expenses crisis a wake-up call, says MoJ chief
Pre 2003 the Legal
Services Ombudsman was Ann Abraham who commented about
Thomas Boyd Whyte "...their
work was so bad..." and commented that Mr Higgins
QC opinion report on TBW was "inaccurate".
My complaint would reached her as Parliamentary Ombudsman but she
said the Legal Services do not fall within her remit
this was a 'PORKIE'
In the past the Law Society never ever got the 'Complaints Procedure'
right so in
March 2003 along came Zahida Manzoor with lots of
blowing' titled "Legal Services Ombudsman" I
think she would now be better known and remembered as the 'Law Society's
Chief Protectorate' (office of protector of kingdom or state).
(You only have to read
a letter I wrote to this 'Bent
Nine Bob Note' two years after she came to office to
see she not only was Referee but was also playing in the Law Society
blowing' came 'Sampson'
going to put everything right but he and his staff caught with their
hands in the 'Till' not to say he lied to what his remit intailed.
Now Nick Hawkins,
Chief Executive, is 'Trumpet
blowing' for our new LeO, Kathryn Stone
. But as we
know from years of experience some years down the line it will all go
'Pear-shaped' again, along will come another new LeO with more 'Trumpet
blowing' and all the past sins again swept under the carpet, leaving
complainants looking for other ways to vent their anger.
(You only have to read
a letter I wrote to to Adam 'the Ant' Sampson
in April 2012 it shows the new LeO 'Referee' is also playing in the
Law Society 'Team Colours' (No change there then!)) Adam
'the Ant' resigns
(Will things change with this one? I don't
think so, read my ,,,Preface
3rd paragraph "In 1215 King John refuse to
honour the Magna Carta which triggered the 'Barons War'". Once
again it will be just a case of history repeating it's self no doubt
reason, click HERE).
July 2016 | By John
The Ministry of Justice has tightened its grip on arm's-length
bodies in the wake of the Legal Ombudsman's expenses issue. Richard
Heaton (pictured), permanent secretary at the MoJ, told the Public Accounts
Committee of the House of Commons on Monday that the organisation has
'strengthened its defences' against a repeat of the crisis.
Accounts for the 2014/15 year, published in January,
found 'novel and contentious' payments had been made to ombudsman staff
and were not approved by the MoJ.
The previous year's accounts had been qualified on the
basis of what the National Audit Office called 'irregular expenditure'
Heaton said the complaints-handler had been treated
as 'low risk' and subject to quarterly checks on expenditure.
It is unclear whether the Office for Legal Complaints
(OLC), which runs the ombudsman service, is now classified as higher
risk, but Heaton said lessons have been learnt from the matter.
The OLC was not a high-risk organisation compared with
CAFCASS or the Parole Board,' he said. There was a governance failure
in the OLC, which meant that expenditure took place that was irregular
in Treasury terms and, frankly, should have been picked up.'
Heaton accepted that the problems were picked up due
to the actions of a whistleblower and not by internal checks of the
arm's-length body. He admitted it was 'arguable' that the issue could
have been raised sooner had it been administered within the civil service.
The OLC was part of an essentially regulatory regime
that was levy-funded by the legal profession, and none of it was within
government,' he said.
It was monitored by government, because it is public
money, it was a compulsory levy and it serves a public function, but
it was never a government function in the first place.'
Asked by committee member Stephen Phillips if the same
mistakes would have happened if the OLC had been run by the civil service,
Heaton replied: 'Not unless someone was ignorant of their responsibilities.
Every civil servant has line-management responsibility, which includes
knowing how government money works.'
In January, the OLC reported it was on the way to bringing
expenses issues to a resolution, although the report's governance statement
said the office was required to continue these payments under 'contractual
commitments to its employees'.
Readers' comments (13)
" Anonymous 22 July 2016 02:41 pm
This would never have happened if it had been a lawyer at the helm.
I say that with some considerable insight as an executive within the
SRA. Much can and will be learned from this.
" Anonymous 22 July 2016 02:58 pm
Because the SRA always adhere to their governance and process procedures
Its not only the OLC that
has the "exceptional circumstances" argument as a fall back
defence to mis management and poor staff handling of matters........lol.
Sounds like the kettle
calling the pot black.
22 July 2016 04:11 pm
'He who should not be mentioned'...
Expelliramus ( or some such nonsense )
" Gavin Wall
22 July 2016 04:13 pm
I've always enjoyed the word Ombudsman. I like the fact it means "
a trusted intermediary". Trust. so
Anonymous 22 July
2016 04:36 pm
I think Anon of 04.11 means:
If only this was real!
July 2016 08:19 pm
Thanks Anon! Right spell for the right job....
That's what happens when a muggle tries to do a wizard's job....
Speaking of which how are the SRA and Countrywide Conveyancing getting
on these days?
22 July 2016 11:21 pm
Satire is not dead, long live freedom of speech and the pure joy of
laughing at anybody who takes themselves too seriously.
25 July 2016 01:58 pm
I wish you would stop gagging me and taking down my posts regarding
Sampson! Is it 'you scratch my back...' down there, or what? This
man had expenses he should not have had and he knows it. Why then
is he not reported to the police for them to investigate?
25 July 2016 06:49 pm
No David it's that typically the gazette runs scared if anything gets
too hot. It's a symptom of the 21 century that freedom of speech and
debate ARE censored on the basis of concern over a reaction that has
not happened yet! Is this a 'safe space'? I hope not !
Crawford 25 July
2016 08:04 pm
Thanks for that reassurance, Skarthatch, I was beginning to wonder
if it was just me. That was the fourth post I made on the topic and
the least 'controversial' omitting all references, direct or indirect,
to the Theft Act. Here's hoping!
26 July 2016 12:17 pm
The Theft Act
there is a good idea!!! Can anyone call the cops!!
'get in the back of the van' as the Copper said in Withnail and I.
Also and aside if we did what AS possibly did allegedly did etc etc
we would I suspect get a damn good 'beating' from a big stick.
26 July 2016 09:23 pm
Yes, indeed Bobby, and
that big stick would be wielded by...The Legal Services Ombudsman!
1 August 2016 12:27 pm
wake-up call, a WAKE-UP CALL!!! A crime in my book, no several crimes.
I received a new statement from the OLC saying
that Mr Sampson had in fact been dismissed with notice...
Posted by Neil Rose, Editor, Legal
Futures. 9 November 2015