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A modern complaints system: The new Scottish Public Services Ombudsman


A modern complaints system: The new Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

Annex AListed authorities under schedule 2 to the 2002 Act

Scottish Parliament and Scottish Administration

The Parliamentary corporation;
Any member of the Scottish Executive (and its Departments and Agencies);
Any other office-holder in the Scottish Administration (i.e. the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages for Scotland, the Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, the Keeper of the Records of Scotland and those specified in the Scottish Administration (Offices) Order 1999 (S.I. 1999/1127)).

Health service

Health Boards;
Special Health Boards;
NHS Trusts;
Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service;
Scottish Dental Practice Board;
Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland;
Family health service providers (i.e. individuals or bodies undertaking to provide general medical services, general dental services, general ophthalmic services or pharmaceutical services under the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978);
Independent providers, (i.e. individuals or bodies providing services under arrangements with health service bodies or family health service providers and who are not themselves health service bodies or family health service providers).

Local government, etc.

Any local authority;
Any committee, joint committee or joint board appointed by local authorities;
Any person or body which by virtue of section 56(1) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 discharges any of the functions of a local authority;
Any licensing board within the meaning of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976;
Strathclyde Passenger Transport Authority;
A National Park authority;
Any joint board constituted by an administration scheme under section 36 of the Fire Services Act 1947 or the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973;
Any joint police board constituted by an amalgamation scheme under the Police (Scotland) Act 1967;
Any Children's Panel Advisory Committee or joint committee formed under paragraph 3 or 8 of schedule 1 to the Children (Scotland) Act 1995;
Any joint committee for the administration of superannuation schemes for local government employees or teachers, established by regulations under section 7 or 9 of the Superannuation Act 1972.


Any person who is, or was at the time of the matter complained of, a registered social landlord.

Scottish public authorities

Accounts Commission for Scotland
Audit Scotland
The Auditor General for Scotland
The Chief Investigating Officer established by section 9(1) of the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 (asp 7).
Crofters Commission
Deer Commission for Scotland
General Teaching Council for Scotland
Highlands and Islands Enterprise
Learning and Teaching Scotland
Any local enterprise company
Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland
Board of Trustees for the National Galleries of Scotland
The Trustees of the National Library of Scotland
The Board of Trustees of the National Museums of Scotland
Parole Board for Scotland
The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland
Scottish Agricultural Wages Board
Scottish Arts Council
Scottish Children's Reporter Administration
Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care
Scottish Enterprise
Scottish Environment Protection Agency
Scottish Further Education Funding Council
Scottish Further Education Unit
Scottish Higher Education Funding Council
Scottish Homes
Scottish Legal Aid Board
Scottish Medical Practices Committee
Scottish Natural Heritage
Scottish Qualifications Authority
Scottish Screen
Scottish Social Services Council
Scottish Sports Council (now known as sportscotland)
Scottish Tourist Board
Standards Commission for Scotland
Water Industry Commissioner
Any holder of an office -
a) established by or under any enactment, and
b) appointments to, or designations of, which are made by a local authority or committee, joint committee or joint board.
Cross-border public authorities
British Library Board
British Potato Council
British Tourist Authority
British Wool Marketing Board
Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges
Committee of Investigation for Great Britain
Community Development Foundation
Construction Industry Training Board
Consumers' Committee for Great Britain
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals Panel
Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
Design Council
Engineering Construction Industry Training Board
Food from Britain
Forestry Commissioners
Home-Grown Cereals Authority
Horticultural Development Council
Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce
Joint Nature Conservation Committee
The licensing authority designated under section 1(1) of the Activity Centres (Young Person's Safety) Act 1995 (c.15)
Meat and Livestock Commission
Milk Development Council
National Consumer Council
National Radiological Protection Board
Police Information Technology Organisation
Rail Passengers' Committee for Scotland
Scottish Consumer Council
Sea Fish Industry Authority
Theatres Trust
The Trustees of the National Heritage Memorial Fund
United Kingdom Sports Council
Unrelated Live Transplant Regulatory Authority

Annex BExamples of maladministration

The term 'maladministration' is not defined in the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act 2002. Nor was it defined in previous Ombudsman legislation, e.g. the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967. When the 1967 Act was being taken through the UK Parliament, Mr Crossman, as Leader of the House of Commons, gave the following examples of maladministration:

'bias, neglect, inattention, delay, incompetence, ineptitude, perversity, turpitude and arbitrariness and so on'.

This is known as the 'Crossman catalogue'.

Additional examples of maladministration were quoted in the UK Parliamentary Ombudsman's annual report for 1993:

  • rudeness (although that is a matter of degree);
  • unwillingness to treat the complainant as a person with rights;
  • refusal to answer reasonable questions;
  • neglecting to inform a complainant on request of his or her rights or entitlements;
  • knowingly giving advice which is misleading or inadequate;
  • ignoring valid advice or overruling considerations which would produce an uncomfortable result for the 'overruler';
  • offering no redress or manifestly disproportionate redress;
  • showing bias because of colour, sex, or any other grounds;
  • omission to notify those who thereby lost a right of appeal;
  • refusal to inform adequately of the right of appeal;
  • faulty procedures;
  • failure by management to monitor compliance with adequate procedures;
  • cavalier disregard of guidance which is intended to be followed in the interest of equitable treatment of those who use a service;
  • partiality; and
  • failure to mitigate the effects of rigid adherence to the letter of the law where this produces manifestly inequitable treatment.

This annex is not intended to be a comprehensive definition of maladministration - it is simply a list of examples which have been used in the past. Further definitive guidance on matters which may be covered by the term maladministration may be produced by the Ombudsman in due course.