Friday, June 27, 2008

The truth about Local Government Ombudsmen 1

On their web-site Local Government Ombudsmen state:

The Local Government Ombudsmen investigate complaints about councils and certain other bodies.

However, their marketing hype is not a true reflection of the reality of the situation.

Firstly, they don't investigate complaints unless the complainant has also suffered significant injustice as a result of the act complained about. That means a significant proportion of complaints are rejected by Local Government Ombudsmen on the grounds that the level of injustice suffered by the complainant, has been judged by them, as not being significant enough to warrant investigation.

Secondly, they don't investigate complaints if the maladministration complained about affects a group of people.

Thirdly, they don't normally investigate complaints until they are satisfied that you have allowed the council (or other body) the opportunity to address your complaint.

Fourthly, they collude with the councils and other bodies under investigation to settle a significant proportion of complaints, often against the wishes of a complainant, before carrying out a full and proper investigation.

So in reality Local Government Ombudsmen investigate very few
complaints about councils and certain other bodies. Last year over 18,000 submitted a complaint to Local Government Ombudsmen, they fully investigated less than 1%.

Therefore, a more accurate statement of what they actually do would be
The Local Government Ombudsmen investigate fewer than 1% of complaints about councils and certain other bodies.

And that's why maladministration is now spiraling out of control and why Local Government Ombudsmen have so many dissatisfied complainants.

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