Thursday, May 25, 2006

Flawed comeback procedure

During 2005 an investigator working for the Local Government Ombudsman stated

‘..when you comeback on an investigation you say you think the outcome is unsatisfactory it is looked at again but very briefly by a Deputy and by the Ombudsman and although Mrs Thomas will amend letters and may spot something that has been missed by and large she will look to a summary which has been prepared by the initial investigating officer.’ (My emphasis) ‘…it’s a paper exercise and inevitably they are going to draw on their comments the opinions.’

So the investigator, who took the initial decision not to investigate your complaint, is solely responsible for preparing the summary that the Ombudsman uses to decide whether the investigators decision was flawed. At least we now know why comebacks are so rare.

The same investigator also stated

‘You do raise a very valid point that when you came back in the spring of 2002 you did bring new information and it should have generated a new inquiry.’

‘I don’t quite understand why we did not re open the investigation in 2002’

Neither do I, and four years later the Ombudsman still refuses to answer that very question.

Although the Ombudsman refuses to answer my questions the investigator stated at the time,

‘I am concerned here that you’re at the risk of being disadvantaged through not being given reasons to which I actually think your entitled’

How true, the problem is that we have an Ombudsman who is not the least bit interested in procedural fairness, natural justice or the rights of the individual. All they are interested in is burying maladministration for their friends and ex collegues in local government.

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