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Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2019

Section 8 - Requirements: complaints made to the Ombudsman

43.If a person wishes to make a complaint to the Ombudsman, the complaint must satisfy the requirements of section 8(1) (though the Ombudsman has discretion under section 3(4) to investigate matters where these requirements are not met).

44.Section 8(1) provides that a complaint must be in a form specified by the Ombudsman and contain the information specified by the Ombudsman in order to meet the requirements of section 3(2)(b). The complaint must also be made within 1 year of date when the person aggrieved first had notice of the matter which is the subject of the complaint. The form and content will be specified in guidance published by the Ombudsman. Therefore, persons who wish to make a complaint should read that guidance in order to help them make the complaint. Whether a complaint meets the requirements of section 8(1) is determined by the Ombudsman.

45.Section 8(4) provides for circumstances where a complaint is made other than in writing (for example, a complaint made orally or in British Sign Language). Subsections (4) to (7) set out additional requirements for a complaint made other than in writing. This includes explaining to the person what it means for a complaint to be duly made (i.e. that when a complaint is duly made, it could lead to the Ombudsman beginning an investigation), and checking with the person whether they wish the complaint to continue to be one that is duly made. If the person does not wish the complaint to be treated as one that is duly made the Ombudsman cannot begin a section 3 investigation into the matter (but if the Ombudsman has already begun an investigation into the matter and the person subsequently withdraws the oral complaint, the Ombudsman has discretion as to whether to continue the investigation).

46.Where a person has confirmed that they do not wish a complaint to continue to be treated as duly made the Ombudsman can nonetheless investigate the matter under the own initiative power in section 4 provided that the requirements of that section are met.

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Text created by the Welsh Government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Welsh Parliament.


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