On this page we provide advice about making a complaint on the Public Appointments process. You can make a complaint about any aspect of a Ministerial Public Appointment. This covers new appointments, extensions to existing appointments and reappointments.
The Scottish Ministers are committed to making fair, open and merit-based appointment decisions to non-executive positions on the boards of Scotland’s public bodies. This is secured by actions and decisions taken by:
- The Scottish Ministers;
- Civil servants who implement the public appointments process on the Scottish Ministers behalf; and
- Members of the public bodies’ selection panels who select and recommend to the Scottish Ministers who should be appointed to the boards of Scotland’s regulated public bodies.
2. Complaints Procedure
We aim to resolve complaints about the public appointment process quickly, and whenever possible in a simple and straightforward way. If something has gone wrong, we will try to resolve the problem quickly and implement any improvements that are needed to prevent similar mistakes in the future.
Guidance on our complaints procedure is detailed below:
Stage 1 – Frontline
In the first instance, complaints should be sent to the Appointment Manager at Scottish Government, Human Resources Public Appointments Centre of Expertise (HR-PACE), Area 3F North, Victoria Quay, EH6 6QQ; free-phone 0300 244 1898, or email Public_Appointments_Complaints@gov.scot, who will aim to resolve your complaint informally within five working days.
Stage 2 – Investigation
If a frontline resolution to your issue is not achieved, you may take your complaint to Stage 2 of the process by emailing Public_Appointments_Complaints@gov.scot. An Investigating Officer will be appointed to prepare a comprehensive report and, if things have gone wrong, improvements will be recommended.
Stage 2 deals with two types of complaints: those that have not been resolved at Stage 1 and those that are complex and require detailed investigation.
When using Stage 2 we will:
- acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days
- where appropriate, discuss your complaint with you to understand why you remain dissatisfied and what outcome you are looking for
- give you a full response to the complaint as soon as possible and within 20 working days.
- tell you if our investigation will take longer than 20 working days. We will agree revised time limits with you and keep you updated on progress.
Stage 3 – Refer to the Independent Regulator
After a full investigation, if you are still not satisfied with our decision or the way we dealt with your complaint, you then have the option of asking the public bodies independent regulator to investigate your complaint.
If the public body is regulated you can ask the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland to investigate the matter for you. The Commissioner is independent of the Scottish Government.
To find out more about the work of the Commissioner please visit www.publicappointments.org or you can contact the Commissioner at:
Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland
Thistle House, 91 Haymarket Terrace
telephone 0300 011 0550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the public body is not regulated you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman to consider your complaint. The Ombudsman is independent of the Scottish Government. To find out more about the Ombudsman’s work or use the online complaint form, please visit www.spso.org.uk or you can telephone 0800 377 7330.
The regulators cannot normally look at:
- a complaint that has not completed our complaints procedure.
- events that happened, or that you became aware of, more than a year ago.
- a matter that has been or is being considered in court.
For more information on Public Appointments complaints handling, please contact the Public Appointments Centre of Expertise on 0300 244 1898 or by email at Public_Appointments_Complaints@gov.scot.
Details of regulated and non-regulated bodies can be found in the about Public Bodies section of the website under Directory of Public Bodies.