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What is the role of the Service Complaints Ombudsman and how can they be contacted?

Watch: Find out more about the role of the SCOAF.

If you are serving in the military and have a complaint, there is a department dedicated solely to helping you find a resolution.

Heading the department is Mariette Hughes, the Service Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces or SCOAF.

Forces News spoke to Ms Hughes to find out more about the role.

What does the Service Complaints Ombudsman do?

The job of the Service Complaints Ombudsman of the Armed Forces (SCOAF) is to hold the Service Complaints system to account.

Ms Hughes told Forces News her office "provides independent oversight of the Service Complaints system".

Watch: Service complaints system still not fair and effective but improving, ombudsman says.

What can you complain about?

Ms Hughes says any member of the military who feels they have been wronged in some way can make a complaint.

"Whether that might be to do with career management, pay, or perhaps bullying, harassment or discrimination, you have the right to raise a service complaint and my office may be able to help you," she said.

She added that the ombudsman's office can help in a number of ways, including referring your intention to make a complaint to the correct "service's centralised admissibility team".

Ms Hughes can also "review any decisions that complaints or appeals are not admissible and overturn them where appropriate".

"We can also investigate undue delay in an ongoing service complaint," she said.

"And once your complaint is finally determined, we may be able to look into the merit and any alleged maladministration in the handling of that complaint."

She also added that, with the office required to report to Parliament on the system annually, they can also highlight "any areas where we think that change needs to be made".

How do I contact the Ombudsman?

Service personnel can contact the SCOAF from Monday to Friday, 9:00-16:30 on 0300 369 0689.

Alternatively, you can email at [email protected].