We recognise that many people are more reliant than ever on public services as a result of this crisis. It is important that we continue our signposting service which directs vulnerable or isolated individuals to services which can provide them with support at this difficult time. That is why we continue to provide our service, but we will remain flexible and responsive to the needs of public service providers, who face unprecedented pressures at this time.
In view of the current pressures on public services in Wales, we are discouraging submission of minor complaints to public bodies or to the Ombudsman. If there is a legitimate complaint but the matter is minor or trivial with limited personal impact, we will not take it forward. Likewise in relation to Code of Conduct complaints we will be strictly applying our “public interest test” to ensure that we investigate only serious matters.
We are currently responding to emails as usual. We encourage you to contact us by email whenever possible, or by submitting a complaint form through our website. Our telephone service has been suspended, but our voicemail system is operational, and we are returning calls in the working day, generally on the same day.
In line with the UK and Welsh Government advice, we have made alternative arrangements to enable our staff to work from home. We are working to maintain an excellent service and to remain accessible to everyone who needs us. However, we may not be able to meet our usual target dates, and those using our service may experience slower than usual response times. Incoming and outgoing post are currently disrupted but we are working to restore a limited service.
In a fast-moving situation, we will, of course, keep our website updated with any important developments from my office.