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Investigation Manual

19 The Statement of Complaint and what is investigated

The statement of complaint is the allegation(s) made to us initially and should refer to the injustice claimed. The statement can be the complainant’s wording, but we may need to rephrase it for clarity and/or brevity. It may contain information about matters we cannot or will not investigate. Where appropriate, concisely provide some context so the reader is in no doubt about what the complaint is about. There is guidance in the Statement of Reasons Manual.

In some cases, the whole complaint will not be investigated. Investigators need to agree a clear scope for the complaint early on – usually exploring this at initial contact – and then stick to it.  Where the investigation is being time limited, we should set this out (and explain why).  Where there are on-going issues we should specify an end date beyond which we will not investigate.  This should be no later than the date when the complaint was submitted to us, and may well be earlier.

Normally the statement of complaint and what we are investigating will be provided to the BinJ when making initial enquiries (see below), with a copy to the complainant.  It should be provided to the complainant at the earliest opportunity to ensure there has been no misunderstanding. The earliest opportunity in a case where enquiries are not made is likely to be when a draft decision is sent to both parties. In such a case, if the complainant responds challenging the statement of complaint, we should consider their comments as we would any others received in response to a draft decision.

If challenged we should amend the statement and/or what we are investigating, as appropriate, and inform the BinJ.