10 years

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like to know:

How many complaints on the LGO database were first opened more than ten years ago. Which Council's are the complaints against and what was the Ombudsman's ruling, and who was the Ombudsman.

How many complaints on the LGO database that are older than a year have yet to be determined and/or a remedy agreed and/or settled with a Council. Please identify for each year with an open file the year of the complaint using the following time periods for the last 10 years (i.e. 07 september 2006 / 06 september 2005 etc.. till 07 september 1998 / 06 september 1999) (excluding the current year 07 september 2008 / 07 september 2007) the type of decision (i.e. MI, LS, etc) if one has been made, the name of the Council with the open file, and the Ombudsman's Office that is responsible for the file (i.e. York, Coventry, London).

Yours faithfully,

Stuart Hardwicke Carruthers

Hilary Pook, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

Dear Mr Hardwicke Carruthers

This is to acknowledge receipt of your email request, received on Monday
8 September.

I will aim to reply within the 20-working day target (which would be by
6 October). If I am unable to do so, I will write to you again
explaining why.

Yours sincerely

Hilary Pook
Communications & Records Manager
Local Government Ombudsman's Office
Tel: 020 7217 4734
www.lgo.org.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Hilary Pook, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

2 Atodiad

Dear Mr Hardwicke Carruthers

Please find attached a letter in response to the request below, and a
separate document referred to in the letter.

Yours sincerely

Hilary Pook
Communications & Records Manager
Local Government Ombudsman's Office
Tel: 020 7217 4734
www.lgo.org.uk

NOTICE - This message contains information intended only for the use of
the addressee named above. If you have received this message in error
please advise us at once and do not make any use of the information.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Many thanks for your reply.

There appear to be very significant differences in recollection and opinion of the Ombudsmen, the CLAE the Councils and the Minister of State that sponsors the Ombudsman's Office, as well as serious differences in the ability of the Ombudsmen to determine if there has been maladministration, and if a remedy has been provided. Could you explain why these differences exist?

For instance you identify in 2000/2001 and 2001/2002 that there were no MI reports against Kerrier DC. Kerrier go further and state that they have never rejected a remedy or a finding of MI of the LGO. The LGO identify 6 MI reports were issued in 2002/2003. Yet you identify that an MI report was issued and a remedy is still awaited. Kerrier was not identified by the Secretary of State on 15 September 2008 to have failed to provide a remedy. Kerrier is also not identified in the list of Council's that have failed to provide satisfactory remedies since 1974. There are numerous additional discrepencies. It could be that these are due to the length of time that the LGO takes to determine if there is maladministration and recommend a remedy. This certainly appears to be the case for the York Office of the LGO. It is understood that delay was identified in the Crossman catalogue as being maladministration. There are numerous other examples.

The purpose of the Ombudsman as I understand it is solely to determine if there has been maladministration, and if a Council refuses to take responsibility for its act of maladministration to recommend a remedy (to correct the injustice).

The decision is if there has been maladministration. After this a remedy can be provided through a local settlement or a maladministration and injustice report. The later can be rejected by a Council and/or a complainant (as it is solely the LGO seeking to provide an ADR service).

Review is requested to explain the differences and also the catagorisation. The information should be available and flows from the determination of maladministration by the LGO. The process involved in securing a remedy is largely irrelevant.

The data provided only goes to 07/09/2001. However, the data was requested till 07/09/2008. Could you confirm if your retention period for findings of maladministration on your database is seven years, even if a remedy is not secured for a complainant, and if not supply the data.

I take it in relation to your second point (mine as well) that the Ombudsman automatically closes files after a delay of ten years in providing a remedy to a complainant (agreed between the LGO and the Council) and often not including the complainant. Could you confirm if this is the case, and if the Ombudsman is 'deleting' from the record their findings of maladministration against Council's that Council's refuse to remedy. If my understanding is correct I would identify this as a failure to follow the Secretary of States guidance related to record retention.

There appears to be clear and very real confusion on the first issue. The Secretary of State appears to be misleading Parliament. The LGO appears to have different records to the CLAE, and everyone has different records to the Council's. Review and explanation is requested.

Yours sincerely,

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Dear Sir or Madam,

Typo. However, the data was requested till 07/09/2008. should read 07/09/1998

Yours sincerely,

Stuart Hardwicke CARRUTHERS

Hilary Pook, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

1 Atodiad

Dear Mr Hardwicke Carruthers

Please find attached a letter in response to the email below.

Yours sincerely

Hilary Pook
Communications & Records Manager
Local Government Ombudsman's Office
Tel: 020 7217 4734
www.lgo.org.uk

NOTICE - This message contains information intended only for the use of
the addressee named above. If you have received this message in error
please advise us at once and do not make any use of the information.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir