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Investigation Manual

22 Responses to enquiries

We must be satisfied the BinJ has provided an appropriate and evidenced response to our enquiries. We should assure ourselves that, where we have sought comments from an individual or third party via the BinJ, the BinJ has made reasonable attempts to contact them and secure their comments. Where the requested information is not supplied, we should consider whether it is appropriate to use the Ombudsman’s powers to obtain it.

When we have received information from the BinJ we should not simply send a ‘neutral letter’ inviting the complainant to comment on what has been said. We must carefully consider the material before passing it on, including identifying any material we should exceptionally not disclose. Having done this, if queries about the response need to be raised with the complainant before a draft decision can be made, they should be sent a ‘guided neutral letter’ inviting their response to specific queries. 

The presumption is in most cases the material will be sent to the complainant with the draft decision rather than earlier in the investigation.