Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Local Government Ombudsman and their seven pillars of injustice

Now updated: Once you have read this post please read the twelve pillars of injustice!

This post is a continuation of my previous post

Can you imagine a judge helping a defendant avoid the charges or even being too incompetent to understand the issues? It could happen but very rarely does because of seven key elements.

The seven pillars of justice.

(1) Court proceedings are held in public,
(2) either side can appeal a judgement on a finding of fact,
(3) the judge is qualified, 
(4) a judge can't delegate their job to a junior member of staff, 
(5) all evidence is shown to both sides,
(6) a judge can't talk to one side without the other side being present,
(7) any out of court settlement is agreed between the two parties. The judge plays no part.

Therefore, if a court was run in the way an LGO's office is run it would be exposed very quickly as a ludicrously unfair, unjust and corrupt system of administrative justice.

Luckily for Councils the LGO use their own unjust and perverse system

The seven pillars of LGO injustice.

(1) They work in private,  
(2) you can't appeal their findings of fact,
(3) they don't have to be qualified for the job, (current examples 1 2 3 older example 4) 
(4) they can, and indeed do, delegate their job to a junior member of staff no matter how unqualified or incompetent,
(5) they don't have to show all the evidence to the complainant and they usually don't [See A below],
(6) they can and often do talk to the council without the complainant being aware any discussion took place [See B below],
(7) they settle the complaint with the council. A complainant can't refuse such a settlement [See C below].

Making it much easier for them to bury their devious and underhand tactics or incompetence. Together with most of the maladministration their friends and ex colleagues in local government are guilty of.

In addition, as far as the culture of the organisation is concerned, their staff have been known to lie to complainants, fabricate documents, and illegally initiate complaints with apparent impunity.

As a result they have the means the motive and the power, should they wish to use it (and they often do as their own statistics prove), to help their ex colleagues in local government out of  any complaint of maladministration leading to injustice they want.

Essentially they work in a similar fashion to the old court of star chamber but whilst that was set up to protect the Monarchy the modern day LGO were set up to protect local government.

For more about Court's of Star Chamber please read my earlier post.

[A] We now have such an unjust system of administrative justice that complaints have to rely on the Freedom of Information Act in an attempt to obtain documents and evidence on which the LGO base their decisions on, one example here.

[B] This has been proven time and time again. The LGO often ring up the council, without the knowledge of the complainant, and agree not to investigate the complaints based on the one sided and unverified assertions of the council. This happened in the Bachin's case some 20 years ago, mine some 8 years ago and is still happening today.

[C] Local settlements are nothing more than a con trick, a devious attempt to deceive the public, because they are not agreed locally and they don't settle a complaint. All they are is an agreement between the Local Government Ombudsman and a Council to stop investigating the complaint should the Council agree to apologise or pay the complainant a paltry sum of money. Basically they allow a Council to buy off a proper and full investigation for an average payment of £534.

The LGO don't usually to tell a complainant that, following their imposition of a local settlement,  a complainant is still free to seek legal redress against the Council for any legal wrongdoing. All the LGO determine or locally settle is simple (none illegal [See an explanation of maladministration below]) maladministration and cannot  determine any legal issues,  Thus all complainants, who have had their complaint locally settled by the LGO, should seek legal advice to see if the Council also broke any laws or statutory obligations and if they did ask their solicitor to take legal action against the Council. All least they dispense proper justice.

Maladministration: The term maladministration can be deceptive because the term can be applied to everything a public authority does wrong, however, the LGO cannot determine any legal issues, only a court can do that. Thus Local Government Ombudsmen can't determine all maladministration, even if they would like you to believe the can. 

Therefore, it is paramount that complainants differentiate between legal maladministration and illegal maladministration. Whilst all illegal acts by a public authority are maladministration, not all acts of maladministration are illegal.

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