THE complaints system in the armed forces is "failing" and needs to be made simpler, faster and more accountable, a watchdog's report has warned.

Service Complaints Commissioner (SCC) Susan Atkins voiced concern over a rise in reported cases of bullying, harassment and discrimination in the Army in 2013, reversing a downward trend in recent years, which, she said, poses a "serious challenge" for military top brass.

Dr Atkins's report came just two weeks after Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced plans to reform the complaints system, as the post is transformed into an independent Service Complaints Ombudsman.

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