Public Services Ombudsmen
Current project status
The current status of this project is: Complete.
List of project stages:
- Analysis of responses
- Initiation: Could include discussing scope and terms of reference with lead Government Department
- Pre-consultation: Could include approaching interest groups and specialists, producing scoping and issues papers, finalising terms of project
- Consultation: Likely to include consultation events and paper, making provisional proposals for comment
- Policy development: Will include analysis of consultation responses. Could include further issues papers and consultation on draft Bill
- Reported: Usually recommendations for law reform but can be advice to government, scoping report or other recommendations
This project is complete. We await the Government's response to our recommendations
Our report makes a series of recommendations aimed at improving access to the public services ombudsmen, ensuring that they have the freedom to continue their valuable work and improving their independence and accountability. Foremost amongst our recommendations are:
- The appointment of the Parliamentary Commissioner on the nomination of an individual by Parliament.
- Parliament, and the National Assembly for Wales in the case of the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, should develop close links between all the public services ombudsmen and appropriate select committees.
- The repeal of legislative provisions requiring complaints to be made in writing.
- The removal of statutory bars which restrict the ability of citizens to choose the institution for administrative redress they prefer.
- The reform of the MP filter, so that citizens can make complaints direct to the Parliamentary Commissioner.
- The findings of the public services ombudsmen, except the Housing Ombudsmen, should be made binding.
- All of the public services ombudsmen should have powers allowing them to publish and distribute their reports and other materials widely
Along with the recommendations focused on improving the current statutory regimes for the public services ombudsmen, we make one more general recommendation. We recommend that the Government establish a wide-ranging review of the public services ombudsmen and their relationship with other institutions for administrative redress, such as courts and tribunals.
The Public Services Ombudsmen report was published on 14 July 2011.
The project focuses on five ombudsmen:
- The Parliamentary Commissioner
- The Health Service Ombudsman
- The Local Government Ombudsman
- The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales
- The Housing Ombudsman
Our report makes a series of recommendations aimed at improving access to the public services ombudsmen, ensuring that they have the freedom to continue their valuable work and improving their independence and accountability.