Wednesday, 21 April 2010

COMPLAIN!!!!!! You must be on re-play……

That annual Report of the past 12 months Complaints Boards has been published again by Constable Gallichan’s lack lustre PPC.

For an island with a population of over 92,000 people there were just 15 complaints against government mal-administration in the whole year of 2009!!!!!!!

Of those ONLY 3 complaints were upheld!!!!! Who are we kidding?

With all the discontent in Jersey about so many aspects of our government administration are we really supposed to believe that only 3 people had justifiable grievances in 12 months?

Look here – last year we published several blogs about this very same subject (see voiceforjersey June 3rd and 4th 2009) and responses from Deputies Bob Hill and Roy “the fence” Le Herissier.

We at The Voice also undertook a great deal of research into the subject and attended Complaints Board hearings and we submitted our own complaint against the unhelpful and discriminatory policies of the Chairman’s Committee of Scrutiny. This was not even allowed to be heard because that Committee is exempt – like so many other bodies in Jersey – from Complaint Board examination.
We cannot allow scrutiny of scrutiny!!!!!

As we reported before – in little Gibraltar with a population of just 28,000 – their equivalent (Ombudsman) Board receives over 400 complaints per annum and they uphold about 50 out of the 100 that receive a full hearing.
The main areas of maladministration in Gibraltar, according to their Board are;

“Bias, neglect, inattention, delay, incompetence, inaptitude, perversity, turpitude, arbitrateness…..”

In the UK about 35% of complaints are upheld each year by the Government Ombudsman and there are several different specialist Ombudsman offices to receive specific complaints on such things as Local Government or Insurance (which should be very busy following the Icelandic volcanic ash).

In other places the Ombudsman will take up complaints without even being asked and will prosecute if necessary to achieve a satisfactory conclusion.
Our Complaints Board procedure is a disgraceful farce that won’t (according to Chairperson Carol Canavan – a Jersey Lawyer) even consider human rights violations!!!!!

We recently attended the two latest 2010 Complaints Boards – one versus the Planning Department and the other regarding the States Pension scheme.

These are supposed to be public hearings – but they are not advertised in advance and the “accredited” Jersey press hardly ever attends but waits for the official, ready prepared official “press release” before reporting anything.

We at The Voice have to make enquiries even to discover when Complaints Boards are due to take place – the Greffe will not tell us in advance.
In Gibraltar they give out details to the public on the street!

Thanks heavens Deputy Monty Tadier has had the sense to resign from the absurd PPC farce – but shall he be re-energised now to tackle this Complaints Board disgrace and the other 1001 issues that need addressing in this “paradise island”?

Submitted by Thomas Wellard.


Trevor R Nunn said...

You are wrong to state 'In the UK about 35% of complaints are upheld each year by the Government Ombudsman. UK Ombudsmen uphold very few complaints. Even if you wrongly include those investigations terminated early because the authority under investigation has agreed with the Ombudsman to settle the case (the complainant has no say in the matter) the true figure of complaints upheld or locally settled is not 35% of complaints submitted to the Ombudsmen. It is much closer to 20%.

Anonymous said...

The UK Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman receives about 16,000 contacts each year. I am not sure how many are upheld but the 100 staff look at all sorts of things including GPs, Nurses, Doctors and Dentists etc.
Other English Ombudsmen look at Financial Services, Estate Agents, Housing, Judicial Appointments and Conduct, Legal Services, Local Government, Pensions, Prison and Probation, Removals Industry, Telecommunications and Waterways.
Besides which other complaints handlers include complaints re;
Adjudicators, Advertising, Communications and Internet,Independent Case Examiner, Independent Complaints Adjudicator for Ofsted, a Mediator for the Criminal Records Bureau, for the Receiver, for the Police Complaints Commissioner, Information Commissioner, Ofcom, for Immigration Services, for Higher Education and an Independent Complaints Reviewer.

So if you think that Jersey's feeble Complaints Board is anything to be proud about .......

Anonymous said...

I think you're jumping to conclusions here. In Gibraltar they have less people in their parliament and the ombudsman deals with questions that, if in Jersey, would be dealt with in the States assembly. You have to appreciate the different ways their systems work so you can't compare the figures like for like.

Anonymous said...

Just 3 valid complaints in a year for 92,000 people!!!!
Oh come off the fence - condemn the Jersey farce, do yourself a favour. Say something worth our attention.

Anonymous said...

Having checked with the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman it seems that in 2008/9 they received 16,000 "contacts", 49% by telephone, 36% by letter and 15% by email. These were 7,600 about Parliamentary matters, 6,200 Health and 2,500 others.
9,500 were rejected as not properly made. About 1,000 made it through to fully investigated complaints. 37% of these were upheld, 15% in part and 48% rejected.
They employ 390 staff and have an annual budget of £28 Millions. Human Rights featured strongly in their workload which includes attending conferences etc. and advising on Human Rights matters.
1,000 complaints were made about the Ombudsman itself and 13% were upheld.

Thomas Wellard