We define a complaint as an approach to us by or on behalf of a member of the public who is unhappy about something that we might investigate under the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act 2002 (the Act).
The Act says a complaint must be made in writing or electronically, unless we are satisfied that there are special circumstances that make it appropriate to consider a complaint made in another way.
A complaint may cover a number of issues and, at times, may be about more than one public organisation. We normally need it to have completed the complaints process of the organisation(s) that it's about.
A further approach from someone who has already complained to SPSO may or may not be counted as a separate complaint - this will depend, for example, on how closely it is related to the previous complaint and whether it has been raised with the public body concerned.