Charity Commission got ninety-one complaints and made 10 apologies in 2009/10

Watchdog's annual customer service review says complaints about operational casework are increasing

Ninety-one formal complaints about the Charity Commission’s services were made in 2009/10, and 28 per cent of "complaint issues" were upheld either fully or partially, according to its Customer Service Annual Review.

The report, published yesterday, says that the 91 complaints were "dealt with by business teams through Local Resolution", and 32 were "escalated to Customer Service", compared to 31 in the previous year. The commission issued apologies in 10 cases and offered consolatory payments in two.

"The number of complaints about standards of service, at 10, continues to decline while complaints about our operational casework, at 22, are increasing," the report says.

It says nearly a third of the complaints expressed concern that the commission had made mistakes or given unclear or incorrect advice, and a further 27 per cent arose from decisions by the commission not to investigate certain complaints because it did not have a regulatory interest in the issues.

The figure of 28 per cent of "complaint issues" being fully or partially upheld is an 11 per cent reduction on the previous year, the report says.

Rosie Chapman, director of policy and effectiveness at the commission, said she was pleased that a relatively small number of complaints had been upheld, but added that the commission would not get complacent.

"We know that it is going to be very challenging to maintain these high standards in a reduced funding climate," she said. "It is hard where resources become limited or workloads increase."

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