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MPs CALL FOR SUPER-OMBUDSMAN TO BE GATEWAY FOR COMPLAINTS

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A super-ombudsman service should replace the separate watchdogs for parliament, local government and the health ser...
A super-ombudsman service should replace the separate watchdogs for parliament, local government and the health service, according to MPs.

A report published yesterday by the commons select committee on public administration says a 'commission of ombudsmen' would act as a 'single gateway for complaints' to allow more flexibility in handling public concerns.

The committee's investigation, sparked by calls from the local administration commissioner, Edward Osmotherly, and Michael Buckley, the health service commissioner, for a 'comprehensive review' of their organisations.

The report says: 'Existing legislation prevents the public sector ombudsmen from operating in the more flexible way required of them as a result of changes to public service delivery.'

Rolling the existing commissioners together into a new office together with 'associates' such as the data protection commissioners, would streamline a 'complex' system.

Mr Buckley told the committee: 'We should be able to do a better job if the commission comes into being because it would reduce overlap between the different bodies.'

The select committee's report is available at: www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/pubahome.htm

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