Saturday, February 26, 2011

The inconsistent Local Government Ombudsman

In a recent report a Local Government Ombudsman found a council guilty of maladministration causing injustice even though the injustice affected a significant part of the community.

However, this is also the same reason why Local Government Ombudsmen have turned many complaints away in the past. Even though the number of residents affected were much less than in the case above.

1974 Local Government Act (amended) Part III Section 26.7c A Local Commissioner shall not conduct an investigation in respect of any action which in his opinion affects all or most of the inhabitants of the the area of the authority concerned.

The get out clause is in the Act 'which in his opinion', thus allowing different Local Government Ombudsmen to do whatever they want. That's why there will never be any consistency in the way Local Government Ombudsmen deal with similar complaints.

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