Monday, March 02, 2009

The LGO always believe the council. Update 1.

Further to my recent post LGO always believe the Council

It has taken me longer to extract the information than anticipated. However, up to now only one council out of the hundreds that have already replied has admitted that a member of their staff has been criticised by the LGO. In this case a member of staff had merely removed a few hand written anotations on a letter and didn't even get a slap on the wrist. The LGO just told them not to do it again.

Up to now the majority of councils have all stated the same. 'On no occasion in the last five years has the Local Government Ombudsman suggested that any member of staff has lied to or misled them.'

Unfortunately a few are trying to avoid giving the information on the grounds that it would be too costly to extract the information. I have initiated a few internal reviews and up to now submitted a couple of compaints to the Information Commissioner others.

I am surprised at the number of councils unaware of their legal responsibilities when it comes to Freedom of Information requests.

Over the last five years the LGO will have received over 80,000 complaints. The majority of which are complaints against one of the 400 or so Councils in England. Yet not one of these complaints led to the LGO criticising a council member of staff for lying or misleading them during an investigation. I call that a statistical impossiblity.

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