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Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Bill [HL]


Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Bill [HL]
Part 2 — Investigation of complaints

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(3)   

But the condition in subsection (2) is not met in relation to a person merely

because he has taken action such as is mentioned in section 13(6).

(4)   

If the Ombudsman issues a certificate under subsection (1), the High Court

may inquire into the matter.

(5)   

If the High Court is satisfied that the condition in subsection (2) is met in

5

relation to the person, it may deal with him in any manner in which it could

have dealt with him if he had committed contempt in relation to the High

Court.

Reports of investigations

16      

Reports of investigations

10

(1)   

The Ombudsman must, after conducting an investigation into a complaint in

respect of a listed authority—

(a)   

prepare a report on his findings, and

(b)   

send a copy of the report to all the appropriate persons.

   

This is subject to section 21.

15

(2)   

The appropriate persons are—

(a)   

the person who made the complaint;

(b)   

the listed authority;

(c)   

any other person who is alleged in the complaint to have taken or

authorised the action complained of;

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(d)   

if the listed authority is a family health service provider in Wales—

(i)   

any Local Health Board with whom the authority had, at the

time of the action which is the subject of the complaint, entered

into a contract to provide the family health services which are

under investigation;

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(ii)   

any person to whom the authority had, at that time, undertaken

to provide those services;

(iii)   

any person with whom the authority had, at that time, made

arrangements for the provision of those services;

(e)   

if the listed authority is an independent provider in Wales—

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(i)   

any Welsh health service body with whom the authority had, at

the time of the action which is the subject of the complaint,

made arrangements for the provision of the services under

investigation;

(ii)   

any family health service provider in Wales with whom the

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authority had, at that time, made arrangements for the

provision of those services;

(f)   

the Assembly First Secretary (unless the listed authority is itself the

Assembly or is a local authority in Wales).

(3)   

The Ombudsman may send a copy of the report to any other persons he thinks

40

appropriate.

(4)   

The Ombudsman may publish a report prepared under this section if, after

taking account of the interests of the person aggrieved and any other persons

he thinks appropriate, he considers it to be in the public interest to do so.

 
 

Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Bill [HL]
Part 2 — Investigation of complaints

9

 

(5)   

The Ombudsman may supply a copy of a report published under subsection

(4), or any part of such a report, to any person who requests it.

(6)   

The Ombudsman may charge a reasonable fee for supplying a copy of a report,

or part of a report, under subsection (5).

(7)   

If a report prepared under this section—

5

(a)   

mentions the name of any person other than the listed authority in

respect of which the complaint was made, or

(b)   

includes any particulars which, in the opinion of the Ombudsman, are

likely to identify any such person and which, in his opinion, can be

omitted without impairing the effectiveness of the report,

10

   

that information must not be included in a version of the report sent to a person

under subsection (1)(b) or (3) or published under subsection (4), subject to

subsection (8).

(8)   

Subsection (7) does not apply in relation to a version of the report if, after

taking account of the interests of the person aggrieved and any other persons

15

he thinks appropriate, the Ombudsman considers it to be in the public interest

to include that information in that version of the report.

(9)   

If the Ombudsman would otherwise send a copy of a report (or part of a report)

to the Assembly under subsection (1)(b), (3) or (5), he must send the copy to the

Assembly First Secretary instead.

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17      

Publicising reports 

(1)   

If an investigation is conducted in respect of a listed authority and the

authority receives a copy of a report under section 16(1)(b), the authority must

make copies of that version of the report available for a period of at least three

weeks—

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(a)   

at one or more of the authority’s offices, and

(b)   

if the authority has a website, on the website.

(2)   

Throughout that period of three weeks, any person may—

(a)   

inspect the copy of the report at the office or offices concerned at any

reasonable time without payment;

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(b)   

make a copy of the report or any part of it at any reasonable time

without payment;

(c)   

require the authority to supply him with a copy of the report or any

part of it, on payment of a reasonable sum if requested;

(d)   

if the authority has a website, view the copy of the report on the website

35

without payment.

(3)   

Not later than two weeks after the copy of the report is received by the listed

authority it must ensure that a notice is published in a newspaper circulating

in the part of Wales in which the matter which is the subject of the report arose.

(4)   

The notice must specify—

40

(a)   

the date on which the period of three weeks referred to in subsection (1)

will begin,

(b)   

the office or offices at which a copy of the report can be inspected, and

(c)   

the address of the authority’s website (if any).

