Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 08 Sep 2021
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the accuracy of Council records and the decision to issue a child protection plan. The complaint is late and there is no good reason to exercise discretion to investigate it now.
- Mr X said the Council failed to show his family unredacted records concerning its decision in late 2018 to make his child subject to a child protection plan. He said the Council based its original decision on inaccurate information and breached procedures in several ways.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We cannot investigate late complaints unless we decide there are good reasons. Late complaints are when someone takes more than 12 months to complain to us about something a council has done. (Local Government Act 1974, sections 26B and 34D, as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I considered information provided by the complainant and the Council.
- I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.
- Although Mr X complained the Council has not sent the family unredacted records so it can check them for errors, his complaint clearly concerns the Council’s original decision, taken in December 2018. The complaint about the accuracy of its records is not separable from that.
- A person may be unaware of a matter within 12 months of it happening, or s/he may be unable to complain about it promptly. In such circumstances, we often exercise discretion as it would be unreasonable to expect the person to have complained sooner.
- Mr X was aware of the Council’s decision immediately in December 2018. He has disputed the Council’s decision and the accuracy of its records since then. He first contacted us at the start of October 2020. It would have been reasonable for him to approach us within 12 months.
- We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint because it is late and there is no good reason to exercise discretion to investigate it now.
Investigator’s decision on behalf of the Ombudsman
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman