Decision : Closed after initial enquiries
Decision date : 24 Oct 2023
The Ombudsman's final decision:
Summary: We will not investigate this complaint about how the Council dealt with a complaint about a school employee under its whistle blower policy. This is because there is insufficient evidence of fault by the Council.
- The complainant, who I will call Mr X, complains about how the Council dealt with his complaint about a school employee under its whistle blower policy. Mr X says the Council refused to consider the complaint and instead allowed the school to consider the complaint.
The Ombudsman’s role and powers
- We investigate complaints of injustice caused by ‘maladministration’ and ‘service failure’. I have used the word fault to refer to these. We consider whether there was fault in the way an organisation made its decision. If there was no fault in how the organisation made its decision, we cannot question the outcome. (Local Government Act 1974, section 34(3), as amended)
How I considered this complaint
- I considered information provided by the complainant and the Council.
- I considered the Ombudsman’s Assessment Code.
- Mr X complained to the Council about an employee of a school. The Council addressed Mr X’s concerns under its whistleblowing procedures. It found that the school had investigated Mr X’s concerns under its whistleblowing procedures and that this was appropriate. The Council therefore would not investigate the complaint separately under its whistleblowing procedures but would seek assurances that the school considered Mr X’s concerns appropriately.
- I will not investigate Mr X’s complaint that the Council refused to carry out an investigation under its whistleblowing procedures. This is because there is insufficient evidence of fault. The Council’s policy allows discretion for it to determine which mechanism is appropriate. In this case the Council considered the circumstances of Mr X’s complaint before reaching its decision. It explained to Mr X why it reached that decision and carried out a review of the school’s investigation in accordance with its policy. Whilst Mr X strongly disagrees with the Council’s decision this does not mean it has done anything wrong. In the absence of fault the Ombudsman is unable to question the merits of a councils decision.
- We will not investigate Mr X’s complaint because there is insufficient evidence of fault.
Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman