Publishing our decisions
We aim to carry out our work openly and transparently and for this reason we usually publish Ombudsman determinations as well as some opinions made by our adjudicators considered to be of particular interest on our website. From 3 May 2016 our published decisions will generally be anonymised and have the name of the person making the complaint as well as any other identifying personal data removed – unless such data is essential for understanding the decision.
Our policy was amended to reflect the prevailing approach of dispute handling schemes towards increased protection of personal information, while maintaining transparency in demonstrating our work and findings and giving guidance to the industry and consumers.
The decision we send to the parties in each complaint will retain the name of the person making the complaint (in a footnote), to assist with any appeal or enforcement issues. However, the decision we publish on our website will generally be anonymised.
In certain cases, we may decide not to anonymise the decision. Examples might be where the case is a particularly notable one with wider (public interest) implications; where we are taking a position; or where the name of the person making the complaint is actually relevant to the issue – perhaps a claim to a pension entitlement where the policy cannot be found or has been allocated to someone else.
If we are considering not anonymising a decision, or we are asked to do so by a party, we will ask the parties for their comments. However, ultimately, it will be a matter for the Ombudsman to decide on a case-by-case basis.
If you think that there is other material we should edit in the decision in your case before publishing it, you should let us know as soon as possible, giving your reasons. We will not always agree, but will always consider a request very carefully.
Exceptionally we might publish a decision in summary form only, while making more information available to anyone who requests it.