Friday, August 08, 2008

The administrative justice game: Rule number 1, if you throw an LGO start again

I submitted my first complaint in 1997 because the Borough Council threatened to carry out some works which would have impacted on my property rights. Unfortunately even though I obtained a finding of maladministration for one of my minor complaints, the then Ombudsman asserted in her report that because they had only 'threatened' to carry out the work she couldn't find them guilty of a more serious act of maladministration. However, there was evidence available and she even gave me an assurance me she would take it into account. Unfortunately when the final report arrived it was clear she had just ignored it.

I was going to submit a second complaint in 2001 because the County Council threatened to do the same. However, I didn't want the Ombudsman to use the same trick to save the Council from a more serious finding of maladministration again. Therefore, I decided to wait until they had done substantially more than just threaten me. They did this in 2001 when they attempted to complete the roadway in such a way they would impact on my property. I stopped the work and submitted a second complaint to the Ombudsman during 2002.

On both occasions they refused to give me a full set of plans (and they still do) so I could take independent advice and on both occasion they also refused to tell me what statutory power they were relying on (and they still do) to carry out the works. At the material time the road was not a highway so their powers were limited. In addition on both occasions they failed to obtain planning permission. On this occasion the Ombudsman assured me that I would be allowed to see all the evidence she took into account when reaching a decision but later refused to give me access to any of the evidence. Just as they had done in my first complaint they found the Council guilty of maladministration for a minor act of maladministration whilst using every trick in the book to evade having to find the Council guilty of a more serious act of maladministration.

After 11 years of Ombudsman involvement in my case I am now back in the position I was in 1997 and solely reliant on my legal and human rights. However, that's not a bad thing because at least the Local Government Ombudsman is no longer in a position to manipulate the evidence any more.

Ironically, I am now in a position to submit a third complaint should the Council attempt to carry out the works without;
  1. proper planning permission
  2. giving me a full set of plans
  3. telling me what specific statutory power they rely on to carry out the works.
But I have more than enough evidence against the Local Government Ombudsman to prove my point so this time round I will stick to the courts. At least they won't be able to deny me the right to see the evidence as Local Government Ombudsmen do.

Therefore, my plan now is to use all the documentary evidence I have collected over the last few years to expose every single devious tactics used by the Local Government Ombudsman to block, divert or destroy valid complaints so they can bury significant amounts of maladministration for their friends and ex colleagues in local government.

The game is not over for me but the game is up for the LGO!

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