Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 15 Jul 2021
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about the Council’s children’s services. This is because the complaint does not meet the tests in our Assessment Code on how we decide which complaints to investigate. The complaint concerns matters that involve in legal proceedings and Police investigations which are outside our jurisdiction.
- The complainant, I shall call Mr D complains Council officers:
- conspired to conceal evidence from child arrangement proceedings
- concealed all evidence from a Police investigation to pervert the course of justice; and
- manipulated an email from a police officer to use against him in court.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- The Local Government Act 1974 sets out our powers but also imposes restrictions on what we can investigate.
- We cannot investigate a complaint about the start of court action or what happened in court. (Local Government Act 1974, Schedule 5/5A, paragraph 1/3, as amended)
- The Courts have said that we cannot investigate a complaint about any action by a council, concerning a matter which is itself out of our jurisdiction. (R (on the application of M) v Commissioner for Local Administration  EHWCC 2847 (Admin))
How I considered this complaint
- I considered information provided by the complainant and the Council.
- I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.
- We will not investigate Mr D’s complaint because it concerns matters which are outside our jurisdiction.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman