Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Recruitment of a replacement Local Government Ombudsman: Update

Further to my earlier post on the subject I have just received a response to my email.

Dear Trevor Nunn

Thank you for your e-mail, which has been passed on to the Clerk of the Committee. I will ensure that you are sent any announcements relating to the Committee's pre-appointment hearing with the Government's preferred candidate for the post of Local Government Ombudsman.

Regards
Nicola McCoy 

Monday, June 08, 2009

New petition to get rid of the LGO

I note another petition has been submitted to get rid of the Local Government Ombudsman by Graham Crane. Is this a record? I don't know of any other ombudsman in the world who has had so petitions submitted about them. Mind you I don't know of any other ombudsman in the world who is as bad as the Local Government Ombudsman so that may well explain things.

The petition reads,

'We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to scrap the local government ombudsman (LGO) as they serve no useful purpose to members of the public they are supposed to serve. According to my own experience and that of others recorded on many web sites, the local government ombudsman serves only to protect Local Authorities interests and serves no useful purpose to members of the public. The people who work for them are ex-council officials and civil servants who take the council’s side regardless of how overwhelming the evidence is. In the tiny number of cases they do find for the public the compensation and remedies are totally inadequate. In these times when we need to save money they are an ideal candidate to cut and as soon as possible.'

If you would like to sign the petition click here. Don't forget to tell your friends and family to sign as well.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

LGO did lie to the DCLG about their 2006-2008 compliance rates.

The Full story

My first post on the subject. (reproduced below)

A few months ago Wilma Wright submitted a petition because Trafford Council refused to accept the York Ombudsman's recommendations.

The Government have recently responded to Wilma's petition. Included in the response is this very misleading statement.

'In all but a very few cases the authority being investigated complies with the recommendations in the Ombudsman’s report where maladministration is determined. Indeed, for 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 there has been a 100% compliance rate. '

However, this is totally untrue and it's so easy to prove because Wilma's own case was determined during this period and Trafford did not comply and have still not complied.

The question is, did the LGO mislead the Government? If you think about it they must have because the only way the Government would know what their compliance figures were was to ask the LGO. Why are the LGO feeding false statistics to the Government? No doubt they don't want the Government to know the truth about the significant number of councils who do not comply with their recommendations.

If the LGO didn't mislead the Government, then why have they not been in touch with the Government to ask them to correct the obvious errors in their response to Wilma's petition?

PS There were other recommendations during 2006 to 2008 that were not complied with, here is another example. As far as the Ombudsman who dealt with Wilma's case is concerned there have been a significant number of councils ignoring her reports and recommendations over the last few years. Wilma's case is not the isolated incident that they would have the public believe.

Let's see if we can get to the truth behind the misleading assertion.

My second post on the subject. (reproduced below)

Further to my earlier post on the subject I have now received a response from the Prime Minister's Office about their misleading response to Wilma Wright's petition. You can read their full response here.

The bottom line is that the Prime Minister's Office is now blaming the Department for Communities and Local Government for providing the flawed response. Accordingly I have just submitted a Freedom of Information to the DCLG in order to try and trace the original source of this misleading information.

So we are one step closer to proving that the LGO was the source of the misleading information.

Update.

'I am writing to advise you that the information held by Communities and Local Government (CLG) is that the compliance for 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 was 100%, and that this information was supplied to CLG by the LGO. You may wish to contact the Local Government Ombudsman as to the source of the information.'

Read the DCLG response here

Now let's see what the LGO have to say about it! Below is a copy of my recent (3/06/2009) FOI request to the LGO.


The Prime Minister's Office replied to my initial FOI request regarding the petition below.

http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page17883

Their response contained a material inaccuracy.

It includes the statement, for 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 there has been a 100% compliance rate regarding the recommendations made by the LGO.

However, they did suggested that their response was based on information given to them by the DCLG.

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/er...

As a result I submitted a Freedom of Information request to the DCLG in order to confirm the source of the misleading information.

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/wr...

I have just received their response and as expected they they clearly state that the LGO supplied the misleading information.

I quote, 'I am writing to advise you that the information held by Communities and Local Government (CLG) is that the compliance for 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 was 100%, and that this information was supplied to CLG by the LGO. You may wish to contact the Local
Government Ombudsman as to the source of the information.'

Therefore I would like a copy of all the documents used by the LGO that led to the production the misleading information sent to the DCLG, a copy of any letters/documents sent to the DCLG by the LGO in an attempt to correct the obvious error and a copy of any meeting notes if this matter was discussed internally by the LGOs or any of their staff.
We should their answer within 20 days.

However, whatever their answer the question remains, why have they not been in touch with the Government and asked them to correct the obvious errors in their response to Wilma's petition?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Recruitment of a replacement Local Government Ombudsman

FAO Scrutiny committee

It has come to my attention that both the position of Local Government Ombudsman and Deputy Chair of the CLAE have been advertised. It would also appear to be the first time that the new scrutiny arrangements are used in relation to this position. You should already be aware that there is considerable disquiet about the appointment of LGO's. Particularly ex Council Chief Executive Officers. You should also be aware of the considerable disquiet from users of the Local Government Ombudsmen.

http://ombudsmanwatch.org/

http://psow.co.uk/

There is something seriously wrong with the Commission for Local Administration when they find and report 100 times less maladministration than the Parliamentary Ombudsman and so many anti LGO websites and blogs exist.

http://lgowatcher.blogspot.com/

http://local-government-ombudsman-lgo.blogspot.com/

I hope new LGOs will no longer be recruited from the ranks of the people they are supposed to investigate. The injustice complainants have had to suffer has gone on long enough, it's time the government sorted out the unfair, biased and totally ineffective administrative justice system in this country. The first step is the recruitment of truly independent Local Government Ombudsmen.

Yours faithfully

Trevor R Nunn