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APPOINTMENT OF NEW LOCAL GOVERNMENT OMBUDSMAN

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Her Majesty the Queen has appointed Mr Ian Fraser Smith to be Commissioner for Local Administration in Scotland (Lo...
Her Majesty the Queen has appointed Mr Ian Fraser Smith to be Commissioner for Local Administration in Scotland (Local Government Ombudsman) with immediate effect.

Mr Smith succeeds Mr F C Marks OBE who retired on 30 June having held office since 1 July 1994.

Mr Smith is 50, a former chief executive of Dumfries and Galloway Council. He is a qualified solicitor who first entered local government in 1971 as a trainee solicitor with Fife County Council.

He became deputy chief executive of Clackmannan District Council in 1977 and then chief executive in 1985. He then went on to become chief executive of Dumfries and Galloway Regional Council. Mr Smith has a wealth of knowledge and experience of local government in Scotland.

The appointment is made in terms of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1975 on the recommendations of the Scottish ministers.

Mr Smith has also been appointed to be the political restrictions exemptions adjudicator in terms of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989.

These appointments have been made subject to the guidance issued by the commissioner for public appointments. Mr Smith has not carried out any political activity in the last 5 years and does not currently hold any other public appointments.

The ombudsman post is part-time with a salary of£38,264 per annum for 2.5 days per week and a further£5,000 per annum for 0.5 days per week to cover the role of the local government adjudicator.

BACKGROUND

1. The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1975 set up machinery in Scotland for the investigation of complaints of maladministration by local authorities, committees, joint boards etc.

2. The purpose of the ombudsman's office is to give members of the public who consider that they have sustained injustice as a result of maladministration by a local authority or relevant body the right to have their complaints independently scrutinised by the commissioner for local administration.

3. The appointment of the political restrictions exemptions adjudicator was established by section 3 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 and involves adjudicating on applications by local authority staff for exemption from the political restrictions requirements of the Act.

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