What you can expect from us
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) aims to provide a high quality service that meets the needs of our customers. When we engage with our customers, we expect our staff to be polite and helpful, to show respect, be professional, take pride in their work and always want to do better.
We welcome feedback when you think we are doing well and on how we could improve. We know that despite our best efforts, things do not always go smoothly. If you think we have made a mistake or haven't met your expectations, you can let us know. We will treat your complaint in confidence, resolve it as promptly as possible, learn from it and take action to improve. Above all, we want to be responsive, fair and efficient in the way we handle your complaint and to do our best to put matters right quickly.
What this complaints procedure covers
This procedure covers complaints about the conduct or actions of ONS staff in the course of our business where it has affected you directly. It also covers complaints about deficiencies in the services provided by ONS.
It does not cover complaints relating to official statistics (including their quality, timeliness or comprehensiveness) or the Code of Practice for Official Statistics, as these are dealt with by the UK Statistics Authority Casework team. Nor does it cover complaints relating to the actions or behaviour of the UK Statistics Authority and its staff. A separate procedure exists for this.
A summary of ONS complaints and outcomes will be published in the UK Statistics Authority Annual Report.
Making a complaint
Whenever possible, your complaint should be addressed to the relevant person or ONS business area you have been liaising with. We ask that it is made in writing as this will provide us with a written record. It can be made in either English or Welsh.
If you have specific needs that affect your ability to put your complaint in writing, we will do our best to help: please call us on 0845 6013034 or Minicom 01633 815044.
It is important that complaints are made as soon as possible after the event and contain as many details as possible, so it would be helpful if you could include the following information:
when – the date of the issue that you are complaining about
who – the name(s) of any individual(s) that you are complaining about
what – how you think we can put matters right
How we will deal with your complaint
We will acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days of receipt and respond fully within 20 working days. If this is not possible, we will contact you to explain when you can expect a full reply and what action we plan to take to resolve the issue.
If you are not happy with how your complaint has been handled
If you do not have the contact details for the business area concerned, or you are unhappy with the way your complaint has been dealt with once you have received a reply, you can ask for it to be investigated by the ONS Complaints Manager. You can make that request either by email: email@example.com, or by post:
Office for National Statistics
In the event that you remain unhappy following the investigation by the Complaints Manager, you can ask for a review of the matter. The ONS Director of Communications will undertake the review and tell you what has been decided; what lessons we have learnt; and any remedial action we have taken or will take as a result.
You can ask for a review by email or by post:
Director of Communications
Office for National Statistics
Should you remain dissatisfied after the result of the review by the Director of Communications, you can ask a UK MP to raise your concern with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman at:
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Telephone: 0345 015 4033
Further information, including how to refer matters to the Ombudsman, can be found at: www.ombudsman.org.uk