Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Local Government Ombudsman Annual Review 2008/2009 - the appalling facts

In the year ending 31 March 2009, the Local Government Ombudsman issued reports of maladministration in 1.18% of investigated cases. These reports include a remedy the Local Government Ombudsman agree with the Council, but the remedy is invariably not agreed with the complainant, and it may not rectify the complaint or redress the injustice.

23.51% of investigated cases were determined by the Local Government Ombudsman to be a local settlement. A local settlement is where the Local Government Ombudsman connive with council officers to conceal maladministration from the public (and councillors) by agreeing to discontinue an investigation if the council officers agree to undertake a remedy the Local Government Ombudsman determine to be satisfactory. Again, this remedy is invariably not agreed with the complainant. The Local Government Ombudsman use a local settlement to conceal complaints of maladministration from the public and councillors.

75.32% of investigated cases (the remainder) where dismissed either because the Local Government Ombudsman decided there was no or insufficient evidence of maladministration, they used their discretion not to pursue the case (insufficient or no injustice), or it was outside their jurisdiction.

The total cost to the taxpayer of the Local Government Ombudsman was £14.064 million. The total amount recommended to be paid to complainants in remedies was only £2.22 million. That is very poor value for money.

If the Local Government Ombudsman were effective in their duties, council services would improve, the number of complaints would fall, and inept council officers would be dismissed. Instead, council services fail to improve, the number of complaints rise, councils repeat the same maladministration year after year, and incompetent council officers remain in post.