Ministry of Defence
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MoD welcomes independent oversight of Service Complaints System

MoD welcomes independent oversight of Service Complaints System

MINISTRY OF DEFENCE News Release (PN052/2009) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 4 March 2009

The MoD today welcomed the first annual report examining the fairness, effectiveness and efficiency of the Service Complaints System.

The independent report by Service Complaints Commissioner, Dr Susan Atkins, commends the three Services for their commitment to tackling all forms of unacceptable behaviour and ensuring that Service men and women are treated well. It also includes a range of recommendations.

The Report comes at the end of the Service Complaints Commissioner's first year in office. The role was established on 1 December 2007 and provides independent reassurance to Service personnel, their families, the public, Ministers and Parliament.

Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth said:

"The MOD and the Services are 100 per cent committed to the welfare of our personnel and to dealing quickly, fairly and transparently with any type of complaint. I thank Dr Atkins and her staff for the excellent work they have done over the past year to ensure that the Service Complaints System continues to improve and operates in the most effective way possible."

Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, said:

"The effectiveness of the Armed Services depends upon mutual trust and respect amongst our people, so it is important that they have confidence in our system for investigating complaints. The process must deal with issues promptly and fairly, while underpinning the command structure that is fundamental to military operations. The Service Complaints Commissioner's independent oversight of the system is a key element in delivering the necessary confidence and I welcome her first annual report. We will consider it in detail and work with the Commissioner on addressing the recommendations."

A formal, detailed response to the Service Complaints Commissioner's report will be issued once the recommendations have been considered fully by the MOD and the Services.

Notes to Editors

1. Media enquiries for the MoD should be directed to Major Lucy Bowen in the Ministry of Defence Press Office, telephone 0207 218 9900.

2. Media enquiries for the Service Complaints Commissioner's Office should be directed to James Simpson in the SCC Press Office, telephone 0207 612 8819.

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