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Complaints about UK government departments and agencies in 2017-18 

The Adjudicator’s Office: Supporting HMRC to improve complaint handling and customer service by learning from complaints

The Adjudicators Office (AO) handles unresolved complaints about HMRC and the Valuation Office Agency before they come to our service. 
 
For the past two years, AO has been modernising its own service, implementing changes to improve performance and customer service.  This transformation has helped clarify their role and remit, including focusing on the use of insight from complaints to share learning with HMRC. 

The AO has introduced what it describes as “a customer focused service. A more flexible approach to complaint handling has resulted in significantly reducing its work in hand and reduced the average resolution time for cases from 11 months to 7. A key element of its new ways of working has been the introduction of quality standards to ensure consistency in complaint investigations. 
 
The AO has also introduced a new approach to categorising complaints and has produced thematic reports. These reports provide HMRC with focused evidence of the impact of complaints on customers. They also provide learning points to improve both complaint handling and broader service provision.

The AO has produced three reports to date, with learning from the complaints it has investigated. This includes:

  • tax credits complaints
  • cases where delay was a key contributory factor in the complaint
  • cases where escalation of complaints was delayed due to departmental activities.