The Ombudsman can conduct two types of own initiative investigation:
This factsheet explains how the Ombudsman can use his extended own initiative powers under the Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2019.
Information about wider Own Initiative Investigations can be found here.
The Ombudsman’s criteria for extending an investigation says that, where the Ombudsman has already begun an investigation into a complaint and he wishes to begin an own initiative investigation into matters that have a substantial connection with the matter already being investigated, he will begin an extended investigation on his own initiative.
An extended investigation may be carried out where the Ombudsman has a reasonable suspicion that a complaint about:
Is closely linked to:
Examples of matters which may be subject of an extended investigation include:
Investigation of such matters which are likely to be in the “public interest” if they:
The Ombudsman may wish to extend or take a live investigation in another associated direction where examination of records, professional advice received or other evidence available which identifies concerns, beyond those in the complaint received, which appear to meet the criteria.
If the Ombudsman considers that an extended own initiative investigation is required in relation to your complaint, both you and the public body concerned will be advised and be given have the opportunity to comment and/or submit evidence as part of the investigation process.
When the Ombudsman has begun an extended investigation, it will be managed in accordance with the Ombudsman’s existing complaints handling processes.
If an extended investigation relates to health services and the ‘Putting Things Right’ regulations are of relevance, the complainant will be given the opportunity to progress the matter under these regulations as an alternative, if they wish.