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Investigating Complaints

The Commissioner investigates complaints and may conduct an inquiry into the policies and practices followed in relation to appointments processes which he regulates.

Paragraph 4(4) of the Order in Council gives the Commissioner the power to conduct an inquiry into the procedures and practices followed by an appointing authority in relation to any public appointment whether in response to a complaint or otherwise.

The Governance Code specifies that complaints should be raised with the appointing department in the first instance. If, after investigation by the department, the complainant remains dissatisfied, they may bring their complaint to the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

The Commissioner will only investigate any complaint concerning such an appointment process if the process took place within the preceding 12 months (unless there are exceptional circumstances).

Subject to this time limit, he will investigate complaints which concern:-

  • an individual’s experience as an applicant
  • the way a department or other responsible organisation has handled an appointments process
  • if it appears that the Governance Code may not have been followed.

The Commissioner will not investigate complaints relating to:-

  • non selection or non reappointment unless it appears that the appointments process has breached the Governance Code
  • appointments to public bodies which he does not regulate
  • the manner in which a public body is run
  • the actions of the members of a public body within his remit or their remuneration.

If you wish to make a complaint, please contact the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. You may also wish to download a Word version of the OCPA complaints form(.doc, 4 pages, 61KB) to guide you in making your complaint.

The Commissioner publishes the results of his investigations into complaints.

The Commissioner’s Regulatory Framework has detail on the Commissioner’s standards and process for investigating complaints.