Complaint about the agency or one of its public servants
You may make a complaint if you are a customer of the agency and you are unsatisfied with the service you have received from the agency or from a particular public servant working for the agency. Complaints are resolved by the agency’s Director General.
Limitations on complaints
- If the events you are making the complaint about took place over two years ago, the complaint will not be accepted for consideration unless there are special reasons for doing so.
- If you want to make a claim for a revised decision and you have received with your decision instructions on making a claim for a revised decision, simply follow these instructions. A complaint will not be investigated if it is possible to make a claim for a revised decision from a redress authority about the matter described in the complaint.
- It is not possible to use the complaints procedure to examine decisions made by the agency or its employee using their discretionary power. This means that the complaints procedure is not able to overturn decisions made by public servants, order that decisions be changed, or influence the handling of individual matters.
The complaints procedure is used mainly to intervene in cases of clear procedural errors in official activities or misuse of legal discretionary power. The purpose of the procedure is to guide the activities of the agency and its public servants in agreement with the law and the requirements of good governance. The public servant concerned can be given guidance or instructed to pay attention in future to the correct operating practice, or they can be issued with a warning for wrongful action or with some other sanction.
The highest supervising bodies for the agencies and their public servants are the Parliamentary Ombudsman and the Chancellor of Justice. You can also make a complaint to either of these about the activities of an agency or its public servants.
Checklist before making a complaint
- Discuss the matter with the public servant who has been dealing with your case.
- Is the matter still being processed and has the processing taken a long time? Contact the rapporteur for the matter. You can also contact the rapporteur’s supervisor.
- For this agency decision, is it possible to make a claim for a revised decision? If this is possible, use the right you have to make a claim for a revised decision because this is the only way to change a decision that has already been made.
- Is this a situation where a decision has not been made, but instead the matter can be reassessed if the individual’s circumstances have changed? An example of this is an examination of the need for guardianship.
Do the following
- Your name
- Your contact details during office hours (telephone number and email address)
- State the time of the event
- Describe the actions of the agency or public servant which you believe to be incorrect or inappropriate
- If more than two years has passed since the event, explain separately why the matter should now be considered after such a long period of time.
Deliver the letter to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency either by email, by post, or by bringing it personally to a service location. For sending an email, use the Digital and Population Data Services Agency secure email so that your personal data and other confidential information is sent securely. Choose as the recipient of the secure email [email protected].
This service is free of charge.
Complaints are processed in the order they are received. The processing time is normally 2–4 months. In individual cases, the processing time may be less than two months or more than four months, depending on the size and complexity of the matter.