Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Commission for Local Administration in England is not fit for purpose!

FOI identifies that the Commission for Local Administration in England (CLAE) better known as the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) is not fit for purpose!  

'FOI Act shines a torch on public services, says Information Commissioner.' “Freedom of Information has a key role to play in helping to deliver greater transparency and accountability. These are key priorities in public policy”, says Information Commissioner Christopher Graham in a message to mark International Right to Know Day".

From a number of FOI requests to Commission for Local Administration in England (The Local Government Ombudsmen) over the last couple of years one can see that their faults are not just limited to their inability to carry out fair, just and above board investigations.

I have already commented on what's wrong with the culture of the organisation and what's wrong with the system they operate so with this post I want to concentrates on what the FOI Act 'torch' has illuminated as far as corporate faults are concerned.

These are some of the failures that FOI requests have confirmed the CLAE/LGO are guilty of
  • Failure to keep adequate records
  • Failure to maintain adequate audit trails
  • Failure to scrutinise expense claims
  • Failure to scrutinise proposals
  • Failure to follow their code of conduct
  • Failure to provide information
  • Failure to discipline staff for mistakes or wrongdoing
  • Failure to protect personal data
  • Failure to meet statutory deadlines
FOI has also exposed the CLAE/LGO for
  • Fabricating records from memory years after the event
  • Playing silly semantic games to delay/avoid requests for copies of documents
  • Making up policy on the fly
As far as I am concerned if they can't keep their own house in order what chance have they of keeping other public authorities in order? They are not exactly setting an example of how to run public organisation as they should be be doing.
  • The system they operate is not fit for purpose, 
  • the culture they have cultivated is not fit for purpose
  • and their corporate management is not fit for purpose.
Any one would have brought a private company to it's knees. Luckily for the CLAE/LGO it's business as usual because they are totally unaccountable and funded by the taxpayer. How fortunate for them.

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