Monday, January 17, 2011

The Local Government Ombudsman and their ninth pillar of injustice

Further to my previous posts on the subject the Local Government Ombudsman and their eighth pillar of injustice and the original the Local Government Ombudsman and their seven pillars of injustice.

I now have a ninth pillar of injustice to add to the list. Number 10 coming soon!

The seven eight nine pillars of LGO injustice.

(1They work in private,  
(2) you can't appeal their findings of fact,
(3) they don't have to be qualified for the job,
(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,
(6) they can and often do talk to the council without the complainant being aware any discussion took place,
(7) they settle the complaint with the council. A complainant can't refuse such a settlement,
(8) they don't have to follow previous decisions/precedents/case law,
(9) they are free to define maladministration as they see fit.

Whilst we have a statutory definition for most other wrongs, unlike some other countries we still have no statutory definition for maladministration. This anomaly allows Ombudsmen to arbitrarily [1] define maladministration.

[1] Based on individual discretion or judgement; not based on any objective distinction, perhaps even made at random. 

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