Wednesday, June 18, 2008

You won't believe it!

I am often asked what is my most bizarre experience of the Local Government Ombudsman. Although I have had quite a few 'moments' there is one that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Luckily I have the documentary evidence to prove it, which is a good job because it's so stupid it's very difficult to get people to believe it without showing them the letter.

Background: During 2001 the County Council attempted to complete a roadway in such a way it would have an impact on my property. This resulted in my second complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman in March 2002 .

In response to my 2002 complaint, about the councils actions in 2001, An Assistant Ombudsman essentially said, as an excuse for not investigating my complaint, until the council do something that you consider is maladministration and you submit a complaint the Ombudsman will not get involved.

Yes, he actually argued that until the council did what they had already done and I did what I had already done the Ombudsman would not investigate my complaint. And they didn't, well not until 2006 following a number of comeback requests.

This is so bizarre it's off the scale. However. it gets worse, the individual concerned has since been promoted to Deputy Ombudsman.

In addition, the Ombudsman, although accepting that the Assistant Ombudsman was wrong by not taking into account the fact that the County Council had already done what I was complaining about, still ended up stating that the Assistant Ombudsman's decision, not to investigate my complaints during 2002 was correct.

However by the surreptitious use of Ombudsman logic, they overturned the Assistant Ombudsman's decision (which they maintained was correct) and agreed to investigate my complaint. The lengths they will go to in order to give the impression they are always right and don't make mistakes never ceases to amaze me.

A typical example of the perverse reasoning and decisions of Local Government Ombudsmen.

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