Issue - meetings
Public Services Ombudsman for Wales
Meeting: 20/10/2020 - Cabinet (Item 28)
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As detailed in the recommendations.
Councillor Mullin introduced the report which was to share the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales Annual Letter 2019/20 for Flintshire County Council.
The Chief Officer (Governance) explained that the Annual Letter provided details of the annual performance of the Council in relation to complaints against services which were received and investigated by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales during 2019/20.
A similar report would be submitted to Standards Committee. The number of complaints were relatively high based on the size of the population but that was due to a number of complaints going direct to the Ombudsman rather than to Flintshire first.
In a report considered by Cabinet last year, the Ombudsman had offered to work with local authorities in March 2020 to improve the quality of complaints handling. Due to the emergency situation that was unable to take place but virtual sessions were booked to take place in January 2021 to deal with the issues of early referral of complaints to the Ombudsman.
Members welcomed the commitment to review the Council’s internal complaints procedure and the training. A discussion took place on the use of inappropriate means for making complaints such as social media. By complaining in such a way made cases more difficult to handle due to the work required to establish who was then dealing with the complaint.
In response to a question from Councillor Banks, the Chief Officer (Governance) explained that the number of complaints stated in the report was split between service complaints and ethical complaints.
(a) That the annual performance of the Council be noted, including the percentage of complaints that are premature, out of jurisdiction or closed after initial consideration by the Ombudsman;
(b) That the actions to improve complaints handling across the Council be supported; and
(c) That the actions to review the Council’s complaints policy by 31st March 2021 be supported.