The influential House of Commons Defence Committee has backed BAFF's call for the role and powers of the Service Complaints Commissioner to be enhanced to that of a full Armed Forces Ombudsman.

In the report of its recent inquiry into the work of the Service Complaints Commissioner, the Committee also highlighted BAFF's concern that a fear of the consequences of making a complaint, particularly during the current redundancy programmes, could deter individuals from making a complaint.

BAFF Chairman Douglas Young said:

"BAFF is committed to ensuring that service complaints and redresses of grievance can be pursued without fear of career damage. We have said for more than four years that an Armed Forces Ombudsman should be appointed in order to provide a complaints system that service personnel can trust and we are pleased that the House of Commons Defence Committee now agrees with us.

"It is clear to us that the current system fails to adequately protect the interests of those who make complaints as well as those who are complained about, and we will continue to campaign to improve it.

"We hope that the Ministry of Defence will now be prepared to build on its work with the service complaints commissioner, and drop its opposition to the commissioner's role being enhanced to that of a full armed forces ombudsman.

"BAFF joins with the Defence Committee in paying tribute to the work of the present Service Complaints Commissioner, whose second and final three-year term of office is due to end soon."