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HMRC internal manual

Complaints and Remedy Guidance

Introduction: The role of CPST and CCAST

Throughout this guidance you will find reference to two HQ teams: the Complaints Policy and Strategy Team (CPST) and the Central Complaints Advice and Support Team (CCAST). CPST is housed in Central Customer & Strategy Directorate, while CCAST is housed in Customer Directorate. The two teams work closely together and their roles are complementary.

CPST is responsible for:

  • HMRC policy and guidance on complaints (including financial redress) and how they are handled
  • monitoring changes in customer needs and government/departmental policy, making sure our complaints policy and guidance keep pace
  • measuring and reporting on complaints handling performance across HMRC, highlighting where managers can make business improvements
  • providing statistics and commentary for HMRC’s annual report and for monthly reports to HMRC’s Performance Committee
  • the Enterprise Complaints and Correspondence System (ECCS) and, through it, collecting, analysing and reporting on information about complaints and customers to help HMRC learn lessons and improve its services
  • maintaining relationships with the Adjudicator (including the Service Level Agreement), the Parliamentary Ombudsman, other government departments and third sector organisations
  • acting as a resource for policy makers and process developers to help ensure they identify and address issues that may give rise to complaints
  • providing briefing for Ministers and those involved in parliamentary business.

CCAST is responsible for:

  • giving advice on specific cases, including issues concerning financial redress, to business areas across the department, aiming to respond within 5 working days.
  • helping with complex or contentious cases to ensure decisions are robust and reflect policy intention
  • providing the link between operational complaints handling teams and CPST by feeding operational issues and experiences into the policy making process
  • supporting robust complaints handling within business areas
  • supporting the Adjudicator’s and Ombudsman’s handling of case enquiries, giving advice and helping to achieve an agreed outcome
  • supporting the Processing business in developing a system for learning lessons from complaints
  • devising and delivering workshops on improving complaints handling, including financial redress issues and letter writing
  • providing assurance to CPST that policy is fit for purpose and is being implemented reasonably and consistently across HMRC.