COVID-19 update

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

Annual Report and Accounts 2020-21 published

We have laid our Annual Report and Accounts for the year 2020-21 before the Scottish Parliament.  

Highlights include:

  • 3,130 public service complaints received (4,226 in total when including complaints carried over from last year) and 3,176 closed

  • 61% of all investigated public service complaints upheld

  • 740 recommendations made to public bodies, 52% being about learning and improvement

  • launch of our new online training courses and 11 complaints handling courses delivered in just the last quarter of the year alone

  • introduction of the new Self-Isolation Support Grants for our Scottish Welfare Fund independent review service, and all of our SWF KPIs met or exceeded

  • successful preparation for the launch of our new Independent National Whistleblowing Officer service on 1 April 2021.

Rosemary Agnew, Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, said:

"To say 2020-21 was a challenging year is an understatement. Being subject to lockdown restrictions had a significant impact on everyone, complainants, Scottish public bodies and us. Significant does not necessarily mean negative. Lockdown presented the SPSO with challenges, but equally it presented us with opportunities to develop our business and approach.

If I could sum-up SPSO’s performance in one statement, it is this: We performed well in the face of adversity, never lost sight of our values, duties or commitments, and discovered innovative new talents we never knew we had.

Looking forward, we continue to learn from our experience and to build on the positive learning and improvements, as well as mitigate the negative. Our values remain at the heart of what we do and inform how we balance the needs of our users, with supporting colleagues, driving complaint handling improvements and being as efficient and effective as we can."

The full Annual Report and Accounts is available to read here.  

A PDF version is also available to download (PDF, 2.38MB).

Updated: October 19, 2021