Redress Determined by the Army Board - What next?

Discussion in 'Army Pay, Claims & JPA' started by TangoZeroAlpha, Dec 15, 2010.

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  1. I'm helping a soldier who I believe anyway, has been wronged by his CO. His Redress was submitted in 2006 and the Army Board have just given its determination which was not the result hoped for. Is there any further recourse for this - now Ex - soldier or is that the end of the road for him?

    TZA
     
  2. I would suggest that he speaks with a lawyer, in particularly one who has experience of the redress system. Easy enough to find, any Garrison town will have a few. If he submitted that redress in 2006 and they have only 'resolved' it now, since he has left the service, then it would appear that they have dragged this out, denying him natural justice,and I would suspect that they did so deliberately. I submitted one and it took three years to resolve, which was three years to long in my solicitors opinion, but I was fucked if I was going to give it up. I won mine in the end. They dragged it out at every level and they were very blase about it as well. There's still a lot of underhandedness in the redress system, despite claims to the contrary. Simply put, a 'grievance procedure' in any other organisation would never have been allowed to take 4 years. Industrial tribunals are resolved in a fraction of this time. It's scandalous that the 'system' still thinks that it can treat soldiers this way. Don't expect any help from within, you're simply not getting it, from any level. Tell him not to simply 'go away'. Keep at it. can you say here, whether he was offered the opportunity of resolution at the different levels, before the matter reached the Board? There's a set procedure which they have to follow to resolve the matter at lower levels. My chain of command either didn't know this or ignored this and panicked when they found out that I intended to use this as evidence against them. Once they got wind of this, I received every interview that I should have done originally, inside a week. Does he have his bound copy of the complete file? Make sure that he does. And make sure that there's nothing missing from it. they tried that with me, but they were too ******* stupid to realise that they had accidentally sent me the originals, 18 months previously. If it wasn't such a serious issue, it would be laughable. Be careful yourself here, as you are still serving.
     
  3. Don't forget that we now have the Service Complaints Commissioner - whose post probably didn't exicst when he originally submitted his redress. She has only recently been very critical of the time taken, especially by the Army, to address complaints. Here's a link to her website Service Complaints Commissioner for the Armed Forces : Home Page and it does say on the "How to Complain" page that they deal with complaints from former servicemen. Before he starts the process though, he needs to make sure that the result is more than just "not the result hoped for", there needs to be some evidence that the decision was in some way wrong or unjust.
     
  4. Beyond ECAB there is of course HM The Queen... our employer. In the 90's an RMP officer took his redress to Buck House (not in person i believe) and won. His brother officers never forgave him and he spent his last five years of service in E2 jobs away from the corps.
     
  5. Thanks for the responses guys - Biscuits-AB - I emailed the SCC last night after posting - I await a response. I agree however that no offer to resolve was forthcoming at any time during this long process in fact when he was in front of the GOC it was me who pointed out the compromise action which was open to him but he chose to ignore this (pay the soldier the money) instead his mind was already made up not to grant the redress.

    As for me - yep still serving but going no further in my career - now I'm enjoying 'poking them in the chest' - now and again for valid causes - this is one of them!

    We'll see what - if anything the SCC will do.

    TZA
     
  6. Sounds like they had made up their minds. And that is typical. If you fancy a chat about it, PM me a number and I'll call you at a time convenient for yourself. I will be interesting to see how the SCC acts on this matter. I was unaware of them until Scaly Officer posted it. As an aside, have you considered speaking to BAFF? I would suggest that you make contact with 'Hackle' who posts on ARRSE. He may very well be in a position to help you out. I assume that you have kept a record of all of your dealings? You can bet your bottom dollar that they haven't.
     
  7. The Army Board are running at a 3 year backlog according to advice received when I submitted an SC for one on our people, so the timescale is not unreasonable-the AB doesn't sit 24/7. Despite what the Daily Hate might say we do not have that many Generals. I doubt there is that much skullduggery any more, given the external scrutiny and the existance of the SCC. Perhaps your friend wasn't wronged after all and as he has now left unless he was seriously done over (ie discharged unfairly) perhaps he needs to get over it.
     

