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Complaints Procedure

Complaints Procedure

The Privy Council Office is committed to delivering efficient, high-quality services. We aim to provide prompt, courteous, helpful, open and informative advice in response to every approach made to the Office.

We are always keen to hear the views of our customers about our performance generally - what we do right, and what we do wrong. We recognise that, as in all organisations, from time to time things go wrong, and we may not always provide the standard of service that we have set ourselves. We are especially keen to hear about such instances since they provide us with an opportunity to put things right.

Types of complaint handled

Handling of complaints quickly, fairly, and helpfully is a key part of our approach to service delivery. Examples of complaints about a service provided by the Office might include:

  • dissatisfaction with the way in which we responded to an enquiry;
  • the time taken to respond to an enquiry:
  • a perceived injustice because of alleged maladministration on the part of the Office;

When PCO fails to provide the quality of service expected we will endeavour to:

  • ensure that making a complaint is as easy as possible;
  • treat a complaint seriously whether it is made by letter, fax, e-mail or telephone;
  • deal with it promptly, politely, and where appropriate, informally (for example by telephone);
  • include in our response, an apology where we have got things wrong, an explanation of the position, and/or information on any actions taken etc.

How to make a complaint

You can make a complaint by letter, fax, e-mail or telephone. When you complain, please be ready to say how you would prefer to receive a response and to provide the relevant contact details.

If you have already been dealing with someone in the Office, you should normally address your complaint to that person in the first place. This will give them the opportunity to explain what actions have been taken and to try and sort things out with you directly. If you are not satisfied with this response, or if you prefer to deal with someone else, you can ask the member of staff for the name and contact details of their immediate line manager and you should address your complaint to them.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to write to the Office, you should write to:

Head of Secretariat
2 Carlton Gardens

Or if you would prefer to fax to the Office you should fax to : 020 7747 5311

What happens next?

The person who receives your complaint will use their best endeavours to:

  • treat the complaint fairly and politely, and investigate it thoroughly and sensitively;
  • respond promptly. Our target for replying to complaints is 20 working days from the date of receipt.

If it is not possible to give you a full reply within this time, for instance because a detailed investigation is required, we will give you an interim response, telling you what is being done to deal with your complaint, and when you can expect the full reply and from whom.

Still Unhappy?

If you are not happy with the response, the matter will be referred to a nominated PCO Complaints Officer, who will invite the relevant staff and their managers to consider the issue afresh, and issue the Office's response to your complaint.

The Complaints Officer will acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days of receipt and will aim to respond fully within 20 working days. If this is not possible, you will be contacted again to discuss a revised date.

If the complaint cannot, for whatever reason, be dealt with by PCO staff, we will undertake to refer the complaint to someone within our parent body, the Ministry of Justice, who was not involved in the original complaint, and they will re-assess how this office handled the original request.

Our contact details are:

The Privy Council Office
2 Carlton Gardens

Phone: 020 7747 5310

Fax: 020 7747 5311


Revised February 2010


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