Communities and Local Government CommitteeWritten evidence submitted by Keith Edmunds

1. The Local Government Ombudsman is an Institution that has been corrupted by Local Government over the years, so much so that it is now entirely unfit for purpose and operates well outside the parameters laid down in the 1974 Local Government Act, that set it up. The evidence for this is as follows:

2. The Local Government Ombudsman used to do an annual customer service survey. Even though they themselves chose the participants of the survey, ie those they thought had received a satisfactory outcome to their complaint. The satisfaction, year after year, always came out at less than 20% of all those surveyed. The Local Government Ombudsman then ceased carrying out these surveys.

3. The most damning statistic about this corrupt Institution is in their annual report to Parliament. Year after year their findings of “maladministration with injustice” show that they have never found for more than 1% of complainants in any year. In fact, most years they find for much fewer than 1% of complainants. For those of you who understand statistics this outcome is a statistical impossibility. From a statistical viewpoint they should be upholding between 33% and 66% of complaints. They are therefore damned by their own annual reports.

4. The Local Government Ombudsman covers up for Local Government and in doing so infringes the human rights of those complainants with legitimate complaints who are denied justice.

5. Most of the employees of the Local Government Ombudsman are ex Local Government Officers so you have a Judge and Jury examining their Peers. The statements above are clear evidence that this does not work.

6. Websites exist providing much evidence that the above statements are true. Here are links:

http://www.ombudsmanwatchers.org.uk/

and here

http://psow.co.uk/

The last inquiry by this committee into the Local Government Ombudsman in 2005 was covered up by its Chairwoman, Dr Phyllis Starkey, and the then Labour Government. Much like the Local Government Ombudsman Investigations:

A. They were prepared to accept statements from the Local Government Ombudsman that were not true.

B. They ignored evidence proving that their statements were false.

C. Issued a final report and ignored evidence presented against the Local Government Ombudsman.

7. Please study the websites with the links above. You will see that my allegations can be entirely justified with hard evidence. In any case if they were doing their job properly there would be no requirement for these websites to exist.

8. As it stands the Local Government Ombudsman is a corrupt Institution, that covers up for Councils, when it should be holding them to account. It is therefore a complete and utter waste of taxpayer’s money. It should either be closed down, or entirely reconstituted, banned from employing Local Government Officers and headed by competent managers from the private sector, not public servants.

9. Finally, if it is retained as recommended in 8 above, it should be given real powers to punish incompetent and corrupt Councils and hold them properly to account.

Keith Edmunds

March 2012

Prepared 16th July 2012