  8. The AB doesn't sit 24/7? Bit pompous there mate, which is surprisingly unusual for you. Did you investigate that advice or just take it as read? As for what is and isn't a reasonable time span, I doubt you'll find any qualified person who would agree that 4 years is acceptable. A 3 year backlog isn't acceptable either, and it is a very good indicator that the system is, and has been for some time, fundamentally flawed. This bloke submitted his redress 12 months before this claimed 'backlog' period, so why wasn't it resolved earlier? I've no idea what the lad's issue is, but in the absence of evidence to the contrary, lets just accept that he may just have a genuine grievance eh? Or you could continue on with your 'he needs to get over it' attitude. That's exactly the attitude which soldiers expect to encounter and which persuades them that it is not worth pursuing legitimate redress, as the system doesn't support them. You don't speak from any personal experience yet so far, you've accepted 'advice' unquestioned, and you can only 'doubt' the existence of continued 'skullduggery'. Hardly the bedrock from which to launch a credible argument is it?
     
  9. In order for a complaint to have got to the Army Board (not ECAB, that is something different) it will have gone through a whole chain of redress procedures as laid down in JSP 831. Policy is always for redress to be sought at the lowest level. To get to the AB involved it normally will have gone through CO, Bde, Div (and if career related the APC) - the AB don't hear any old complaint. If the AB haven't found in favour i doubt anybody will. The system is scrupulously fair, trust me, the complainant is always given the benefit of doubt.

    From my experience, individuals are often far too vague or unrealistic on what resolution they seek (from form Ax F) - ie "I want CO removing from post" or "I want RSM disciplining" are ones that I have seen - wholly unlikely - this leads to misunderstanding and further tension.

    Ref the SCC - if a complaint has been processed through 831 redress procedures, you can't run a 'parallel' complaint to the SCC for the same issue. On the outcome of the AB's findings you could try a SC if there has been a procedural error - but the SC would be regarding the process not the complaint itself; my advice, don't waste your time or other people's - sometimes life is just a bitch.

    Feel free to PM with more details.

    PS

    If the complainant is a Commissioned Officer he has the option for HM to personally review the case, but personally I wouldn't bother.
     
  10. Biscuits, my dear chap-the intent was not to be pompous, the 3 year backlog was quoted to my by someone fairly high up in the Complaints chain of command and I have no reason to doubt him. Acceptable? Probably not and some complaints will, I am sure take longer than others. The SC chain moves very slowly, that cannot be denied-I have dealt with two very difficult ones recently, one very valid and one less so, but the individual is within his rights. The current delay is that at each stage, CO, Bde, Div etc detailed legal advice needs to be taken. that's what slows things down in the early stage. The reason a SC reaches the Army Board is that the individual has refused the decision/redress offered earlier, or the complaint is too serious for it to be dealt with lower down. Not sure what can be done to improve the situation-it is better than the system that existed when I (and probably you) joined, but they don't pay me enough to design a better one.

    Danny_Dravot is saying much the same thing
     
  11. Danny, the written policy is not what has been challenged here, but if the policy was adhered to then there wouldn't be additional complaints attached to the original grievance, and indeed, many issues would be resolved at a very early stage. Sadly, like so many other things in the Army, not every unit plays by the rules (which are well intended), and resolution at the lowest level very often does not occur. I base this on my own experience and that of other soldiers/ex soldiers I have spoken with who have similar experiences. All in all, the system is not trusted by soldiers and if soldiers have no faith in a system then what good is it? Detaching ourselves from this lad's issue (of which we know nothing more than that posted by the thread originator), how can a soldier have faith in a system which takes 3 - 4 years to resolve a complaint? What the system also cannot do, is protect soldiers who continue to serve, after they have won their redress. Your observations as to the ambiguity of some redresses is on the ball, but that matter would be resolved very quickly if soldiers had independent advice, even if that advice was that they had no complaint. Not many Officers will provide the soldier with advice on how to pen a redress. The Officer who ends up being designated to the complainant will also more likely than not, be reporting back on every issue discussed, outside of that contained within the redress. Too may are in fear of potential retribution and that's the cloud which hangs over these matters, and one which reinforces what I have previously said. I can rattle off my own experience, some of which would make your toes curl, but a number of Officers from my former unit actually believed that they were untouchable and that they could conduct themselves as they liked, safe in the knowledge that they would be protected by the Commanding Officer. When you've been through threats not to redress, continuous vindictive retribution and being ostracised within your unit, even after you have won your redress, it's very difficult to have faith in the system which is in place to protect what little rights you had in the first place. Now I'm not the only one to have undergone such malicious treatment, I've met a few more, but the fact that such conduct cannot be guarded against, makes it more difficult to convince the soldier that the system can be trusted and that's the rub. It cannot be trusted.

