Advice on Making a Complaint Against a Member
Making a complaint
Any complaint against a Member for failure to comply with the Code of Conduct and the Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members should be made in writing to the Assembly Commissioner for Standards, Room 256, Parliament Buildings, Belfast, BT4 3XX.
In making a written complaint the correspondent should –
- state the name of the Member who is the subject of the complaint;
- state which area of the Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members they consider has been breached.
- state the details of the complaint; and
- enclose any evidence in support of the complaint.
The complaint must be about a current Member of the Assembly, should be made within one year from the date when the complainant could reasonably have become aware of the conduct complained about (although, exceptionally, the Committee may authorise an investigation into a complaint that is made outside of this timescale) and must not be anonymous.
Processing a complaint
On receipt of the complaint the Assembly Commissioner for Standards (the Commissioner) will send –
- an acknowledgement letter to the complainant;
- a letter to the Member complained of informing him/her that a complaint has been received and enclosing a copy of the complaint.
- The Commissioner will apply the ‘Admissibility Criteria’ (as outlined in the Complaints Procedure in the ‘Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members’) when considering the complaint and supporting information to determine whether it is admissible under the Code of Conduct and the Guide to the Rules Relating to the Conduct of Members.
The complaint will be then be processed in accordance with the ‘Complaints Procedure’ as set out in pages 24 – 27 of the ‘Code of Conduct and Guide to the Rules relating to the Conduct of Members’.