‘Still Work To Be Done’ On Military Complaints System

The Armed Forces Complaints Commissioner Nicola Williamson

A report into the Armed Forces complaint system has concluded the system is “not efficient, effective or fair” and that improvement is needed. The 2018 Annual Report of the Service Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces (SCOAF) was released on Thursday. It found that for the second year, there have been “continued improvements” but concerns remains around a number of issues. Issues included the lack of confidence in the system across the Armed Forces and the time taken to resolve complaints.

Largest Areas

The report found that in 2018: 

  • 763 Service complaints were investigated across the Armed Forces
  • The three largest areas of complaint concerned: career management (which formed 33% of complaints), bullying, harassment and discrimination (25%), and pay, pensions and allowances (15%).
  • SCOAF made 168 referrals on behalf of current or former personnel and received 346 requests for an investigation.
  • 87% of applications requesting an investigation were accepted by SCOAF.
  • 56% of all SCOAF investigations found in favour of the complainant. 34% were review of admissibility decisions; 61% undue delay; substance 27%; and, maladministration 71%.

Undue delay