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SCOTS PUBLIC SERVICES COMPLAINTS SYSTEM 'WORKING WELL'

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There has been a significant improvement in the way public service organisations handle complaints, Raymond Roberts...
There has been a significant improvement in the way public service organisations handle complaints, Raymond Robertson ninister responsible for the citizen's charter at The Scottish Office said today.

The minister was commenting on the outcome of the review of complaints procedures which was conducted by The Scottish Office citizen's charter coordinator.

The review confirmed that almost all of the public service organisations covered by the review now have in place published complaints procedures which meet the essentials of good practice identified by the complaints task force. Where best practice was not being followed action has been agreed to put things right at the earliest possible date.

Mr Robertson said:

'The citizens' charter is intended to empower users of public services. When things go wrong and the standard of service to which individuals are entitled is not received, there needs to be a speedy and effective way of putting matters right. That is why there must be easy access to user-friendly complaints procedures.

'I am therefore very pleased that the complaint procedures review has confirmed that there has been a significant improvement in the way our public service organisations handle complaints.

'I hope that all users of public services will now feel encouraged to overcome traditional reluctance to make use of complaints procedures. As well as ensuring that all complaints receive prompt, effective explanations and appropriate redress, the complaints procedures allow general action be taken to improve the service provided to all users. Public services want to provide the best services they can. Help them to do so by complaining when the service provided has not been up to the published standard.'

The review covered:

Scottish Agricultural Science Agency; Scottish Court Service;Historic Scotland; Student Awards Agency for Scotland; Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency; Scottish Office Pensions Agency; Scottish Prison Service

Registers of Scotland; Scottish Record Office; General Register Office (Scotland); Crofters Commission; Red Deer Commission; Royal Botanic Garden; Caledonian MacBrayne; Scottish Enterprise; Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Scottish Tourist Board; Scottish Natural Heritage; Scottish Film Council; Scottish Arts Council; Scottish Sports Council; National Museums of Scotland; National Library for Scotland; National Galleries of Scotland; Scottish Examination Board; Scottish Community Education Council; SCOTVEC; Scottish Council for Educational Technology; Local Authority Ombudsman; Scottish Homes; Rent Assessment Panel; Mental Welfare Commission; Scottish Legal Aid Board; Scottish Prison Complaints Commission.

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