Independent Complaints Reviewer Elizabeth Derrington has welcomed our involvement in a government project looking at ways to make it easier to complain about public sector services.

Land Registry is working with the Cabinet Office and the Department for Work and Pensions to pilot new approaches and ideas.

“I very much welcome Land Registry’s involvement in this important project,” said Ms Derrington in her annual report for 2014/15.

“Its experience over many years of developing its own complaints process into a highly effective tool for learning the lessons of complaints will enable it to make a strong contribution.”

ICR Annual Report 2014/15

Anyone who has made a complaint to Land Registry and is dissatisfied with the outcome can ask the Independent Complaints Reviewer (ICR) to review the matter.

In 2014/15 Ms Derrington and her team accepted 42 complaints for investigation, up from 29 the previous year. They fully or partially upheld 32 per cent of the issues arising from the complaints, against 33 per cent in 2013/14.

As a result of her findings Ms Derrington made 28 recommendations to Land Registry, of which 36 per cent were for an apology and 32 per cent for a consolatory payment.

In other cases she recommended a review of procedures and/or guidance, a reminder to staff of existing procedures and/or guidance or a review of or improvements to public information.

“Land Registry has continued to respond positively and has given serious consideration to all my recommendations – even where, in the case of recommendations for systemic improvement, it has ultimately decided that the action proposed would be impracticable,” said Ms Derrington in her report.

“ICREST [Land Registry’s ICR Evaluation & Study Team] continues to facilitate and monitor the implementation of systemic recommendations. I have been impressed by its ability to draw lessons from all aspects of my reports, even regarding issues which had not formed part of the actual complaint.”

This has included improving our communication with customers in relation to boundaries, adverse possession, amendments to title plans, identity requirements and searches of the index map.

Ms Derrington is supported by a small team of staff seconded from Land Registry but her office is not a part of Land Registry and she is not a civil servant.

Gavin Curry
By Gavin Curry,
Digital Communications and Editorial Officer at HM Land Registry