(5)   

The Ombudsman may give directions to listed authorities with regard to the

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discharge of their functions under this section.

 
 

Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Bill [HL]
Part 2 — Investigation of complaints

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(6)   

Directions under subsection (5) may relate—

(a)   

to a particular listed authority in respect of a particular report, or

(b)   

generally to the discharge of functions under this section by all or any

listed authorities.

(7)   

A person commits an offence if—

5

(a)   

he wilfully obstructs a person in the exercise of a right conferred by

subsection (2)(a), (b) or (d), or

(b)   

he refuses to comply with a requirement under subsection (2)(c).

(8)   

A person guilty of an offence under subsection (7) is liable on summary

conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.

10

(9)   

The Ombudsman may direct that subsections (1) to (4) are not to apply in

relation to a particular report.

(10)   

In deciding whether to give a direction under subsection (9), the Ombudsman

must take into account—

(a)   

the public interest,

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(b)   

the interests of the person aggrieved, and

(c)   

the interests of any other persons he thinks appropriate.

18      

Publicising reports: health care providers

(1)   

If an investigation is conducted in respect of a listed authority which is a family

health service provider in Wales, section 17 has effect with the modifications

20

specified in subsections (2) to (4).

(2)   

For subsection (1) substitute—

“(1)   

A person who has received a copy of a report under section 16 by virtue

of section 16(2)(d) must make copies of the report available for a period

of at least three weeks—

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(a)   

at one or more of the person’s offices, and

(b)   

if the person has a website, on the website.”

(3)   

The references to the listed authority are to be taken to be references to that

person.

(4)   

The references to listed authorities, or to a particular listed authority, are to be

30

taken to be references to persons, or a particular person, of the same

description as that person.

(5)   

If an investigation is conducted in respect of a listed authority which is an

independent provider in Wales, section 17 has effect with the modifications

specified in subsections (6) to (8).

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(6)   

For subsection (1) substitute—

“(1)   

A person who has received a copy of a report under section 16 by virtue

of section 16(2)(e) must make copies of the report available for a period

of at least three weeks—

(a)   

at one or more of the person’s offices, and

40

(b)   

if the person has a website, on the website.”

(7)   

The references to the listed authority are to be taken to be references to that

person.

 
 

Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Bill [HL]
Part 2 — Investigation of complaints

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(8)   

The references to listed authorities, or to a particular listed authority, are to be

taken to be references to persons, or a particular person, of the same

description as that person.

19      

Action following receipt of a report

(1)   

This section applies if, in a report under section 16 of an investigation in respect

5

of a listed authority, the Ombudsman concludes that the person aggrieved has

sustained injustice or hardship in consequence of the matter investigated.

(2)   

The listed authority must consider the report and notify the Ombudsman

before the end of the permitted period of—

(a)   

the action it has taken or proposes to take in response to it, and

10

(b)   

the period before the end of which it proposes to have taken that action

(if it has not already done so).

(3)   

The permitted period is—

(a)   

the period of one month beginning on the date on which the authority

receives the report, or

15

(b)   

any longer period specified by the Ombudsman in writing.

20      

Non-action following receipt of a report

(1)   

If the Ombudsman is satisfied that the condition in subsection (2) is met in

relation to a listed authority, he may issue a certificate to that effect to the High

Court.

20

(2)   

The condition is that the listed authority has wilfully disregarded his report

without lawful excuse.

21      

Reports: alternative procedure

(1)   

This section applies if, after the Ombudsman has conducted an investigation

into a complaint in respect of a listed authority—

25

(a)   

he concludes that the person aggrieved has not sustained injustice or

hardship in consequence of the matter investigated, and

(b)   

he is satisfied that the public interest does not require sections 16 to 19

to apply.

(2)   

This section also applies if, after the Ombudsman has conducted an

30

investigation into a complaint in respect of a listed authority—

(a)   

he concludes that the person aggrieved has sustained injustice or

hardship in consequence of the matter investigated,

(b)   

the listed authority agrees to implement, before the end of the

permitted period, any recommendations he makes, and

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(c)   

he is satisfied that the public interest does not require sections 16 to 19

to apply.

(3)   

The permitted period is—

(a)   

a period agreed between the Ombudsman, the listed authority and the

person who made the complaint, or

40

(b)   

if the Ombudsman thinks that no such agreement can be reached, the

period specified by him in writing.

 
 

Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Bill [HL]
Part 2 — Investigation of complaints

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(4)   

The Ombudsman may decide to prepare a report on his findings under this

section instead of under section 16.

(5)   

If the Ombudsman decides to prepare a report under this section—

(a)   

sections 16 to 19 do not apply;

(b)   

he must send a copy of the report to—

5

(i)   

the person who made the complaint;

(ii)   

the listed authority;

(c)   

he may send a copy of the report to any other persons he thinks

appropriate.

(6)   

The Ombudsman may publish a report prepared under this section if, after

10

taking account of the interests of the person aggrieved and any other persons

he thinks appropriate, he considers it to be in the public interest to do so.

(7)   

The Ombudsman may supply a copy of a report published under subsection

(6), or any part of such a report, to any person who requests it.

(8)   

The Ombudsman may charge a reasonable fee for supplying a copy of a report,

15

or part of a report, under subsection (7).

(9)   

If a report prepared under this section—

(a)   

mentions the name of any person other than the listed authority in

respect of which the complaint was made, or

(b)   

includes any particulars which, in the opinion of the Ombudsman, are

20

likely to identify any such person and which, in his opinion, can be

omitted without impairing the effectiveness of the report,

   

that information must not be included in a version of the report sent to a person

under subsection (5) or published under subsection (6), subject to subsection

(10).

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(10)   

Subsection (9) does not apply in relation to a version of the report if, after

taking account of the interests of the person aggrieved and any other persons

he thinks appropriate, the Ombudsman considers it to be in the public interest

to include that information in that version of the report.

(11)   

If the Ombudsman would otherwise send a copy of a report (or part of a report)

30

to the Assembly under subsection (5) or (7), he must send the copy to the

Assembly First Secretary instead.

Special reports

22      

Special reports

(1)   

The Ombudsman may prepare a report under this section (a “special report”)

35

if subsection (2), (4) or (6) applies.

(2)   

This subsection applies if, in a report under section 16, the Ombudsman has

concluded that the person aggrieved has sustained injustice or hardship in

consequence of the matter investigated and—

(a)   

the Ombudsman has not received the notification required under

40

section 19 before the end of the period permitted under that section,

(b)   

he has received that notification but he is not satisfied with—

(i)   

the action which the listed authority has taken or proposes to

take, or

 
 

Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Bill [HL]
Part 2 — Investigation of complaints

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(ii)   

the period before the end of which it proposes to have taken that

action, or

(c)   

he has received that notification but he is not satisfied that the listed

authority has, before the end of the permitted period, taken the action

it proposed to take.

5

(3)   

The permitted period for the purposes of subsection (2)(c) is—

(a)   

the period referred to in section 19(2)(b), or

(b)   

any longer period specified by the Ombudsman in writing.

(4)   

This subsection applies if the Ombudsman—

(a)   

has prepared a report under section 21 by virtue of subsection (2) of that

10

section, and

(b)   

is not satisfied that the listed authority has implemented his

recommendations before the end of the permitted period.

(5)   

The permitted period for the purposes of subsection (4)(b) is—

(a)   

the period referred to in section 21(2)(b), or

15

(b)   

any longer period specified by the Ombudsman in writing.

(6)   

This subsection applies if—

(a)   

a complaint in respect of a listed authority has been resolved under

section 3,

(b)   

in resolving the complaint, the Ombudsman has concluded that the

20

person aggrieved has sustained injustice or hardship in consequence of

the matter which is the subject of the complaint,

(c)   

the listed authority has agreed to take particular action before the end

of a particular period, and

(d)   

the Ombudsman is not satisfied that the listed authority has taken that

25

action before the end of the permitted period.

(7)   

The permitted period for the purposes of subsection (6)(d) is—

(a)   

the period referred to in subsection (6)(c), or

(b)   

any longer period specified by the Ombudsman in writing.

(8)   

A special report must—

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(a)   

set out the facts on the basis of which subsection (2), (4) or (6) applies,

and

(b)   

make such recommendations as the Ombudsman thinks fit with

respect to the action which, in his opinion, should be taken—

(i)   

to remedy the injustice or hardship to the person aggrieved, and

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(ii)   

to prevent similar injustice or hardship being caused in the

future.

(9)   

The Ombudsman must send a copy of a special report—

(a)   

if the special report is prepared because subsection (2) applies, to each

person to whom a copy of the report under section 16 was sent under

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section 16(1)(b);

(b)   

if the special report is prepared because subsection (4) or (6) applies, to

the person who made the complaint and the listed authority.

(10)   

The Ombudsman may send a copy of a special report to any other persons he

thinks appropriate.

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