COVID-19 update

Our office is currently not open to visitors. We are responding to emails; however, our response times will be affected.  We are operating a limited telephone service for complaints related enquiries. Our Scottish Welfare Fund review service is still available by telephone as normal.  Please read our information for customers and organisations

Frequently Asked Questions - Putting things right

Organisations usually comply with our recommendations, and we always follow up rigorously to make sure this happens.  However, if an organisation did not comply, the Ombudsman can take action to draw attention to this.

Section 16 of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act 2002 says that we can lay a special report before the Scottish Parliament when an investigation report finds that someone suffered injustice or hardship because of maladministration or service failure, and this has not been, or will not be, remedied.

Since the SPSO was set up in 2002, we have not needed to issue a special report.  If we did do so, it would be for Parliament to decide what, if any, action to take.

You can search our reports here.

Our complaints reviewers always check with organisations to make sure that they have done as we recommended.   We expect to see firm evidence that our recommendations have been implemented.  If we find that they have not, we will go back to the organisation until we are satisfied that what we recommended has been done.

Yes. If no-one complains, other people may share the same experience and things may not improve.

When we make a decision on a complaint, we may make recommendations.  We expect organisations to carry these out and we check to make sure they do.  These are real outcomes for the people concerned, and so our complaints investigations can lead to wider improvement across a council, health board etc and sometimes across a whole sector.  You can search the reports of our investigations here, and you can find more information about how we put things right here.