Big rise in complaints to Home Office, DWP and MoJ
New data published by the Parliamentary Ombudsman highlights the variation in complaints to different Government departments.
The move aims to encourage public sector organisations to use complaints to improve the services they offer. The report also sets out action that needs to be taken to address issues of increased complaints.
The department with the highest number of complaints was the DWP with 2,695 complaints in 2012 – a 13% increase on the previous year. The Home Office received 1,417 – an 84% increase. Over 80% of these complaints were related to the UKBA. The Ministry of Justice saw complaints increase by 10% to 1,109.
On the other hand, Defra made significant improvements in complaint handling, particularly its Rural Payments Agency.
The Parliamentary Ombudsman, Julie Mellor said: “Often when people complain to us, they tell us that their main motivation is to ensure that the mistakes they’ve experienced don’t happen to anyone else. They want their complaint to make a difference. But, worryingly, our research shows that almost two thirds of people don’t believe it will. We want to change that view.
“We have provided information on the types of complaints we receive about government departments and the action that we believe they are taking to address them. In some cases we’ve flagged up where they need to work harder. By sharing this knowledge we want to help ensure that complaining can lead to real improvements in public services.
“I urge all permanent secretaries heading government departments to ensure that complaint information is shared and analysed at board level. Department and agency boards should be looking at the number of complaints they get, what any trends say about their organisation, and what action needs to be taken to address the issues people are complaining about. By doing this, complaints can help to drive real improvements in the services public sector organisations deliver.”
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