Issue - meetings

Adroddiad Blynyddol o sylwadau Canmoliaeth, Cwynion a cheisiadau Rhyddid Gwybodaeth (2022-2023)

Meeting: 27/09/2023 - Governance and Audit Committee (Item 12)

12 Annual compliments, Complaints and Freedom of Information Report pdf icon PDF 2 MB



This report provides information relating to the Council’s Compliments, Complaints and FOI activity between 1st April 2022 and 31st March 2023.  The report itself included specific information on the number and type of compliments received, the different complaints stages, performance and outcomes relating to these and information on compliance with FOI and EIR legislation. 


A report detailing the compliments and complaints activity in relation to Social Services was also presented, and information about the Lessons Learned as a consequence of (corporate) complaints was also provided.  The main report consists of a section about the contact received from the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (“the Ombudsman”) during the reporting period.  The Ombudsman’s Annual Letter to the Council was also presented and provided further details about all Ombudsman activity for Ceredigion, as well as for other Council’s across Wales.


This was the fourth consecutive report where there had been no Ombudsman investigations commenced or formal reports issued in relation to complaints made against the Council.  Whilst there were fewer Ombudsman referrals during this reporting year, the Council had a consistently high rate of Early Resolution/Voluntary Settlements. 

It was therefore acknowledged that challenges remain in relation to the complexity of complaints received, a general increase in activity surrounding complaints, FOI, Ombudsman referrals and referrals to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), as well as the challenges associated with the delivery of the Complaints and FOI Team itself.  These challenges had inevitably had an impact on the Council’s ability to meet its performance objectives in relation to prescribed timescales.


In brief it was reported, that:

465 Compliments were received

403 Enquiries were processed by the Complaints & FOI Service

144 Complaints were received: Stage 1 = 96 Stage 2 = 48

  35 ‘Contacts’ received via the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales

882 FOI & EIR requests processed by the Complaints & FOI Service


In summary, it was reported that:-

•There were significantly more Compliments received during this reporting period.  Improving the way that compliments were captured remains a piece of work that the Complaints and FOI Team needs to undertake, but that was being delayed due to capacity constraints.


•The service received a greater number of enquiries – many of which were either allocated back to the service areas to resolve pro-actively, or formal responses were required in order to explain why such matters could not be dealt with under the complaints procedures.  


•It was worth noting that the number of complaints received by the Council was the third lowest in Wales.


•A great deal of work was needed to prevent Stage 1 complaints from escalating to Stage 2 unnecessarily on account that it had not been possible to respond within the prescribed timescale of ten-working-days. 

•Compliance with timescales under Stage 2 also requires attention, as do the shortcomings in complaints handling that were referred to the Ombudsman.  The Complaints and FOI Team continues to face challenges in meeting the demands of rises in the numbers of compliments, complaints, and FOI activity. 


•there were fewer Ombudsman  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12