Arrangements for the handling of complaints and other matters
Resolution of Other Complaints
42. A complaint which has been recorded by the Panel will be dealt with in accordance with the following paragraphs, unless it is one which has been, or must be referred to the Commission, and if for the time being not referred back to the Panel, or is a complaint which the Panel has decided to handle in accordance with paragraphs 27 to 30 inclusively.
43. If a complaint concerns the conduct of the Commissioner or any deputy Commissioner appointed by the Commissioner, the Panel will make arrangements for the complaint to be subjected to informal resolution.
44. The informal resolution of any complaint will be discontinued if:-
(a) the Commission notifies the Panel that it requires the complaint to be referred to the Commission under the regulations; or
(b) the complaint is so referred otherwise than in pursuance of such a notification.
45. The arrangements made by the Panel for subjecting a complaint to informal resolution may include the appointment of a sub-committee or a single member of the Panel, or a person who is not a member of the Panel or a relevant office holder, to secure the informal resolution of the complaint, and any reference to the Panel in paragraphs 47 to 54 inclusively, should be read as a reference to the sub-committee or person so appointed.
46. In a case where a sub-committee or person is appointed under the preceding paragraph, the arrangements made by the Panel may include arrangements for the complaint to be remitted at any time to the Panel as a whole (whether at the request of the appointed sub-committee or person, the complainant or the person complained against, or otherwise) if the Panel is of the opinion that this will lead to a more satisfactory resolution of the complaint.
47. The Panel will take account of any procedures for dealing with a complaint which is to be subjected to informal resolution and which are specified in guidance issued by the Secretary of State.
48. Where it appears to the Panel that a complaint has in fact already been satisfactorily dealt with at the time it is brought to its notice:-
(a) the Panel may, subject to any representation by the complainant, treat it as having been resolved, and
(b) if the Panel does so, the following paragraphs will not apply to it
49. The Panel will as soon as practicable give the complainant and the person complained against an opportunity to comment on the complaint.
50. Where the person complained against chooses not to comment on the complaint, the Panel will record this fact in writing.
51. The Panel will not, for the purposes of informally resolving a complaint, tender on behalf of the person complained against an apology for his conduct unless the person complained against has admitted the conduct in question and has agreed to the apology.
52. Where a complaint has been subjected to informal resolution, the Panel will as soon as practicable make a record of the outcome of the procedure and send a copy of that record to the complainant and the person complained against.
53. The Panel will not publish any part of any such record unless the Panel:-
(a) has given the complainant and the person complained against the opportunity to make representations in relation to the proposed publication; and
(b) having considered any such representations, is of the opinion that publication is in the public interest.
54. A statement made by any person for the purposes of the informal resolution of any complaint will not be admissible in any subsequent criminal or civil proceedings except to the extent that it consists of an admission relating to a matter that has not been subjected to informal resolution.