Friday, September 05, 2008
York LGO: Case study introduction.
Although I secured a finding of maladministration during 1998 I was still left totally dissatisfied with the York LGO. At the time I thought my experience may just be a one off, however, when I started to research the subject it became clear that hundreds if not thousands of other people had also been let down badly by Local Government Ombudsmen. This is when I first became aware of LGOwatch, a website campaigning against bias and maladministration in the English Local Government Ombudsman service. In the beginning we concentrated on research and dissemination of information, however, we soon realised we needed hard evidence so I decided to pursue a second complaint through the York LGO as an evidence gathering exercise. When the new York LGO finally took the bait during 2006 and agreed to investigate my second complaint there were only two possible outcomes; my complaint would be handled properly and I would uncover no evidence of wrongdoing or they would once again try and manipulate the outcome in the councils favour and provide me with evidence to expose this corrupt practice. I started this blog around the same time to chronicle events. Whilst my complaint was being investigated I gave the York LGO every opportunity to do the right thing but on each and every occasion they chose to do the wrong thing. This last month I managed to secure a second finding of maladministration but in a repeat performance of my first complaint the York LGO found the council guilty of maladministration on a minor issue whilst burying much more serious maladministration. I am now back in the same position as I was before I submitted my first complaint in 1997 but unlike many complaints I can fall back on my legal and human rights so although the York LGO has buried council maladministration for the second time they still haven't resolved the underlying problem. I recently gave the York LGO a final chance to put matters right but she decided to declare herself 'functus officio' instead. As a result I am now free to tell the whole story and publish all the evidence. The first instalment will be my response to their final report.