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Rights and Responsibilities

Rights and Responsibilities

All parties have rights and responsibilities during an investigation.

All parties must:

  • be open, transparent and provide the information requested during an investigation
  • keep all the information related to a case confidential.

All parties have the right to request an oral hearing.

Sharing information

By law we have to be impartial and look at a problem without taking sides. During an investigation we will usually share all the information we receive with all parties and give them an opportunity to comment. We will not withhold information from other people involved in the complaint or communicate on a ‘strictly confidential’ or ‘without prejudice’ basis. For Pension Protection Fund and Financial Assistance Scheme complaints the information provided by other parties will also be made available to any significantly adversely affected people or interested persons.


All parties have a duty to keep all the information about a complaint confidential. That means it can’t be shared with anyone who isn’t directly involved either during the investigation or after it. If any party discloses information improperly we may refer the matter to the courts. The only exceptions to this are Ombudsman Determinations. These are not confidential and can be made available to anyone.

Oral hearings

As part of the investigation, any party to a complaint can ask us to hold an oral hearing. It is the Ombudsman's decision whether or not to hold one. The Ombudsman may decide to hold an oral hearing even if one isn’t requested. Generally, the Ombudsman might decide, or agree, to hold a hearing if there is a significant conflict of evidence that can’t be decided on the papers, or if we think that a party may have been dishonest. If you think we should hold an oral hearing for your complaint you should write to the Adjudicator explaining why. Oral hearings are open to the public.