Complaints procedure

If you are unhappy with the service you get from the Northern Ireland Office, there are different ways you can complain.

Our definition of a complaint is: any written or spoken expression of dissatisfaction with the service provided by a member of staff or the department.

This covers complaints made against staff (by telephone, or in writing by letter or e-mail) in the NIO about delays in replying to letters, not answering telephones, alleged rudeness, etc. Complaints may be made by other government departments, agencies, and non-departmental public bodies, as well as by members of the public.

It is our policy to respond to all enquiries promptly and courteously. Although we work hard to provide a good service, sometimes things go wrong. We aim to provide a procedure for handling complaints confidentially, fairly and speedily.

A complaint about the department’s refusal to provide information will be dealt with under the provision of the Freedom of Information Act which came into force on 1 January 2005.

NIO complaints procedure

The 3 stages of our complaints system are:

  • an on the spot response (informal)
  • a referral, investigation and response
  • an internal review

Further advice on how we deal with complaints

You can get further information on our complaints handling procedures from:

Northern Ireland Office
1 Horse Guards Road