Privacy settings

LGO logogram

Review your privacy settings

Required cookies

These cookies enable the website to function properly. You can only disable these by changing your browser preferences, but this will affect how the website performs.

View required cookies

Analytical cookies

Google Analytics cookies help us improve the performance of the website by understanding how visitors use the site.
We recommend you set these 'ON'.

View analytical cookies

In using Google Analytics, we do not collect or store personal information that could identify you (for example your name or address). We do not allow Google to use or share our analytics data. Google has developed a tool to help you opt out of Google Analytics cookies.

Investigation Manual

5. Inputs from Assessment 

Cases passed through to Investigation will have a brief entry on ECHO in Notes & Analysis, which explains: 

  • why they have decided the case needs to be investigated
  • any urgency 
  • any discretionary decisions which they have made (including if prematurity has not been checked), and
  • whether an initial phone call has been made and, if so, any issues arising (including reasonable adjustments).

If there are delays in allocating cases in Investigation which mean the 20-day allocation standard will be missed, we must send KIT letters to complainants. KIT letters should be sent to complainants every six weeks after the initial keeping in touch task set by Assessment. 

We must notify the complainant and BinJ when complaints are allocated in Investigation using the standard letter in ECHO.

Once Assessment decides a complaint should be investigated, the expectation is that this should happen. A decision not to investigate should only be made in Investigation if the complaint has been passed through in error from Assessment, and must be agreed by an Assistant Ombudsman. In all other cases Investigation should decide the complaint, whether by completing or ending the investigation. There is further information about this in the section on withdrawn complaints, ending investigations and decisions and decision reasons. 

Investigators in the Investigation Unit are not bound by decisions made in Assessment about what they should investigate – they can make their own decisions but should set out their rationale for reaching a different decision in Notes & Analysis. Jurisdiction has to be kept under review at all stages of our consideration of a complaint. Once a case has passed from Assessment to Investigation, jurisdictional decisions should only be changed upon receipt of new and relevant information. The rationale for changing a jurisdictional decision should be set out in Notes & Analysis. 

Where a complaint is from a number of complainants who may require different remedies for any injustice caused, or who claim different injustices, we will need to consider splitting the complaint and providing different complaint numbers. This issue should be considered on a case by case basis and any decision to split up the complaint should be referred to an Assistant Ombudsman. 

Although we have three stages in our process (Intake -> Assessment -> Investigation) they all form part of our overall consideration of the complaint and each stage feeds into the next.  Evidence gathered at any stage of the process forms part of the ongoing consideration of the complaint. We must disclose anything material to the decision to both parties, subject to GDPR and other data protection/information laws. We must also notify the BinJ if we change the scope of the complaint during our consideration of it, including if we split up the complaint. Changing the scope of a complaint during an investigation should be a rarity. 

The complaint category and subcategory should have been completed, but Investigators should check that these are correct as further information becomes available. Additional sub-categories should be added if necessary.

Cases closed in Assessment and then reopened on review will be received in Investigation as a normal complaint, rather than as a post decision review.