The S4C Authority is a statutory authority - a public body charged with specific responsibilities and accountable to Parliament for the use of public funding. The members of the S4C Authority are appointed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
Consistent with our policy to ensure an arm’s length relationship between the Authority and the Channel, our new Code of Practice on Complaints now brings all complaints under the supervision of the S4C Authority (as opposed to the Chief Executive).
In accordance with its statutory duties and good corporate governance, the Authority aims to be accountable and transparent in all its dealings and to deal with complaints in a fair and consistent manner.
Your feedback, whether positive or negative, is important to us. Your complaints help us provide the best services we can.
Our Code of Practice on Complaints sets out how we will deal with complaints received after April 2006.
The complaints website will report on the volume and range of complaints we’ve received in each quarter since April 2006 and, where appropriate, our responses and details of any clarifications, corrections and remedial actions taken. Please visit Review Complaints Reports on this website.
You can (through the medium of Welsh or English):
The service is available 7 days a week from 9am to 10pm. An answer phone service operates outside these hours and when lines are busy;
We will reply to all complaints unless you have asked not to receive a reply.
In general, we will reply to complaints in the medium through which we receive them.
However, if you complain via the website or via the S4C Viewers’ Hotline and either you request a response by post or we think your complaint needs more detailed consideration or further investigation or for any other reason needs a more formal response, we will reply by post.
The S4C Authority aims to acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days.We will at the same time confirm when we expect to be able to reply to the nature of your complaint.
Our aim is to ensure that all complaints received by us are handled in the same way (except when a complaint relates to the content of a programme in which case it will follow the detailed procedure set out in the S4C Programme Compliance Complaints Procedure). For this reason if you choose to complain to us via a different route to those set out previously, your complaint (unless it relates to a compliance matter) will still be handled in the following way.
Initially, your complaint will be answered either by a member of staff of the S4C Viewers’ Hotline or, where the Secretary to the S4C Authority thinks your complaint is of a more serious nature, the appropriate individual within S4C as determined by the Secretary to the S4C Authority.
However, if your complaint relates to a programme provided to S4C by the BBC we will deal with your complaint as set out in our Programme Compliance Complaints Procedure but will also pass your complaint to the BBC for the BBC to respond to it. Your complaint will then be dealt with by the BBC under its complaints procedure.
Your complaint and the response given will be noted by key staff across S4C and by the S4C Authority as well as being considered by the person replying on behalf of S4C. All complaints received by the S4C Viewers’ Hotline are logged.
Overnight reports are circulated to certain members of staff within S4C. A weekly report of all complaints is provided to the Secretary to the S4C Authority and to relevant departments (including S4C’s Management Team).
The Secretary to the S4C Authority will prepare a monthly report on all complaints received by S4C in the preceding month for the S4C Authority.
The Secretary to the S4C Authority will prepare an annual review of complaints received and of complaints procedures in the preceding year for consideration by the Complaints and Compliance Committee of the S4C Authority.
If you are not satisfied with a reply from a member of staff of the S4C Viewers’ Hotline or from the individual within S4C nominated by the Secretary to the S4C Authority to respond to you, you can write to the Secretary to the S4C Authority within 3 weeks of receiving a reply.
Whenever a complaint has been referred by you to the Secretary to the S4C Authority she will:
When we have made a mistake or have otherwise been at fault we will apologise to you and take action to prevent the same thing happening again.Where appropriate, we will also publish a correction or apology on this site.
If you are not satisfied with the Secretary to the S4C Authority’s reply you can appeal within three months to the S4C Authority Complaints and Compliance Committee.
The Committee will consider your original complaint, S4C’s response and any comments on S4C’s response you have made in your appeal and decide whether your complaint is justified.
If any new issues are raised in your appeal, the Committee may, if it considers it appropriate, invite S4C to respond to them formally in writing, in which case you will receive a copy of S4C’s written response.
The Committee will notify you of its decision on your complaint.
If the Committee upholds your appeal, it expects management to take account of its findings and may direct management to take action such as publishing an apology or correction where appropriate. The decision will be noted in the annual report on complaints.
In relation to complaints about compliance of programmes or sponsorship with the appropriate Ofcom codes and quotas you can write directly to Ofcom: Ofcom, Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HA (www.ofcom.org.uk) (except in relation to sections 6.8 to 6.13 of the Ofcom Broadcasting Code on referendums and elections).
In relation to television advertisements or promotions broadcast on S4C you can complain to the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority); ASA, Mid City Place, 71 High Holborn, London WC1V 6QT (www.asa.org.uk).
If your complaint relates to data protection or freedom of information issues you can complain to the Information Commissioner: Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF (www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk).
S4C Authority will review the code annually.
We welcome feedback on the S4C website and Code of Practice and on our complaints procedures. You can let us have your comments using the Contact Us section of the S4C website, or through any of the contact methods set out under ‘How can I complain to S4C?’ above.
If you are making a complaint, S4C may pass on your details, as appropriate, for the purposes of dealing with your complaint.