A Johnson made this Freedom of Information request to Housing Ombudsman Service

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Dear Housing Ombudsman,

Please provide the following information,

1) how are you held accountable.

2) who are you accountable to.

Yours faithfully,

A Johnson

Rafael Runco, Housing Ombudsman Service

I am away from my office. I will deal with my email inbox as soon as possible on my return.

Rafael Runco, Deputy Ombudsman

Support, Housing Ombudsman Service

Dear A Johnson.

Thank you for your enquiry.

The Housing Ombudsman Service is accountable in two ways:

In respect of administrative and financial functions, WHO: to Parliament through the Secretary of State (Community & Local Government) HOW: by examinations carried out by the National Audit Office.

In respect of decisions, WHO: to the High Court of Justice; HOW: by Judicial Review.

Yours sincerely,

Housing Ombudsman Service

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A Johnson left an annotation ()

As with most Ombudsmen they are not fully accountable for their decisions. For example they do not have to account for findings of fact. A judicial review can only look at mistakes in law not findings of fact.

David Blythen left an annotation ()

I have found that the Housing Ombudsman failed to follow its own promises. In my case, they clearly stated that they would write to me explaining the reasons, if they could not respond by a certain time-scale, but failed to honour this. How can we have confidence in them to investigate others, if they cannot get their own house in order?
They publish reports praising their performance making it appear that most cases get looked at within a short period of time, giving themselves a pat on the back, when cases like mine took at least 18 months to get from me submitting my case to them, to them making their final decision. How many more cases take the same time as mine to progress through? They do not respond fully to points raised by the complainant, seemingly avoiding parts that they are uncomfortable responding to. I have also found that investigators are not in fact the Ombudsman, as they act on behalf of the Ombudsman. In the case of the Local Government Ombudsman, these investigators work in London, when the LGO's offices are based in Coventry. Investigators can also work from home and they receive a good salary and holiday allowance. When they (Housing Ombudsman) make recommendations, they do not check whether the body complained about has abided to these. Are they really fit for purpose?

David Blythen left an annotation ()

Correction - my annotation above: "I have found that the Housing Ombudsman failed to follow its own promises", should have read: local Government Ombudsman not Housing Ombudsman.

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