The creation of an English Public Services Ombudsman: mapping a way forward
A new report published by Democratic Audit calls for the creation of a single Public Services Ombudsman for England, integrating the various ombudsman services already in existence.
The report is co-authored by Jane Martin (the Local Government Ombudsman) and Richard Kirkham (University of Sheffield). It sets out the need to strengthen citizen redress, the essential features of an integrated ombudsman, and maps out how the service can be established.
Three key steps on the road to reform are identified in the report:
1. Identifying the drivers for reform, including the need for more efficiency in the public services and public dissatisfaction with the way complaints are handled.
2. Assessing how the needs of services users have changed, following a shift toward consumerism and growing complexity and privatisation of public services.
3. Establishing radical solutions which meet constitutional norms, such as making the PSO the ‘standards setter’ for complaints handling across the public services, and giving it new powers in relation to private providers of services.
The ebook is available in the following formats (click to download):
Note: This report reflects the views of its authors and does not necessarily give the position of LSE or Democratic Audit.