We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint quickly and assess it carefully. As a first step, we will usually contact the authority to seek their response. Most complaints are resolved at this early stage.

The Ombudsman might decide to formally investigate your complaint and if necessary, we can examine the authority's files and interview witnesses.

If your complaint is upheld, we can make recommendations to the authority about how any problems should be resolved. We cannot require the authority to act in a particular way but most comply with our recommendations. If they do not, and we believe it is in the public interest to do so, we can report their non-compliance to Parliament.