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Defence in the media

Defence in the media: Committee's report on service complaints

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The main news story for the Ministry of Defence today is the Defence Select Committee's report into the Armed Forces complaints system.

Service Complaints Ombudsman report

The Defence Select Committee, a group of MPs which scrutinises the work of the Ministry of Defence in Parliament, has published a report into the Service Complaints Ombudsman.

In the report, which is titled 'Fairness without Fear: The work of the Service Complaints Ombudsman', the committee argues that the system for handling complaints by Armed Forces personnel is not yet effective.

The Daily Telegraph, The Times and the BBC News website have all published reports on the committee's investigation. The BBC notes that a disproportionate number of complaints are made by women and personnel from BAME communities. The committee's report was also covered on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4.

The Defence Committee's report echoes some of the findings of the recent review by Air Marshal Michael Wigston, which was commissioned by the MOD to address inappropriate behaviour in the Armed Forces. In response to this review, the MOD has already committed to a range of new measures to address inappropriate behaviour to ensure serious allegations are investigated quickly and fairly.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said:

Everyone deserves to work in an environment where they are valued and treated with respect, and we thank the Defence Committee for their report, which echoes some of the findings in the review we commissioned into inappropriate behaviour in the Armed Forces.

Following this review, we have already accepted a number of recommendations to overhaul and improve the service complaints system, including encouraging personnel to come forward and creating a new authority to deal with the most serious allegations.

Image of the day

An RAF Chinook hovers over a dam in response to the emergency at Whaley Bridge
An RAF Chinook helicopter was deployed from RAF Odiham to Whaley Bridge to assist in the response to the emergency at Toddbrook Reservoir

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