We welcome complaints about any part of our service that you do not think is acceptable.
When you make a complaint:
give your name, address and contact details; and
explain clearly what you are complaining about, giving as much detail as possible including dates, the events which caused the problem and, if you know them, the names of the members of staff involved.
We will keep the information you give us during the complaints process confidential and will only make it available to members of staff who need it.
How to make a complaint
We have a simple two-stage complaints procedure.
Stage 1 (verbal complaint)
Tell the relevant member of staff, or his or her manager, why you are unhappy with our service. If you are not happy with the response you receive you can make a formal written complaint.
Stage 2 (formal written complaint)
At this stage a senior member of staff who has not been involved with your complaint will deal with it for you. Within three working days of receiving your complaint we will acknowledge that we have received it and you will receive a full response within 15 working days.
If we can’t meet any of these deadlines, we will write to you to explain why, and tell you when we will give you a detailed response.
Online complaint form
Complaint Form (PDF)
Send the completed complaint form to:
Electoral Office for NI
3rd Floor, St Anne's House
Belfast BT1 1BR
Fax: 028 9023 5612
Appealing against the outcome of a complaint
If you are unhappy with the response you receive at stage 2, you can ask the Chief Electoral Officer to review your complaint and how it has been handled. You can contact him as follows.
Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland
3rd Floor, St Anne’s House
15 Church Street
Belfast BT1 1ER
Phone: 0800 4320 712
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (please mark for the attention of the CEO)
Fax: 028 9023 5612
The Chief Electoral Officer will write to you to let you know that he has received your complaint and will send you a response within 15 working days.
The Chief Electoral Officer is independent and there is nobody else in the public service in Northern Ireland to complain to if you are unhappy with the Chief Electoral Officer’s decision about your complaint. If you ask, the Chief Electoral Officer will arrange to have the way your complaint was dealt with, but not the decision made, reviewed by an independent person who is experienced in reviewing complaints in the public sector.
When our complaint procedure does not apply
We are not responsible for all aspects of electoral registration or elections. Some of the things we are not responsible for are listed below. If you want to complain about any of these matters, it will be quicker for you to apply direct to the organisation that is responsible. If you make your complaint to us and we think it is the responsibility of another organisation, we will tell you and give you information on how to contact them. If you have made your complaint in writing, we will pass it to the responsible organisation and tell you that we have done this.
Areas we are not responsible for
Promoting public awareness of joining the electoral register or voting.
Regulating political parties and their funding.
The Electoral Commission
Removing posters after an election.
The local Planning Office in the Local Council
The law relating to elections and electoral registration.
Constitutional and Political Group, NIO
Information from the electoral register being published online.
The Information Commissioner