "If you are
unhappy about our service" (link) which detailed what they did if you 1, disagreed with a decision or 2.
were unhappy with the service provided by the SPSO. This document also detailed how the Scottish
Public Services Ombudsman would record and advise the Public and Parliament of any complaints made
against them through the Annual Reports that are laid before Parliament quote:
"We keep a record of all complaints made about our service and record the outcome of each complaint.
We publish statistical information relating to these complaints each year in our Annual Report. If
shortcomings in our service have been identified through a complaint, we use this information to review
and change the service we provide."
The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman however failed to follow their own guidelines as they omitted to
mention in the Annual reports that they had received 13 complaints in 2003/2004, 13 complaints in
2004/2005 and 31 complaints in 2005/2006. Did they not want the Public and Parliament to know that the
Public are dissatisfied with the service they provide?
The annual reports for 2003/2004 and 2004/2005 covered 27 investigations into the authorities they are
paid to investigate and ignored the 26 complaints made against themselves.
These facts only surfaced when the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman provided this information in
June and August 2006 after a Freedom of Information request.
In November 2006 Scottish Ombudsman Watch asked the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman to
provide copies of the sections of their annual reports where the statistical information regarding
complaints made against the themselves are detailed as stated in their "If you are unhappy with our
The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman confirmed that they could not provide the relevant sections
from their Annual Reports as they did not exist.
The Scottish Public services Ombudsman has however confirmed that they have amended their "If you
are unhappy with our service" leaflet to say that these statistic will be made available on their website,
instead of in their annual reports. This change means that the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman now
does not need to inform the Scottish Parliament of the level of dissatisfaction the Public has with the
service they provide and yet they claim to be accountable to the Parliament and the Public.
It is my vision for the future, that as more people experience problems associated with
complaining to the Ombudsman, then more people will complain about the service provided
by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. Eventually the Scottish Public Services
Ombudsman will received more complaints about their service than they get against the
authorities they are meant to be investigating. When this happens then meaningful change
will happen and the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman will become more accountable.
So every person who submits a complaint about how they were treated by the Scottish Public
Services Ombudsman is acting to make them more accountable.
In the meantime if you want to know how many complaints the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman has
received about their service then open the document below or the information can be found on the
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman web site at http://www.spso.org.uk/complain/article.php?ssi=36.
Complaints against SPSO statistics 2003 to 2007
Latest update: In 2006/2007 the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) received 42
complaints about the service they provide, an increase of 36% over the number of complaints
they received in 2005/2006.
The next web page highlights the double standards that the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
(SPSO) works to. It is a case of do as I say and not as I do.
Who will guard the guards (link)
spso Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Watch
Campaigning for a more accountable & effective Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
|SPSO now acknowledges
complaints about themselves
The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman now publicly acknowledges
that they receive complaints about the service they provide.