We currently have 177 members of staff (at 1 April 2018).
As is the approach with other ombudsmen schemes, we seek to ensure that sufficient numbers of our staff have direct knowledge and experience of the sectors we cover. This experience assists us in understanding and resolving the complaints that people bring to us. Currently, 77 staff have previously worked for a local authority at some stage of their career.
As an impartial ombudsman service it is essential that people can trust the independence of our investigations. Our Conflict of interests rules ensure we remain impartial by avoiding any conflicts of interest from arising during the course of dealing with a complaint. Our Code of conduct for employees sets out how staff should conduct themselves so as to conform to the Nolan Principles of Public Life.
We do not accept gifts, hospitality or benefits of any kind from a third party which might be seen to compromise our personal judgment or integrity. Any gift offered which is not of a trivial nature is logged on our Gifts and Hospitality Register.
Trade Union Time
In accordance with the Trade Union (Facility Time Publication Requirements) Regulations 2017, we report annually on paid time off provided to trade union representatives for trade union duties and activities.
Seven employees were relevant union officials during 2017-18 (6.86 FTE) and spent time on facilities as follows:
|Percentage of Time||Number|
The total cost of facility time was £1,179 which represented 0.014% of the total pay bill (£8,242,000). There were no paid trade union activities.
See downloads for organisation charts, and pay scales for all posts with the organisation charts. Senior management pay and benefits can be found in the Annual Report and Accounts.
See Our boards for information on the Commission and its related committees.
This is the team responsible for the operational leadership and management of the Ombudsman, its staff and resources. The Commission has delegated authority to the Executive Team to make all day to day operational decisions on behalf of the Commission, to manage service delivery and to agree operational policy.
- Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
- Nigel Ellis, Chief Executive and Accounting Officer
- Paul Conroy, Director of Intake and Assessment
- Jayne Spence, Head of Policy and Communications
- Karen Sykes, Director of Investigation
See Commissioner and senior staff profiles for more information on the members.
The Executive Team will carry out the following executive functions:
- delivery of our Business Plan
- budget planning and monitoring
- effective procurement and deployment of all resources, including staff, accommodation and external services
- monitor the internal audit programme and the implementation of audit recommendations
- agreeing and implementing operational policy, professional practice, risk and performance matters
- developing and recommending strategic policy and planning to the Commission through the annual budget and business planning process.
The Executive Team is accountable to the Commission through the Executive Chair, through corporate performance and risk reporting, and individual performance appraisal. It meets every fortnight.
This brings together all senior managers and the members of the Executive Team, including the Director of Intake and Assessment, Director of Investigation, Head of Policy and Communications, Assistant Ombudsmen, Customer Services Manager and corporate service managers.
The Leadership Team is responsible for:
- reviewing casework performance and advising the Executive Team on operational policy and performance matters
- agreeing appropriate assignment of leadership responsibilities
- reviewing and discussing progress with corporate projects and managerial lead roles, and
- ensuring clear and consistent two-way communication of management information.
The group meets every month.
Casework Policy Forum
This agrees our casework policy and identifies themes and implications arising from this work. It provides the means through which the Ombudsman can exercise his own leadership and direction of casework, supported by senior management, and can assure himself about the operation of his personal delegated authority for deciding complaints.
Composed of the Ombudsman, the Chief Executive Officer and the Director of Operations. The Forum is chaired by the Ombudsman. Legal advisers attend, along with the Professional Practice Coordinator.
- agreeing our policy and internal guidance on casework by:
- developing a common understanding and consistent approach to all casework
- reviewing and deciding on the handling of potentially high risk cases, older cases, judicial reviews and potential reports
- reviewing and deciding cases for joint working with the PHSO and IHO
- monitoring the quality of casework and, in particular, decision statements
- identifying themes and issues arising from casework that have implications for our external communications and stakeholder engagement.
The Forum meets every month.