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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

What does maladministration mean?

While the SPSO Act does not give a definition of maladministration, we use the following as examples of the kind of failings that come under the heading of maladministration:

  • unreasonable delay
  • rudeness
  • failure to apply the law or rules properly.

There may be other failings that are also ‘maladministration’ – the most quoted definition is that of a Cabinet Minister, Richard Crossman, who in 1967 who listed 'bias, neglect, inattention, delay, incompetence, ineptitude, perversity, turpitude and so on'.  However, as a judge - Lord Denning - noted in 1979 'and so on would be a long and interesting list, clearly open-ended, covering the manner in which a decision is reached or discretion is exercised ...'.

For further advice, please contact our Assessment and Guidance team

Updated: December 3, 2018