This is disgraceful and should not be allowed to occur.
For a start the DWP, has should all Government departments, be more transparent and also honest and open. Unfortunately all this is someting outside the ‘norm’ for the Government and this also includes all Local Authorities and maybe those of Health.
For anyone to go to a complaints body takes some strength, as you are going against a large public body, which you are and will be again relying upon, will they hold the complaints against them and treat you are your relative worse than before.
Of course they will say they will not, but it has not been unknown in some authorities.
In some instances the complaints procedures themselves are ‘not fit for purpose.
That been said I do like that you can not refer until the complaint response letter has been issued, unlike going to the Ombudsman where their time period starts from when the complaint was initiated and there is a limit of 1 year. If that was so re this complaint then it would have been too late to go to the Independent Complaints body.
If certainly feel that the Ombudsman needs to change, could I say to Independent Case Examiner (ICE).