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Some Useful Recommendations in the law Commission's report 'Public Service Ombudsmen' - Essay Example

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While there are some useful recommendations in the law Commission's report 'Public Service Ombudsmen', it focused too much on the law and the courts and fails to understand 'ombudsmary'. Any recommendations on the public services ombudsman should take into consideration the process of ombudsmary otherwise, such recommendations can compromise on the ability of ombudsmen to act as judicial advocates and make it harder for the public to complain if they suffer injustice…
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Some Useful Recommendations in the law Commissions report Public Service Ombudsmen
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Download file to see previous pages It recommended that statutory provisions that warrant complaints to be made to ombudsmen in writing have to be repealed. Secondly, section 5(2) of the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 should be repealed. This is the section that directs that Ombudsmen should not carry out investigations on matters that can be the subject to judicial review proceedings or appeal unless the ombudsmen are satisfied that in the particular situation, it is not reasonable to expect the complainant to follow up the matter in such ways. The commission recommended that this section of the law be replaced with a discretion to investigate except where the matter is considered inappropriate. The third recommendation was that the Administrative Court should have an authority to stay in action before the matter to allow for an investigation or disposition of the matter by the public services ombudsman. Fourthly, a reaped should also be made on the ‘MP filter’ which similarly applies to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. The public services ombudsmen should be able to complain either via an MP or directly. Fifthly, “a specific power to make a reference to the Administrative Court asking a question on a point of law” should be given to the Ombudsmen1. ...
Finally, there needs to be a fundamental review of the current public services ombudsmen as well as the ombudsman's position in the landscape for administrative justice. An analysis of these recommendations shows that they are useful in enhancing the ability of the public services ombudsman to seek and deliver justice to the public in case of any complaints of injustice. However, the commission did not adequately focus on the role of the Ombudsman in regard to judicial review. Evidently, it dwelt much on the law and courts but failed to understand 'ombudsmary'. This inadequacy is highly evidenced by the case Bradley v Secretary of state for work and pensions [2008]. On 15th march, 2006, the public services ombudsman published a report entitled “Trusting in the pensions promise: government bodies and the security of final salary occupational pensions (HC 984)”. In this report, the public services ombudsman addressed the circumstances under which salary schemes were wound up and it also revealed the role of the government on this scandal2. The ombudsman revealed that the department of work and pensions (DWP) had published leaflets encouraging the public to stick to company pension schemes but this information was incomplete and misleading. It failed to warn the public that their pensions were at risk if the pension schemes of their companies wound up. The ombudsman therefore concluded that there was a maladministration and the Actions of the DWP lead to injustice to the public. The findings of the ombudsman's report were rejected by the State's secretary for Work and Pensions. However, through a judicial review of this rejection, the actions of the state secretary for WP was ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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