In an earlier post I reproduced the unredacted email that Nigel Karney (LGO) sent to Stephen McAllister (DCLG) about the LGO's compliance rates. I had earlier obtained a redacted copy but was interested in why the had sent me a redacted copy of the email. Just what didn't they want me to see? The bit they didn't want me to see is reproduced below.
'We feel very strongly that your petition response should be specific to complaints under our current jurisdiction covering local government and similar public bodies. Your current wording reads as a statement that would cover all circumstances.
As you are aware, the Ombudsmen are in discussion with the government about the possibility of binding recommendations being appropriate for `self funders'. This is on the basis that this sector does not have a mature relationship with an ombudsman type organisation. Furthermore, the private sector may be less likely to be persuaded by the sanction of a published response to a further report and, in many cases, publicity will not be in the best interests of the complainant.' [My emphasis]
It is clear that the LGO want their recommendations binding for others but not their friends in local authorities. Why, when an ever growing number of local authorities are refusing to follow their recommendations, don't they want to make them binding on local authorities?
Mr Karney states that the reason is due to their mature relationship with local authorities. What utter rubbish. But what can you expect from a man that, as a reason for refusing to supply information under the Freedom of Information Act about the number of ex central government staff they employed, stated that the request was vexatious because it was no different than asking how many of their staff had brown hair. As everyone knows the LGO argue they are independent of central government, however, I have never heard them argue they are independent of people with brown hair.
They don't appear to understand that this fallacious twaddle they insist on using to excuse their actions just makes them look like idiots. In addition how does he know publicity will not be in the best interests of the complainant. Has he ever asked anyone?