Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Damage limitation?

A fellow Ombudsman Watcher has just informed me that Public Administration International (PAI) are running a two week study/conference called;

When Citizens Complain

The Role of the Ombudsman in Improving Public Services (two weeks)

For ombudsman offices, complaint-handling and human rights organisations and their senior staff. Also relevant for policy makers from countries which have an ombudsman system or which are in the process of setting one up. Covers issues of both principle and practice relating to the ombudsman’s role and includes briefings, discussion sessions, visits to ombudsman and related offices, practical work and action planning. Run in association with the Commonwealth Secretariat. Our next programme will take place from 14 to 25 May 2007.

As far as I am concerned UK Ombudsmen have been around for 40 years but they haven't improved public service. Rather the opposite is true, public services are worse than they have ever been. All UK Ombudsmen do is hide true levels of maladministration and that helps no one.

Whilst the Ombudmen have a policy of believing the authority (even when they lie) whilst ignoring rock solid evidence supplied by a complainant, public services will never be improved. As a result the only role UK Ombudsmen currently have is to reduce the standards in public service.

I note an advisor to the PAI is an ex Ombudsman. I smell a damage limitation exercise not a study/conference.

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