Thursday, January 31, 2008

Maladministration pays!

There is a maxim in law that suggests that no one should be able to profit from their wrong. Whilst this maxim is upheld by civil and criminal courts it is ignored by Local Government Ombudsmen and the administrative justice system in this country.

Can you imagine the effect on crime if judges allowed criminals to profit from crime? Could you ever accept a situation in which a criminal is found guilty of stealing £100,000 but allowed to keep it!

Well this is exactly what happens with administrative justice in this country. Trafford Council essentially stole £100,000 from a family. What the Council did was to make a family pay for a service they should have been paying for (maladministration by any stretch of the imagination). This saved the Council £100,000 over three years. The Local Government Ombudsman found the Council guilty of maladministration (well they had little option because the evidence was overwhelming) and suggested that the Council should reimburse the family the £100,000. However, the Council refused to reimburse the money and there is not a lot the Local Government Ombudsman can do about it. The Local Government Ombudsman has been aware of this problem for over thirty years but still refuses to ask the Government to improve the situation.

Proof that maladministration pays and that Local Government Ombudsmen are happy to support such an unfair and unjust administrative justice
system.

There is very little chance of a council being found guilty of maladministration in the first place (less than 1% of all submitted complaints) but even in the tiny minority of cases when the Council is found guilty of maladministration they are free to ignore both the Ombudsman's suggested remedy and their promises to the Ombudsman.

No wonder maladministration is out of control in this country and complainants are so dissatisfied. It's a good job that Councils have a Local Government Ombudsman who is willing to bury so much maladministration for them.

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