Veterans: Complaints

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 21st October 2015.

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Photo of Caroline Flint Caroline Flint Labour, Don Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to introduce greater speed and efficiency in the handling of complaints made to the armed forces by injured veterans.

Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

Serving or former members of the UK Armed Forces can make a complaint if they feel that they have been wronged on a matter that arises when they are, or were, subject to Service law.

The Ministry of Defence worked closely with the first Service Complaints Commissioner, to see how the Service complaints process could be made more efficient whilst maintaining fairness, and strengthening the Commissioner role. This was the basis of the Armed Forces (Service Complaints and Financial Assistance) Bill which received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015.

This Act shortens the complaints process, and replaces the Commissioner with a new Service Complaints Ombudsman. Implementation is expected early in 2016. The Ombudsman will have significant new powers through which we will be held to account for the fairness, effectiveness and efficiency of how the system operates.

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