Threads

See more results

Topics

Usernames

Mumsnet Logo
Please
or
to access all these features

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any legal concerns we suggest you consult a solicitor.

Maladministration in a local authority
10

MGMidget · 26/06/2022 14:15

I wondered if anyone has experience of complaining against a local authority for maladministration and if so how did it go and did you have to involve the Local Government Omnbudsman? I am thinking of making a complaint of maladministration to my local authority (I won't give the details here as it would be too specific and identifying) but I am worried by the negative reviews I am seeing of the Local Government Ombudsman (e.g. on Trustpilot) and if I am wasting my time or if there is another way to bring scrutiny on a local authority apart from through the ombudsman? I wondered what experiences people had had.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

prh47bridge · 26/06/2022 14:59

Trustpilot reviews are clearly from people who went to the LGO and did not have their complaint upheld or are unhappy with the compensation recommended. Some of them are quite ridiculous, e.g. the person who is unwilling to comply with their council's procedure for proving he is a resident and hence cannot get a resident's parking permit, who apparently believes the council should change their process rather than them having to comply with the existing process.

The LGO actually upheld 67% of the complaints it received in 2020/21, the most recent year for which statistics are available. For education and children's services, 77% of complaints were upheld. At the other end of the scale, only 45% of complaints related to planning and development were upheld. All other categories had at least 58% of complaints upheld.

No organisation is perfect and clearly the LGO will sometimes get it wrong. However, my experience with them, mainly around school admission appeals, has been positive.

Please
or
to access all these features

MGMidget · 27/06/2022 18:51

Thank you. Your statistics are more reassuring. The trustpilot reviews I saw were around 99% negative and I had never seen such an overwhelmingly negative statistic for reviews on Trustpilot for any organisation before! I had also seen a lot of criticism from an organisation called LGO Watch but that seems to be a few years old so I was hoping things might have changed since then anyway. Where did you get your statistics as a matter of interest as I would be interested to see the complaints they upheld if they are summarised anywhere. I want to make a complaint that is probably about something more 'niche' so they likely wouldn't have any similar cases so I am curious to what level of thought/enquiry they put into their investigations.

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

prh47bridge · 27/06/2022 19:07

The LGO produces an annual report that contains these statistics. They also publish details of some cases.

Please
or
to access all these features

ChristinePerfect · 28/06/2022 07:41

I've got an ongoing complaint at the moment, it's still in the investigation stage. Mine is quite niche too, and goes back five years or so to the initial errors. So for me it's been a lengthy process and it's still not complete.

I don't know if it will help in your situation but you're entitled to make Freedom of Information requests to public bodies. The LA won't give you any personal data but they will give you figures. So you can ask how many people complained about that issue in your area in 2018, or how many people appealed a certain decision, how many went on to win their appeal, how much money was involved, etc.
There's also a website that publishes Freedom of Information requests so you can search that and see if your LA appears, by looking at other people's requests you might be able to figure out if their complaints are similar to your own.

Please
or
to access all these features

JennyMule · 01/07/2022 19:20

Hi, former local govt. officer here! LGO website has lots of info on what the LGO will and won't normally consider and generally the expectation is that you follow the council complaints policy through its various stages (all 3, for m memory) and if the matter is still unresolved from your perspective the LGO will investigate whether there has been maladministration and, if so, it has led to injustice. My personal impression is that a lot of complainants are miffed that the LGO outcome doesn't necessarily mean a large financial settlement, but I may just be a cynical old bag 😀 In my own experience (albeit from the "inside" a LA is keen to learn from mistakes and avoid the publicity and hassle of a LGO investigation. Hope you manage to sort things out.

Please
or
to access all these features

SweetSakura · 01/07/2022 19:24

I wouldn't be deterred from going to the ombudsman. They aren't going to uphold many because a decent percentage of the complainants are "hobby complainers" who look for things to be cross about.
You usually have to have exhausted the complaints process first.

Writing to your MP can also help

Please
or
to access all these features

MGMidget · 03/07/2022 07:38

Thanks, some good points made here. I have made FOI and subject access requests to get the info I have and the info reveals the ‘wrong’ I want to complain about! It has been a slow process extracting the information out of the LA and had to involve the ICO twice already so I have been trying to get the info from the LA for over a year and still dont have all the answers yet. I guess I will now need to start a complaints process with the LA!

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

SweetSakura · 03/07/2022 09:51

Be aware that the teams dealing with data protection/foi are often hugely under resourced so please don't read anything into the time it has taken to get the information. My friend deals with them and it is clear that the workload is huge and it is very stressful to know you just can't meet the deadlines without cloning yourself.

Please
or
to access all these features

MGMidget · 03/07/2022 14:27

Thanks, SweetSakura. Its the content of the information that is making me want to complain rather than the slowness of response. I do think though that the way they (failed to) handle the enquiries may have had something to do with a reluctance to provide the information, given what it revealed once dragged out of the LA after intervention from the ICO!

OP's posts:
Please
or
to access all these features

GMH1974 · 03/07/2022 14:34

I think you may have to try to resolve it through the council's complaints procedure before involving the ombudsman. They should have a designated complaints person.

Please
or
to access all these features
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.