Many people are already aware that Public Service Ombudsmen are not fit for purpose. Note: When I use the term Public Service Ombudsmen I primarily mean the Local Government Ombudsmen (LGO) and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).
However, those who are trying to persuade others of this fact now have some help from an unlikely source. The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) herself.
The PHSO recently stated "Overly-bureaucratic complaint handling leaves people confused and
exhausted, and wastes public money."
Whilst this is indeed true it raises a few question which all our public service ombudsmen need to answer.
The PHSO was established in 1967 and the Local Government Ombudsman in 1974. After 44 years and 37 years respectively in the business one would have assumed that by now they would have whipped the public sector complaints system into some sort of shape. So my questions are....
Q1: Just what have you been doing for 44 years and 37 years respectively if it has taken you this long to realise that our administrative complaints systems are not fit for purpose?
Q2: If it didn't take you 44 years and 37 years respectively to realise our administrative complaints systems are not fit for purpose, why didn't you address the issue much earlier?
Q3: Why have you waited until the 2 longest serving LGOs retired and you are about to retire before publicly declaring what I and many others have known for years? That the system of administrative justice in this country is and never has been fit for purpose.
It's no wonder other watchdogs such as the Local Government Ombudsman and Care Quality Commission are so bad when the PHSO has taken 44 years to realises the complaints system is unfit for purpose and only publicises the fact just before she retires.