Silly season is upon us again with the release of the Local Government Ombudsman's annual letters to Councils.
If you would like to download the annual letter the Local Government Ombudsman sent to your Council please click here.
Once you have read a few you will note the sycophantic tone they are written in. Even when a Council has ignored an Ombudsman's recommendations the Ombudsman doesn't appear able to do anything but suck up to the Council.
Here's a typical example illustrating just how cunning Local Government Ombudsmen can be.
This is an extract from Trafford's annual letter.
Six complaints that had been determined as premature were resubmitted. One of these resulted in a local settlement, three were outside my jurisdiction and in one there was no or insufficient evidence of maladministration. The sixth complaint had yet to be determined by 31 March 2008.
That means three people (50%) were needlessly given the run around just to enhance the Local Government Ombudsman's statistics. The LGO should know if a complaint is within their jurisdiction and, if not, tell the complainant immediately of an appropriate organisation/person who can best deal with their complaint. However, that would have only given the Ombudsman one tick on their determined complaint statistics. By initially telling the complainant that their complaint was premature and then later telling them it's outside their jurisdiction the Ombudsman generates two ticks on their determined complaints statistics rather than one.
Did the LGO receive 17,628 complaints this last year or do they just fiddle their figures using tactics similar to the one above?