Local Authority

The local authority CHP was published on 28 March 2012 under section 16B of the SPSO Act 2002 (as amended by the Public Service Reform (Scotland) Act 2010).  Under section 16C of the SPSO Act 2002, the Ombudsman has notified all local authorities in Scotland to inform them that the relevant model CHP applies to them with effect from the date of publication.

The CHP was developed through a working group of local authority complaints experts and in consultation with key partners, including the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE), the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), the Improvement Service and Audit Scotland. 

The Local Authority Model CHP and relevant associated documents are available here:

Monitoring compliance and performance

Under the terms of the SPSO Act 2002 all local authorities now have a duty to comply with the model CHP.  Compliance with the model CHP will be monitored by Audit Scotland in conjunction with the SPSO and in line with the principles of the Shared Risk Assessment (SRA) arrangements. Monitoring of compliance will be risk based and proportionate.  In addition, the Ombudsman may issue a declaration of non-compliance where any specified authority does not comply.

Further details on monitoring of compliance and performance are included in the Implementation Guide.

Performance indicators developed in partnership with the Local Authority Complaints Handlers Network will help councils to understand their complaints handling performance in more detail and ensure that they are capturing consistent and directly comparable information to enhance their benchmarking of complaints performance with their peers. The indicators formalise the indicative indicators originally published in the Local Authority Model Complaints Handling Procedure Implementation Guide and are linked to the core recording, reporting and publicising requirements within the model CHP. 

From 2013/14 local authorities are required to assess complaints handling performance against these performance indicators using existing self-assessment frameworks, and to publish on an annual basis performance in handling complaints.

The indicators can be found here:

SPSO performance indicators for the Local Authority Model Complaints Handling Procedure

Please direct any queries regarding the local authority model CHP or monitoring arrangements to John Stevenson at CSA@spso.org.uk