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
Motorist not caused injustice by toll bridge charges18/02/2019 11:15:00
A Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigation has found a motorist was not caused any injustice when he was charged a penalty for not paying a toll to cross the Mersey Gateway Bridge.
East Riding council did not do enough to protect toddler from harm08/02/2019 09:15:00
A toddler was left with life-long injuries after East Riding of Yorkshire Council missed opportunities to protect him from his mother’s violent partner, a Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigation has found.
Councils urged to check their parking policies following Ombudsman investigation01/02/2019 12:15:00
Councils across England are being urged to ensure they are using the correct legislation to issue parking fines at country parks following a Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigation into Kent County Council.
Ombudsman responds to Committee report on ethical standards31/01/2019 09:15:00
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has welcomed the Committee on Standards in Public Life's report on Local Government Ethical Standards.
Barnet council fails to follow up on community centre noise complaint25/01/2019 09:15:00
Barnet council has been told to carry out more monitoring of excessive noise at a community centre in the borough following a second investigation by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
Norfolk council failed two boys with Special Educational Needs17/01/2019 09:15:00
Norfolk County Council’s provision for children with special educational needs (SEN) has been criticised in two separate investigations after the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman revealed it had already upheld nine similar complaints.
Ombudsman welcomes National Audit Office report15/01/2019 16:25:00
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has today welcomed the National Audit Office's (NAO) report on local authority governance.
Carers leave woman in pain after burns not detected soon enough10/01/2019 09:15:00
A vulnerable Blackpool woman was left “screaming in pain” with serious burns on her leg after carers left her too close to a hot radiator, a Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigation has found.