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Consultation on proposed law giving the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales new powers

26/10/2015

New proposals which could strengthen the powers of the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales are being considered by a National Assembly committee.

In a report published in May this year, the Finance Committee recommended that the Ombudsman be given powers in areas including:

  • Initiating own investigations;
  • Accepting oral complaints;
  • Complaints handling across public services; and
  • Extending the Ombudsman's jurisdiction to include private healthcare providers (in certain circumstances).

Now the Committee is considering draft legislation to make this happen.

It's asking people to consider the proposals and answer questions including:

  • Would the draft Bill improve the effectiveness of the role of the Ombudsman? If so how?
  • What, if any, are the potential barriers to implementing the provisions of the draft Bill? And,
  • Are there any unintended consequences arising from the draft Bill?

"The Committee believes the Ombudsman has performed well up to this point, but that the role should be expanded in order to future proof it and make it more responsive to the needs of people in Wales," said Jocelyn Davies AM, Chair of the Finance Committee.

"We also said there would be a need for new legislation to make that happen.

"We would like people to consider our draft proposals and tell us whether they believe they will work and if and how they could be better."

The Committee's proposals can be found in this page of the National Assembly website which contains links to the report on the role of the PSOW and the questions the Committee is asking as part of its consultation.

More information about the Finance Committee can be found here.

More information about the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales can be found here.

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