What you can expect from us

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) aims to provide a high-quality service that meets the needs of our customers. When we engage with our customers, we expect our staff to be polite and helpful, to show respect, be professional, take pride in their work and always want to do better.

We welcome feedback when you think we are doing well and on how we could improve. We know that despite our best efforts, things do not always go smoothly. If you think we have made a mistake or have not met your expectations, you can let us know. We will treat your complaint in confidence, resolve it as promptly as possible, learn from it and take action to improve. Above all, we want to be responsive, fair and efficient in the way we handle your complaint and to do our best to put matters right quickly.

What this complaints procedure covers

This procedure covers complaints about the conduct or actions of ONS staff in the course of our business where it has affected you directly. It also covers complaints about deficiencies in the services provided by the ONS.

It does not cover complaints relating to official statistics (including their quality, timeliness or comprehensiveness) or the Code of Practice for Statistics, as these are dealt with by the UK Statistics Authority Casework team. Nor does it cover complaints relating to the actions or behaviour of the UK Statistics Authority and its staff. These should be addressed to the Authority Complaints Manager.

A summary of ONS complaints and outcomes will be published in the UK Statistics Authority Annual Report.

Making a complaint

Whenever possible, your complaint should be addressed to the relevant person or ONS business area you have been liaising with. We ask that it is made in writing as this will provide us with a written record. It can be made in either English or Welsh.

If you have specific needs that affect your ability to put your complaint in writing, we will do our best to help.

It is important that complaints are made as soon as possible after the event and contain as many details as possible, so it would be helpful if you could include the following information:

  • when – the date of the issue that you are complaining about

  • who – the name(s) of any individual(s) that you are complaining about

  • what – how you think we can put matters right

How we will deal with your complaint

We will acknowledge your complaint within five working days of receipt and respond fully within 20 working days. If this is not possible, we will contact you to explain when you can expect a full reply and what action we plan to take to resolve the issue.

Your data

We will use your data to respond to your complaint via email or in writing. We will not share your data with any third parties, nor transfer or store it outside of the UK. After 12 months we will delete your complaint and accompanying personal information from our servers or destroy this information if your complaint was made in writing.

The authority to process your personal data comes from our statutory functions to promote and safeguard the production of official statistics as set out in the Statistics and Registration Services Act 2007. You have the following rights available to you in relation to the personal data that we hold

  • to access the data we hold about you

  • to request that we rectify the data we hold about you

  • to request that we erase the data we hold about you

  • to request that we temporarily suspend processing the data we hold about you

The Office for National Statistics, Government Buildings, Cardiff Road, Newport NP10 8XG is the data controller for these data. To exercise any of the rights listed on this page, or if you have any queries regarding how we process your personal data, please contact our Data Protection Officer at:

Office for National Statistics
Segensworth Road
PO15 5RR

Telephone on +44 345 601 3034 or by email at DPO@statistics.gov.uk.

If you wish to make a complaint about how we have used your personal data, contact the Information Commissioner’s Office.

If you are not happy with how your complaint has been handled

If you do not have the contact details for the business area concerned, or you are unhappy with the way your complaint has been dealt with once you have received a reply, you can ask for it to be investigated by the ONS Complaints Manager. You can make that request either by email: complaints.manager@ons.gov.uk, or by post:

Complaints Manager
Office for National Statistics
Room 1100
Segensworth Road
PO15 5RR

In the event that you remain unhappy following the investigation by the Complaints Manager, you should raise your concern with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman at:

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
Telephone: +44 345 015 4033

Email: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk

Further information, including how to refer matters to the Ombudsman can be found on the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman website.