Service Complaints Ombudsman Appointment announcement


Ms Hughes appointed from 12 January 2021, succeeds Nicola Williams who has carried out the role since 2015.

The role of the Service Complaints Ombudsman was established by the Armed Forces Act 2006, as part of the Service Complaints system which came into effect from 1 January 2016. The complaints system allows a member of the UK Armed Forces to make a complaint if they believe they have been wronged in a matter relating to their service.

The Ombudsman is responsible for providing independent assurance on the fairness, effectiveness and efficiency of the Service Complaints system to the Secretary of State for Defence by way of an annual report which is laid before Parliament.

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Ms Hughes has been appointed following open competition and a rigorous selection process which was overseen by an Advisory Assessment Panel including an Independent Panel Member in line with the Governance Code for Public Appointments.

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said:

The Service Complaints Ombudsman provides an independent voice to the armed forces and helps to ensure that all of our personnel can have the confidence to raise matters of concern about their service life.

Mariette Hughes is an excellent candidate for this post and I have no doubt she will build successfully on the work of her predecessor, Nicola Williams.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Nicola for all she has achieved as the Service Complaints Ombudsman and wish her well for her future endeavours.


Mariette Hughes has since 2014, worked for the Legal Ombudsman Service. Initially as an Investigator and now acting as Interim Chief Ombudsman and Director of Operations. The Legal Ombudsman is responsible for the resolution of disputes between consumers and legal service providers in line with the Legal Services Act.

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In addition, she is also Head of External Affairs, Service Policy and Impact.


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