The Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland (‘the Commission’) aims to give the best possible service. However, from time to time things do go wrong and complaints must be dealt with properly. Handling complaints well is important to us – it reassures people that their concern has been taken seriously, enables us to learn from anything we could have done better, and reinforces public confidence.
What is a complaint?
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about the standard of service provided by the Commission, or about action or lack of action by the Commission’s staff, that needs a response.
This Complaints Procedure covers complaints about the standard of service provided by the Commission and action/inaction by Commission staff. This could include, for example, delays in responding to queries, or difficulty in contacting us..
This Complaints Procedure does not cover:
- Decisions relating to the statutory duties of the Commission, for example, about constituency boundary proposals or recommendations. The public will have opportunities to submit written and oral representations about published proposals, as part of a structured process during the Review of Parliamentary Constituencies.
- Matters that have already been investigated through the Complaints Procedure.
- Complaints that are assessed to be vexatious.
The Complaints Process
The Commission usually requests that you submit your complaint in writing. If you have a disability which means you are unable to submit your complaint in writing, please contact us, or have someone contact us on your behalf, to discuss alternative options. Contact information, including the Commission’s postal address, email address, and telephone number are provided below. If you raise a complaint via social media, we may suggest you get in touch using the contact details below, in order that a fuller account of the issue might be provided.
The Commission aims to resolve complaints as soon as possible after we have been made aware of the issue. The Commission aims to respond to complaints within 20 working days. If for any reason this is not possible, we will contact you to let you know. To help us handle your complaint effectively, we usually ask that complaints are raised within 3 months of the problem arising.
In order to help us resolve your complaint, it is helpful if you include:
- The nature of your complaint or concern;
- Relevant dates or names;
- Any relevant documentation, such as emails or letters.
Contact details for the Commission
Secretary to the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland
20-32 Chichester Street
If you are still not satisfied
In the first instance, your complaint will be handled by the Secretary to the Commission. If you are not happy with this response, you may ask for your complaint to go to the next stage, which is a review by the Deputy Chairman and members of the Commission.
If you are still not satisfied, you may decide to refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.
Contact details for the Ombudsman’s Office are provided below:
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Customer Helpline: 0345 015 4033
8.30am – 5.30pm Mon - Fri
or you can visit their website at: http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/make-a-complaint