Improve the Service Complaints system for service personnel in the future

DangerMouse

Old-Salt
Moderator
#1
New Inquiry: The Work of the Service Complaints Commissioner
17 July 2012

The Defence Committee is today announcing a short inquiry into the work of the Service Complaints Commissioner for the Armed Forces. The Committee will take evidence from Dr Susan Atkins, the Service Complaints Commissioner, in the Autumn. The session will be largely based on the Commissioner’s Annual Report for 2011, which was published in March 2012.

The Committee would welcome written submissions on the effectiveness of the Service Complaints Commissioner, including the resources and powers available to her, the complaints system (including possible improvements), and the Commissioner’s relationship with the Ministry of Defence and each of the individual Services.

Please note that the Committee is unable to discuss, deal with or investigate individual cases.

Written submissions to the inquiry should be sent to the Clerk of the Defence Committee by Friday 7 September 2012.
If you have any experience of the Service Complaints system which might be of use to those responsible for designing and implementing the system, to improve it in the future for other service personnel, you may wish to consider following the link: New Inquiry: The Work of the Service Complaints Commissioner - News from Parliament. We shouldn't complain about the occasional problems with bullying and victimisation in the Army if we're not prepared to put a bit of time and effort in to trying to rectify those problems, or at least feed information to those who have the power to rectify them...

As examples of where the system has failed in the past, and of why we have the Service Complaints process - the obvious example of Deepcut: THE DEEPCUT REVIEW: A review of the circumstances surrounding the deaths of four soldiers at Princess Royal Barracks, Deepcut between 1995 and 2002.

...And lesser-known, more easily-hidden examples, such as LBdr Kerry Fletcher (and how many more examples are out there?):

'An Employment Tribunal in 2009 found that LBdr Kerry Fletcher had been subject to a sustained victimisation campaign after rejecting a sergeant's advances. This included explicit text messages, unjustified disciplinary action, verbal abuse, criminal damage to her car, and sinister phone calls. The tribunal held that the MoD had paid 'no more than lip service to the concepts of equal opportunities and the prevention of discrimination', and that the MoD's treatment of Miss Fletcher was 'so outrageous' that it amounted to 'conscious wrongdoing'. It ruled: 'This is as severe a case of victimisation following an allegation of sexual harassment as one could see in an employment tribunal. The conduct in relation to Miss Fletcher as a soldier seeking redress was from start to finish oppressive, arbitrary and unconstitutional.' The Employment Appeals Tribunal noted the '…utilisation of administrative sanctions against the Claimant, varying the nature of the punishment…under the AGAI system…the Claimant was reduced to a mental state where she could no longer continue…she was mocked and humiliated… Battery Sergeant Major Tabone told staff to make Ms Fletcher's life ‘a ****ing misery’.’

Source: Ministry of Defence v. Fletcher [2009] UKEAT 0044_09_0910 (9 October 2009)


If you have any experience of the Service Complaints system which might be of use to those responsible for designing and implementing the system, to improve it in the future for other service personnel, you may wish to consider following the link: New Inquiry: The Work of the Service Complaints Commissioner - News from Parliament

Posting on ARRSE is cathartic, but this is a chance to make a real difference for service personnel who are following us in the future, long after we're drawing our pensions :)
 
C

cloudbuster

Guest
#2
I wonder if following the lead of the aviation, maritime-trade and railway industries in operating a confidential occurrence-reporting programme (CHIRP, CHIRP-Maritime and CIRAS respectively) would be a step in the right direction?
 
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