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Community Boards fall under Ombudsmen jurisdiction if decision(s) made other than by Committee as a whole

Local Government
Ombudsmen Act 1975
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Ombudsmen Act 1975
Community Board
Sir Brian Elwood
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Jurisdiction—Community Board—decisions of full Board outside jurisdiction—scope of jurisdiction limited to acts or decisions of committees, subcommittees, officers, employees or members of Board—Ombudsmen Act 1975, s 13(1) and (2)

A complaint was received which raised the question of the Ombudsmen’s jurisdiction to investigate decisions made by Community Boards.

Community Boards are specified in Part III of the First Schedule to the Ombudsmen Act 1975. Accordingly, an Ombudsman may investigate any decision, recommendation, act or omission, made by a committee (other than a committee of the whole), or subcommittee, or by an officer, employee, or member of a Community Board. However, decisions taken by the Board as a whole cannot of themselves be investigated by virtue of the provisions of sections 13(1) and (2) of the Ombudsmen Act.

The complainants were advised of the jurisdictional limitation, but invited to submit a complaint if they believed the decision about which they were concerned had been based on recommendations or reports by a committee, officer, employee or member of the Board which they considered were incomplete or misleading. As no further correspondence was received an investigation did not proceed.

This case note is published under the authority of the Ombudsmen Rules 1989. It sets out an Ombudsman’s view on the facts of a particular case. It should not be taken as establishing any legal precedent that would bind an Ombudsman in future.

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