Today, we publish updated ‘Principles of Good Administration’ and ‘Good Records Management Matters’ guidance.

In 2016, we issued the ‘Principles of Good Administration and Good Records Management’ to public bodies in Wales as statutory guidance under section 31 of the Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2005.  That publication was made jointly with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

In 2021, we decided to review the ‘Principles’ and split them into two separate publications.  We felt that this would provide public bodies and complainants with both clear general principles of good administrative practice and separate specific advice on good administrative practice in relation to records management.

We held an open consultation on both documents in October 2021.  Responses to the consultation were largely positive and supported our decision to issue the guidance as two separate publications. Amongst other changes, based on the feedback received we strengthened references to the duties on public bodies under the Welsh Language Standards.  We would like to thank all the respondents for their feedback.

Nick Bennett, Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, said:

‘Victor Hugo said, “change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots”. I think this is a perfect quote for public bodies as they negotiate the current public health crisis.

Especially in these challenging times, it is vital to public confidence that public service leadership and delivery remains rooted to classic Nolan principles such as openness, accountability and fairness.  Equally, good record keeping is necessary to create confidence in any decision-making process, to promote accountability and transparency, and to enable others to verify what has been done.

I hope that through these two publications we will help to support good practice by public bodies in Wales as they face unprecedented strain on service delivery.’

The ‘Principles of Good Administration’ and ‘Good Records Management Matters’ guidance can be found here.