Thursday, September 02, 2010

Public service ombudsmen set for shake up

A newpaper article about it is reproduced below. My comments will follow at a later date but it's not the good news the government or some people would lead you to believe. Essentially they are going to force you to use the Ombudsman and their seven principles of injustice instead of having the option of using the courts and their seven principles of justice. Although they will give the Ombudsmen the right to refer a point of law to the courts this is not the same as you having direct access to a just and fair system of redress.
"Plans to reform "outdated and inconsistent" public service ombudsmen will make it easier to complain about poor services, the Law Commission said today.
The shake-up aims to bring consistency to the way the main public services ombudsmen do business and make it easier for the public to seek redress.

It will also help keep cases out of court, the Law Commission, which reviews and recommends reform of the law in England and Wales, said.

Frances Patterson QC, the Law Commissioner leading on the project, said: "The public services ombudsmen have a vital role to play in providing remedies for administrative injustice suffered by individuals.

"By improving access to these ombudsmen, we can reduce the burden that falls on the citizen, public bodies and the courts, and realise savings for citizens and Government."

The commission's proposals include a strengthening of the role of Parliament, a general presumption in favour of a public services ombudsman being able to open a complaint, and a stay and transfer power allowing matters to be transferred from the courts to the ombudsmen.

It also recommended dispensing with the requirements that a complaint must be in writing and that complaints to the parliamentary ombudsman must go through an MP.

Its consultation, which closes on December 3, focuses on the work of the parliamentary commissioner, the local government ombudsman, health service commissioners, the independent housing ombudsman and the public services ombudsmen for Wales."

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