Monday, July 28, 2008

Avoidable contact not for the LGO

National Indicator 14 (NI 14) is one of the 198 indicators against which local government will be assessed within the new performance management framework. This has been agreed between Communities and Local Government and the Local Government Association (LGA).

Essentially this is about Local Authorities getting in right first time to avoid further contact in order to put things right.

My case is a paradigm example of how much time, effort and money could be saved by getting it right first time. Or at least as soon as possible after an error is brought to the attention of the Public Authority. For example, if the Local Government Ombudsman had effectively done their job at any time between 1997 and 2002 they could have avoided all the further contact with me (and others) generated as a result of their failure to do that.

Now they are paying the price of their failure to get it right. In addition, if this is extrapolated over a few more complainants it's obvious that not getting it right is a serious drain on their resources. The question is, why do Local Government Ombudsmen spend more time, effort and money trying to bury complaints when they could do their job properly for a lot less effort and a lot less hassle.

Could it be that they have no choice in the matter because they are controlled by Local Authorities.

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