Caerphilly County Borough Council
Mr B complained that Caerphilly County Borough Council had failed to record complaints he made to it about its elected members. He also complained about the length of time it had taken to respond to his Freedom of Information (“FOI”) requests.
The Ombudsman signposted Mr B to the Information Commissioner’s Office in relation to his concerns about the handling of his FOI requests. The Ombudsman found that the Council was correct when deciding not to consider Mr B’s complaints about its elected members as it does not have powers to investigate such complaints. However, the Council took several months before advising Mr B that complaints about the conduct of elected members should be made to the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman found that the Council had opportunities to explain this to Mr B sooner than it did, which caused delays and frustration to Mr B. The Ombudsman decided to settle the complaint without an investigation.
The Ombudsman sought and gained the Council’s agreement to apologise to Mr B, within 4 weeks, for failing to advise him that it had no powers to investigate his concerns about its elected members and for failing to promptly signpost him to the Ombudsman.