Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Further evidence that Public Service Ombudsmen are not fit for purpose

Further to my previous post 'Evidence that Public Service Ombudsmen are not fit for purpose'.

Another example has now come to light involving both the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and the Local Government Ombudsman which confirms the view that they are clearly not fit for purpose.

This example concerns a man with down's syndrome who was ignored after he was detained in hospital and then locked up before he died. The full story can be read from the source The Telegraph.

The article starts by identify the fact that there were serious failings in the care provided to Mr J by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle City Council and the Coquet Trust.

However, Mrs Seex shoots herself in the foot when she states "The failures in Mr J's case show how public authorities can neglect a vulnerable person's wishes and basic human rights to liberty and family life.

Mrs Seex is a watchdog and this happened on her watch and the reason public authorities can neglect a persons wishes, human rights and family life in the first place is because we don't have any public sector watchdogs who are fit for purpose.

What's even worse than having watchdogs who sleep on their watch is having those who  once they wake reward wrongdoing by the public authorities by recommending pathetic levels of compensation for their wrongdoing. Mr J's  family have been awarded £2,000 for their distress.

Were any of the perpetrators disciplined or sacked? No, just the usual 'lessons will be learnt' and 'procedures will be put into place', which we all know mean  that as soon as the watchdogs go back to sleep everything carries on as before.

Why? Because there is no downside for public sector incompetence and wrongdoing. Worse case scenario is that they may have to give the victim a couple of thousand pounds  and that's taxpayer's money not their own.

One of the comments on the article asks the question, how on earth, in the 21st century, does something like this happen? The answer to that question is because we have ombudsmen and watchdogs who are not fit for purpose.

We need proactive watchdogs, ones who are always on patrol and not sleeping in their taxpayer funded kennels like the current bunch until a scandal forces them into some sort of backside covering action.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Evidence that Public Service Ombudsmen are not fit for purpose

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.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Local Government Ombudsman: Pot, kettle - what a joke!

Ombudsman identifies common faults of school admission appeal panels

Lack of communication with parents, absence of impartiality and a failure to accurately record events have all been identified as common failures of school admission appeal panels.

In its latest report the local government ombudsman concludes that school admission appeal panels often make recurring mistakes, subjecting parents and children to unjust rulings.

Read the full story from the source Children and Young People Now.

My comment: How strange because these are exactly the same problems faced by complainant when they submit a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. 

The LGO offices have an absence of impartiality (they believe the word of a council officer even when overwhelming evidence to the contrary is available. Well they would do because most of them are ex local authority.) and nobody makes more mistakes and unjust ruling than the Local Government Ombudsman, well they would do because most of them are ex local authority. What a joke the LGO have become,