Thursday, August 12, 2010

More information about Local? Settlements

In a recent FOI request to Torbay Council I asked

"In your recent Local Government annual review it states that the Local Government Ombudsman locally settled 4 complaints with Torbay Council. 

As you are aware a local settlement is agreed between the Local Government Ombudsman's office and the Council. The complainant cannot refuse any settlement agreed between the two said public authorities.

In all 4 cases I would like any and all information you hold about the negotiations behind the settlements of these cases together with the job title of the LGO staff and Council staff involved in the negotiations."

In their response they state

"Torbay Council did not negotiate with the Local Government Ombudsman with regards to the settlements on these cases. All settlements suggested by the LGO were accepted by the Council." [my emphasis]

So the question remains. If the LGO set the level of compensation (in this case from an office in Coventry), the council (in this case Torbay in Devon) agree, how the hell does the LGO get away with calling it a local settlement? Especially since the complainant cannot refuse the settlement.

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