Complaints about Audit Scotland, Accounts Commission and the Auditor General for Scotland

Make a complaint

We have one complaints procedure covering Audit Scotland, the Accounts Commission and the Auditor General for Scotland. You can complain about us, how we've dealt with you, or our failure to provide you with a service. Please tell us by using our complaints form (DOCX 222Kb).

Occasionally we receive complaints about issues not covered by our complaints procedure but which may be covered by our procedure for raising concerns about the bodies we audit, or a mixture of both. Where you raise a complaint, and it also contains concerns about the bodies we audit, we will inform you which elements fall under each of the procedures; we will where possible provide you with only one comprehensive response.

Frequently asked questions

Complaint process

If something goes wrong or you are dissatisfied with our work, please tell us. We have one complaints procedure covering Audit Scotland, the Accounts Commission and the Auditor General for Scotland.

Audit Scotland will deal with complaints on behalf of the Accounts Commission and the Auditor General for Scotland.

What is a complaint?

We regard a complaint as any expression of dissatisfaction about our action or lack of action, or about the service provided by us or on our behalf.

What can you complain about?

You can complain about things like:

  • failure or refusal to provide a service
  • inadequate quality or standard of service, or an unreasonable delay in providing a service
  • dissatisfaction with one of our policies or its impact on the individual
  • failure to properly apply law, procedure or guidance when delivering services
  • failure to follow the appropriate administrative process
  • conduct, treatment by, or attitude of, a member of staff, or others working on our behalf, eg a contractor, agency, consultant.

What can't you complain about?

There are some things we can't deal with through our complaints handling procedure. These include:

  • A routine first-time request for a service.
  • A request for compensation only.
  • Issues that are in court or have already been heard by a court or a tribunal (if you decide to take legal action, you should let us know as the complaint cannot then be considered under this process).
  • Disagreement with a decision where there is a statutory procedure for challenging that decision (such as for freedom of information and subject access requests), or an established appeals process followed throughout the sector.
  • A request for information under the Data Protection or Freedom of Information (Scotland) Acts.
  • A grievance by a staff member or a grievance relating to employment or staff recruitment.
  • Whistle-blowing it will be acted on under our Whistleblowing Policy.
  • A concern about a child or an adult's safety.
  • An attempt to reopen a previously concluded complaint or to have a complaint reconsidered where we have already given our final decision.
  • Abuse or unsubstantiated allegations about our organisation or staff where such actions would be covered by our Unacceptable Actions Policy.
  • A concern about the actions or service of a different organisation, where we have no involvement in the issue (except where the other organisation is delivering services on our behalf). This will be acted on under our correspondence procedures.

How do you complain?

You can complain by phone, in writing, email, via our complaints form (DOCX 222Kb), or in person at any of our main offices.

It is usually easier for us to resolve complaints if you make them quickly. If you are not sure who to complain to, use the contact details provided below and we will direct your complaint to the appropriate person and department.

When complaining, tell us:

  • your name and contact details
  • as much as you can about the complaint
  • what has gone wrong
  • how you think we may resolve the matter.

Contact Audit Scotland on 0131 625 1500 or email us at: complaints@audit-scotland.gov.uk

Complaint timescale

It is better if you make your complaint as soon as possible, and normally be within six months of:

  • the event that you want to complain about
  • finding out that you have a reason to complain.

In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to accept a complaint after this time limit. If you feel that the time limit should not apply to your complaint, please tell us why.

What if you're still dissatisfied?

After we have fully investigated, if you are still dissatisfied with our decision or the way we dealt with your complaint, you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to look at it.

The SPSO are an independent organisation that investigates complaints. They are not an advocacy or support service (but there are other organisations who can help you with advocacy or support).

You can ask the SPSO to look at your complaint if:

  • you have gone all the way through the Audit Scotland's complaints handling procedure
  • it is less than 12 months after you became aware of the matter you want to complain about
  • the matter has not been (and is not being) considered in court.

The SPSO will ask you to complete a complaint form and provide a copy of our final response to your complaint. You can do this online at www.spso.org.uk/complain/form or call them on Freephone 0800 377 7330.