Easter office closure

Please note that our office will be closed for the Easter holidays from 5pm on Thursday 9 April to 10am until Tuesday 14 April 2020.

COVID-19 update

Please be aware that our office is currently not open to visitors and we are unable to take phone enquiries relating to complaints. However, our Scottish Welfare Fund review service is still available by telephone. Following the latest Government advice, we are not arranging face-to-face appointments for the foreseeable future. We are responding to emails; however, due to the impact on our staffing resources, our response times will be affected.  Please read our information for customers and organisations


In 2011-12, the SPSO:

  • received 625 enquiries and 3,918 complaints (12% more complaints than the previous year)
  • dealt with a total of 3,748 complaints (12% more than the previous year). This figure includes some carry-forward from the previous year.

2011-12 enquiries and complaints

Increase in upholds

Upheld complaints are those that were valid for us to investigate, and that we fully or partly upheld. The overall level of upheld complaints rose from 34% in 2010-11 to 39% in 2011-12.

In the health sector – where we can look at clinical decisions as well as administrative processes – the level of upheld complaints rose from 45% to 56%. In the local government sector, it rose from 29% to 32%.

Fewer premature complaints

Premature complaints are those that we received too early (before the body concerned had a chance to respond to the complaint). The overall level of premature complaints we received fell from 51% in 2009-10 to 45% in 2010-11 and 43% in 2011-12.

There are differences between sectors, but it is satisfying that the level of premature complaints about local government - the sector about which the SPSO receives most complaints - fell from 55% in 2010-11 to 52%.

Letters to authorities

The Ombudsman sends some authorities an annual letter about their complaint numbers.

Due to the wrong recording of the outcome of one complaint, we revised the tables of complaints determined on 29 August 2012.

Updated: November 29, 2018