Draft Public Service Ombudsman Bill laid in Parliament
- Also published by:
- Cabinet Office
A new complaints body will provide the public with greater confidence that their voices have been heard.
The draft bill sets out in detail how the government’s plans to introduce a new Public Service Ombudsman will make it easier than ever before to rectify complaints about a range of public services.
The new body will be more accessible to individuals who want to raise a complaint and will ensure lessons learned from across government are used to improve services for everyone.
The new proposals seek to bring together the responsibilities of the current Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and the Local Government Ombudsman to create a new organisation with strengthened governance and accountability.
It will refine the process and improve access to the Ombudsman’s services as complaints can be made with or without the help of a representative and in a variety of formats to meet the digital age. It will provide important new powers to allow the new Ombudsman to work more effectively with an explicit role in championing improvements in complaints handling.
The Minister announced the draft Bill on a visit to the Local Government Ombudsman in Coventry where it was widely welcomed.
Minister for the Constitution, Chris Skidmore said:
This Government is determined to build a democracy that works for everyone - and in which everyone’s voice matters across the country.
That is why we are introducing a new Public Service Ombudsman to provide the public with greater confidence that their voices have been heard and their complaints taken seriously. Holding public services to account will ensure they are improved for everyone, and deliver a clear and secure democracy that everyone can have confidence in.
The Local Government Ombudsman and the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman have issued a joint statement that welcomes the move. It says:
The creation of a single Public Ombudsman Service will make it easier for people to have their complaints about public services resolved. The current complaint system is too complex and fragmented, leaving people confused as to which ombudsman to turn to if things go wrong or haven’t been resolved locally.
We have long been urging the government for these reforms, and are delighted we are one step closer to making this a reality. We will be looking at the proposals carefully and look forward to working with the government to agree a practical and realistic timescale.
Latest News from
London council criticised for significant delays when completing plans for children with Special Educational Needs23/05/2019 15:05:00
Families of children with Special Educational Needs in Hackney who are unhappy with the time the council took to complete their Education Health and Care Plans, could have their complaints reconsidered by the council after the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman identified significant faults in the council’s handling of two separate cases.
Residents in Stockport Town Centre incorrectly declined parking permits by council23/05/2019 12:15:00
Residents in new-build properties in Stockport town centre should be eligible for parking permits after an Ombudsman investigation found the council was unfairly declining them.
Medway Council criticised for not reviewing school transport policy properly16/05/2019 16:10:00
Medway Council has been criticised by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman for failing to review its home to school transport policy following an earlier complaint.
Vulnerable man put at risk because of safeguarding failings by Wirral council10/05/2019 14:15:00
A vulnerable man remained at risk from poor care for more than 18 months, despite Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council being alerted to problems, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.
Maidstone council tried to charge for reviewing housing application decisions09/05/2019 14:15:00
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has uncovered an unusual charging policy during an investigation into a housing complaint about Maidstone Borough Council.
Ombudsman responds to new Ministry guidance for councils08/05/2019 13:38:00
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has welcomed the publication of new guidance for councils on scrutiny by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Lancashire County Council criticised for failing to support vulnerable children properly03/05/2019 09:15:00
Lancashire County Council has been criticised by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman for not providing the right support for two vulnerable siblings when they moved to live with their aunt and uncle.
City council to review transport policy for adults with special educational needs following Ombudsman investigation02/05/2019 14:15:00
A Birmingham mother had to drive five hours a day to take her adult son, who had ‘severe and critical needs’, to his specialist college, because Birmingham City Council did not provide him with transport, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.