UU Maladministration Support


Do you believe Ulster University has failed to be fair? Do you think they are responsible for maladmidministration in your case?

If so, and you have exhausted Ulster University's internal complaints process and are still not happy, did you know you can ask the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman, Ms. Marie Anderson, to investigate?

Click here to view a video explaining the role of the NIPSO and her staff.

The NIPSO provides a professional, independent, impartial and free service to the people of Northern Ireland. They:

(1) provide for the public an independent review of their complaints where they believe that they have sustained an injustice or hardship as a result of the action or inaction of a public service provider (called “maladministration”).
(2) ensure that public services improve as a result of the complaints that people bring to them and to their Office.

They consider the grounds for complaint by reference to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s “Principles of Good Administration”.

If maladministration is to be found, they may make recommendations to address it. Their recommendations usually focus on providing remedy and redress for the complainant and on improving public services. They are an office of last resort and will generally only consider complaints after the public service provider has considered the issues of complaint through their formal complaints procedure.

The Ombudsman also has ‘own initiative’ investigation powers. These allow her to conduct an investigation if she has a reasonable suspicion that there is systemic maladministration, even if no complaint has been received.

The criteria for selecting subjects for potential Own Initiative investigations are –

One or more of the following:

  1. The issue of concern has been identified by the Ombudsman to be one of public interest.
  2. The issue of concern affects a number of individuals or a particular group of people.
  3. The investigation has the potential to improve public services.


  1. The Ombudsman considers the investigation of the chosen issue is the best and most proportionate use of investigative resources.

Therefore, selection criterion 4 must always be applied with at least one other.

In all of the work of the NIPSO you can expect them to:

(1) be thorough and efficient
(2) be fair and impartial
(3) consider all complaints independently and in confidence
(4) be professional and to behave with integrity
(5) communicate clearly and effectively
(6) treat people with respect and with regard to their human rights
The organisations that are within their jurisdiction are listed in Schedule 3 to the Public Services Ombudsman Act (Northern Ireland) 2016 (the 2016 Act). Click here for a copy of the 2016 Act.

For more support contact your UUSU Advice Bureau.


Ulster University SU

Ulster University Student's Union was established in 1984 and is a membership-led organisation which represents over 26,000 full and part-time Ulster students. Company Number NI646426 (Registered in Northern Ireland).

Registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC107053.


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Write to Us: info@uusu.org

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