My right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Defence in the House of Lords (Earl Howe) made the following written statement on 3 April 2017.
I am pleased to lay before Parliament today the service complaints ombudsman’s annual report for 2016 on the fairness, effectiveness and efficiency of the service complaints system.
This report is published by Nicola Williams, her first as service complaints ombudsman, and covers the first year of operation of the new service complaints system and the work of her office in 2016.
The new service complaints system was introduced on 1 January 2016. The system is shorter, seeks to promote greater confidence in the system and strengthens the oversight and accountability through the powers of the ombudsman. I am pleased that the report acknowledges the good work undertaken by each of the services in 2016 as they have implemented the new system. The ombudsman also reports on those areas where further work is required to improve the way in which complaints are handled, and makes 12 new recommendations.
The findings of the report and the recommendations made will now be considered in detail, and a formal response to the ombudsman will follow once that work is complete.