Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 28 Mar 2018
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: The Ombudsman should not investigate Mr X’s complaint about its assessment of his family. This is because we are unlikely to find fault.
- Mr X complains about the Council’s assessment of his family. In particular, he says the assessment does not properly address the issue of whether his former partner has been spreading false information about him; and he says the assessment covers up his concerns about his former partner’s care of their children.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’. In this statement, I have used the word fault to refer to these. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint. I refer to this as ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We may decide not to start or continue with an investigation if we believe it is unlikely we will find fault. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I have considered the information Mr X provided with his complaint, and information provided by the Council about its consideration of his complaint. I have also considered the child and family assessment Mr X is complaining about.
What I found
- The Council recently completed a child and family assessment about Mr X’s children. The assessment draws together information provided by the children, Mr X and his former partner, other family members, and professionals involved with the family. This is what an assessment is supposed to do.
- Mr X contributed to this assessment and it directly addresses the issues he has now brought to us in his complaint. There is no evidence to suggest that if we investigated his complaint, we might find the outcome of the assessment was flawed by administrative fault.
- The Ombudsman should not investigate this complaint. This is because it is unlikely we would find fault.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman