My name is Nick Bennett and as Public Services Ombudsman for Wales I have legal powers to look into complaints about public services and independent care providers in Wales. I also investigate complaints that members of local government bodies have broken their authority’s code of conduct. I am independent of all government bodies.
I have a team of people who help me to consider and investigate complaints. The service that we provide is impartial and free of charge.
Appointed Public Services Ombudsman for Wales in August 2014, Nick was previously Chief Executive of Community Housing Cymru. Brought up on Anglesey, he attended Aberystwyth University taking a degree in Politics and an MBA. Between 1995 and 1999 he worked in Brussels, lobbying for Welsh regional policy interests. Nick was Special Adviser to the Welsh Deputy First Minister between 2000 and 2002.
A former member of the All Wales Convention, the “Williams Commission” or Public Services Commission for Wales and the Welsh Language Board, he is currently Chair of the Ombudsman Association and a Director of the IOI World Board European Region. Nick was also appointed as a member of the Llamau End Youth Homelessness Cymru sub group.
Chris was appointed Chief Operating Officer in 2014. With a degree in economics and finance, and an MBA from Cardiff University, Chris is a qualified accountant. Before joining the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales he worked for Cardiff and Swansea Councils in a number of senior roles covering accountancy, audit, engineering, highways and transportation.
Prior to his appointment he was Head of Service for Highways & Transportation in Swansea. Chris chairs the Human Resources Group of the Ombudsman Association and has worked closely with the Association to develop service standards for Ombudsman schemes across the UK.
Katrin was admitted as a Solicitor in 1996 and worked as a local government lawyer before she joined the Ombudsman’s office as an Investigator in 2001. Since then Katrin has held managerial roles in the office overseeing the casework function of the office.
Katrin took on the role of Director of Policy Legal & Governance in April 2017. Katrin is Chair of the Ombudsman’s Association’s Legal Interest Group and is a member of the Administrative Justice Council.
The Advisory Panel is a non‑statutory forum whose main role is to provide support and advice to the Ombudsman in providing leadership and good governance of the office of the PSOW. The Advisory Panel also brings an external perspective to assist in the development of policy and practice.
The Advisory Panel provides specific advice and support to the Ombudsman on:
The Advisory Panel is an advisory only body to the Ombudsman, and does not make decisions in its own right. The 2017/18 annual review of the advisory panel can be found here
Full terms of reference for the Advisory Panel can be found here.
The Audit and Risk Assurance Committee supports the Ombudsman by reviewing the comprehensiveness and reliability of assurances on governance, risk management, the control environment and the integrity of financial statements and the annual report.
The Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Annual Report 2017/18 can be found here
Full terms of reference for the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee can be found here.
Trevor recently retired from his position of Head of Corporate & Customer Services and Monitoring Officer with Wrexham County Borough Council having been in post there since July 2003. He is a fully qualified solicitor and additionally managed the customer services section responsible for maintaining the Council’s corporate complaints procedure and Member Code of Conduct administration.
He has served all his career in local government either as an employed solicitor or latterly in senior management roles. Before moving to Wrexham in 2003, he was the Deputy and Assistant Chief Executive at Staffordshire Moorlands District Council in Leek, Staffordshire.
Born in 1949, Tom moved to Belfast as an eleven year-old from his native Limerick. He studied at St Mary’s Grammar School in Belfast and graduated from Trinity College, Dublin in 1971. In September 2000 Tom became the Assembly Ombudsman and Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints. In 2001, as Ombudsman, the Standards and Privileges Committee of the Assembly asked that he become the interim Commissioner for Standards at the Assembly. Tom retired from the office in 2016. In 2008 Tom was awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours List. In 2017 Tom was appointed to represent Northern Ireland on the Board of the Professional Standards Authority.
Originally from Swansea, Anne has degrees from both Aberystwyth and Bristol Universities. In 2003 she was appointed as Assistant Commissioner at the Information Commissioner’s Office (the regulator for data protection and freedom of information), and she set up its Wales office from scratch. Prior to that, she was in charge of Cardiff University’s main library, and before that with Monmouthshire Libraries in charge of their IT systems. Anne retired from the ICO in 2016.
Until recently, she was also Vice Chair of Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC’s Standards Committee, an Independent Member on South Wales Fire and Rescue Authority’s Standards Committee, and a Non-Executive Director with Ty Hafan.
Originally a teacher, Jim Martin was Scottish Public Services Ombudsman from 2009-2017 and Scotland’s first Police Complaints Commissioner from 2007-2009. He has held senior executive and non-executive positions in the public and private sectors, as well as in the trades union movement and third sector. Jim is currently a member of the Scottish Government’s Legal Services Regulation Review Panel.
Jonathan served as an Assembly Member at the National Assembly for Wales for 12 years and was the former Chair of the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee.
Since leaving the Assembly in 2011 Jonathan established Insight Wales Consulting Ltd, to work with organisations across the third, private and public sectors throughout the UK, to assist them in contributing to legislative and policy developments in Wales, and is a Director of Practice Solutions who work with local authorities in Wales to support transformation in the delivery of social services.
Ian was the Group Chief Executive of Hendre until he retired in July 2017. Ian is a Chartered Surveyor and a Fellow of the Institute of Housing. He worked for almost 40 years in the Housing Association movement in South Wales and developed Hendre into one of the largest traditional housing association in Wales providing Housing Care and support to around 20,000 people, employing over 1,250 staff.
Ian has served in numerous non-executive roles including Chair of Community Housing Cymru and Chair of the Welsh Housing Partnership.
A copy of our organisational chart can be found here.