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Herefordshire Council (21 004 749)

Category : Children's care services > Other

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 10 Jan 2022

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint about the Council not recording conversations as he has not been caused any personal injustice.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, whom I shall call Mr X, disagrees with a Council decision not to record all conversations.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We investigate complaints about ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’, which we call ‘fault’. We must also consider whether any fault has had an adverse impact on the person making the complaint, which we call ‘injustice’. We provide a free service, but must use public money carefully. We do not start or continue an investigation if we decide any fault has not caused injustice to the person who complained. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)
  2. We do not start an investigation if we decide the tests set out in our Assessment Code are not met. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(6), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I considered information provided by Mr X including during a telephone conversation.
  2. I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.

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My assessment

  1. Mr X told us he is an advocate providing a free service in children services complaints. He believes the Council has a policy not to record all conversations. He believes this is wrong. Mr X confirmed in a conversation with us that he has no personal injustice from this. Any detrimental effect is on the case upon which he is an advocate. He has been unable to provide consent from his clients for him to complain on their behalf to us about this.

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Final decision

  1. We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint because he has not been caused any personal injustice by the Council not recording conversations.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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