Communities and Local Government CommitteeFurther written evidence from Joseph David Abrams

I attended yesterday and have two comments. First Anne Seex stumbled in reply to questioning about surveys of results of LGO work. Many of Ipsos Mori Surveys and Polls show serious deficiencies. In the LGO Service, 2007 and 2010, for example .In one possibly both, the Ombudsmen or minions were instrumental in the selection of interviewees, which looks to me to make whole thing a nonsense.

My second comment relates to Jane Martin’s proudly recording that the number of s 31 reports had increased recently, in my view from pathetic to totally inadequate, combined with a gleeful record of the now legally recognised but highly reviled, (by me and many others), Local Settlement Ref my Memorandum to the Select Committee.

Far too little attention has however been paid to the position of Investigators to which there was some reference yesterday. Their jobs are, I believe, at risk were they not to do their utmost to get a Local Settlement.

There are instances, I believe from web sites, of investigators, perhaps fearful for their continued employment, having to plead with Local Authorities to agree to a Local Settlement. Many investigators are free to take an arbitrary view of what constitutes Maladministration. That Discretion so beloved of Statute is vested in the investigators in a totally anti democratic manner.

The whole long standing quasi judicial status of the ombudsman is in question.

May 2012

Prepared 16th July 2012