Time targets to detemine a complaint

Trevor R Nunn made this Freedom of Information request to The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Local Government Ombudsmen,

Background information, following a recent FOI request you sent me information which included the following

"Throughout the year the AO will gather evidence about the performance of the investigator as it arises from the following sources:"

After a list you added

"Note: this list is not exhaustive"

What I would now like is information which you failed to include in my initial FOI request on the specific time targets investigators have in which to determine a complaint.

I was told by an investigator that they have to determine a certain percentage of complaints within certain time periods. For example 98% of complaints within 12 months with a lower percentage within 13 weeks.

Therefore, I would now like full details of all the percentages and the time periods in which those percentages must be achieved in order for the investigator (and/or their team) to meet their targets.

Yours faithfully,

Trevor Nunn

Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

Dear Mr Nunn

Our ref: CS/10/016

This is to acknowledge receipt of your request below received on 9 February. We will respond within the 20 working day target (which would be by 9 March 2010) or, if unable to do so, we will write to you again explaining why.

Yours sincerely

Hilary Pook
Communications & Records Manager | DL: 020 7217 4734 |
Local Government Ombudsman's offfice | 10th Floor |
Millbank Tower | Millbank | London | SW1P 4QP |
www.lgo.org.uk |
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Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Nunn

Our ref: CS/10/016

I attach a letter in response to the request below. Thank you for making this a separate request - it is helpful for our records.

Yours sincerely

Hilary Pook
Communications & Records Manager | DL: 020 7217 4734 |
Local Government Ombudsman's offfice | 10th Floor |
Millbank Tower | Millbank | London | SW1P 4QP |
www.lgo.org.uk |
|

show quoted sections

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

Mrs Pook states: "The time targets you refer to are based on what the Ombudsmen have come to accept as the whole Commission's normal performance, and are not intended to `drive' a change in performance. The performance of each office is monitored against the target and where an office falls below the target it can usually be attributed to factors such as higher than usual staff turnover or an upsurge in a particular type of complaint, and the Commission would take the appropriate action to deal with this."

However, this is what an investigator stated: "Well the, the horrible thing about statistics, about the government’s targets, and I’ve seen this in other area’s apart from the Ombudsman office, and it’s true in the prison service, it’s true in all of the public services, that the work is skewed to meet the statistics. They do I think influence decisions that you make, they influence the daily lives of investigators, without a doubt"

I will leave it up to the reader to make up their own mind. Do targets drive performance or not? If they don't, why have them in the first place? The investigator certainly thought they influenced decisions that they made!

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

And from the same investigator in 2005: "..they’ve introduced this performance related pay; it came in for the first time last year and the investigators, I have to say we said it would influence the decision making process. We were not listened to. I mean that’s the top and bottom of it. But you know it has inevitably; I mean the government accepts that it has. But it was accepted that the upside is greater than that marginal downside, I think it’s a fact of life with which we all have to live nowadays…"

http://lgowatcher.blogspot.com/2006/05/p...

Trevor R Nunn left an annotation ()

And from the same investigator: "Believe me it’s not a stupid system that we run it’s a stupid system that the government has imposed."