Making a complaint about a Public Service
Guidance for members of the public who want to complain about a public service
What to include
Whether you write to the entity or telephone them, set out your complaint as clearly and briefly as possible. Be specific rather than general. It is useful to set it out in a logical order including your name and contact details; relevant dates and times; a description of the incident or decision; meetings and any steps you may have taken to sort out the problem already; and any explanations you think are important. Attach copies of relevant documents to your covering letter, and sign and date it.
State what you want
Having explained the problem, indicate what action or outcome you would like to see as a result of your complaint. Calmness and politeness are always helpful here. Make it clear that you are giving the entity a chance to fix a mistake or an omission. Make sure your demands are not unreasonable.This is particularly important. Keep copies of all correspondence you receive and send, and any other important documents or notes.
This includes details of telephone calls. You may need to send further letters or provide more information. It helps if you can easily find this and have evidence to back up your claims.
Don't give up
If nothing happens, telephone the organisation to ask about the progress of your complaint. If no progress has occurred, or if the organisation cannot or will not explain how things have progressed, you should consider contacting the Ombudsman.
Sample Complaint Letter
If you feel that a public service has not been properly delivered, you can submit an official complaint by writing to the entity you feel aggrieved with. Download your Microsoft Word Template now.
Sample Complaint Letter (26 KB)
Departments, authorities or entities you may want to contact
Click here for a list of emails of departments, authorities and entities that you may be wanting to contact and which we may be able to investigate once you have exhausted your avenues of complaint. See our jurisdiction for further information.