    Dev, apologies for the earlier outburst mate, I was just a bit taken aback by your earlier comments, which I now accept were not intended in the manner as interpreted by me. As I've said above, the policy, like so many which exist within the Army, is well intended, but unfortunately, the conduct of those at the lower levels of the chain of command and who are out of sight of the eventual decision makers, is what needs to be addressed, if soldiers are to gave faith in the system, even if the decision isn't what they had hoped for.

    For my own part, I can also state that when my redress entered the system, it was held up at every level and for no particular reason. Well, not one that they were willing to discuss with me. When I was given my completed copy before the AB decision, I tried to track back the movements of my complaint, but was blocked at every turn. There is no transparency in the system. There needs to be. My redress took longer to resolve than some murder investigations I've been involved in and was actually more difficult to get people to talk about.
     
  12. Here's my 2p...

    1. Redressing the redress causes a few guffaws but there's no reason why a (ex) soldier cannot do it if the original is taking too long.

    2. Applying to HM isn't open to the Rank & File, however RTU'ing campaign medals or other coverted awards to your (Royal) Colonel in Chief has the same effect, as does sending your discharge papers to the Def Sec.

    3. A letter to your constituancy MP will generate a ministerial enquiry that they (MOD) will have to answer in a given timeframe.

    4. Ex Soldiers in limbo often forget that they are no longer bound by rank & can therefore go straight to the top rather than allowing themselves to be fobbed off by the office junior.

    Queensbury rules don't apply when (ex) soldiers are in the sh*t, you need to give 'em a grenade with the pin out.
     

  13. My bold - a letter to an MP won't generate a Ministerial Inquiry, it may generate a PQ which does indeed require answering within a time-frame.

    AB - sorry to hear of your experience of redress, pretty weak officership there - which TBH doesn't surprise me. Its amazing how often when the going gets tough, the tough look inwards to their own career progression - moral courage and all that.
     
  14. Not the first and it will not be the last. I was involved in a very serious redress of complaint which lasted five years, Why? Because the complaint was deliberately stalled and miss managed by the Chain of Command at the first level, as it involved both an OC and CO. The evidence was there and plain to see that both were the cause of the soldier and his families miss-treatment.
    Every effort was made to try to force the soldier to drop the complaint ranging from threats of jail, provocation during interviews to bribery, offering promotion if the soldier dropped it. The soldier stood his ground. Then his ACR's went from top of the pile to the worst soldier in world. It was quite sickening to see how underhand they could be to an individual who was in the right.
    By the time it reach the Div level the case had to be more or less re-started as it was a mess.
    The OC resigned his commission once it became apparent his lies were about to catch up him, He went very quickly! The CO wriggled like a worm on hook and tried to twist his way out despite being caught red handed forging a document and then attempting to pass it on to the Army Board as evidence of no wrong doing on his part. He still managed to wriggle but his career did not go in the path he wanted it to and he is looked on as a complete cnut by those who know.
    One other was quietly advised to resign his commission, as again he lied and tried to paint the soldier as the wrongen in evidence.

    HMF have crown immunity from a parliamentary ombudsman investigation but PMQ are very good at getting the blood pressure up ;).
    This link may help
    House of Commons - Armed Forces - First Report
     
  15. I submitted a redress (factual inaccuracies on an annual confidential report which screwed me for promotion) and it went up the chain as far as the Air Force Board. They rejected my grievance so I wrote to my MP. His intervention generated a review and although the wording on my ACR wasn't changed, an additional note was attached to my ACR and the reporting officer was censured for his failings in ensuring accuracy in an official report. As an aside, it was also noted that the AOC CinC had rejected my grievance before I had sent it to him. He was one of the Air Marshalls' who found the Mull Chinook crew guilty of gross negligence despite the BoI's report.