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Raising Complaints or Concerns about Public Bodies in Scotland

How to use bodies who deliver public services in Scotland

In 2016 Scotland was selected to join the Open Government Partnership (‘OGP’), an international collaboration of over 90 governments across the world committed to three key principles: openness, transparency and public involvement. As part of membership to this partnership programme, the Scottish Government, together with civic society partners, has developed recently been focused on delivering Scotland’s second National Action Plan 2018-20.  A key commitment under this plan has been “to improve access to the accountability of public services”.

Supported by the Scottish Government and in collaboration with key partners to this commitment, CAS has produced a booklet explaining how to raise a concern or complaint about a public service in Scotland. It explains how to use public bodies like:           

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

The Care Inspectorate

The Scottish Information Commissioner and

Audit Scotland

as well as providing more information on how to make Freedom of Information requests.

This booklet follows on from earlier research that CAS undertook on behalf of partners to the commitment, which sought to explore levels of understanding and awareness of members of the public of accountability of public services (hyperlinked here from CAS website) in Scotland.  The research found low levels of knowledge of regulatory bodies. CAS hopes that by producing this booklet, we can provide clearer information on how the public can engage with public services in Scotland, particularly if they wish to raise a concern or question a decision. We hope that by providing this information we can generate greater awareness of the accountability bodies that operate in Scotland and enable people to engage more confidently with them.

Related work on Scotland's National Open Government  Action Plan 2018-20: Commitment 4 Improving Access to Accountability of Public Services: Peoples & Stakeholder Engagement Final Report and Recommendations July 2020 is also available here:

Tracey Reilly
Publication date
May 2021
Publication type