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Executive Team

Advisory Panel

Audit & Risk Assurance Committee

Organisational Chart

 

About me and my team

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.

Executive Team

Nick Bennett

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 a former 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.

Nick Bennett Declaration of Interest

Chris Vinestock

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.

Chris Vinestock Declaration of Interest

 Katrin Shaw

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.

Katrin Shaw Declaration of Interest

Advisory Panel

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:

  • vision, values and purposes;
  • strategic direction and planning; and
  • operational performance, accountability & delivery.

The Advisory Panel is an advisory only body to the Ombudsman, and does not make decisions in its own right. The Advisory Panel Review of the Year 2019-20 can be found here.

Advisory Panel Members
Anne Jones (Chair)

Trevor Coxon

Tom Frawley CBE

Jim Martin

Ian Williams

Jane Martin CBE

Mike Usher

Rhiannon Ivens

Audit and Risk Assurance Committee

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 2019/20 Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Annual Review can be found here.

Audit & Risk Assurance Committee Members

Ian Williams (Chair)

Trevor Coxon

Tom Frawley CBE

Jim Martin

Anne Jones

Mike Usher

John McSherry

 

Advisory Panel / Audit & Risk Assurance Committee Members

Advisory Panel – Terms of Reference

Audit & Risk Assurance Committee – Terms of Reference

Policy on Declarations of Interests by Advisory Panel and Audit & Risk Assurance Committee Members

Ian Williams

Advisory Panel Member / Audit & Risk Assurance Committee Member

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.

Ian Williams Declaration of Interest

Trevor Coxon

Advisory Panel Member / Audit & Risk Assurance Committee Member

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.

Trevor Coxon Declaration of Interest

Tom Frawley CBE

Advisory Panel Member / Audit & Risk Assurance Committee Member

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.

Tom Frawley Declaration of Interest

Anne Jones

Advisory Panel Chair / Audit & Risk Assurance Committee Member

Originally from Swansea, 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.

Anne Jones Declaration of Interest

Jim Martin

Advisory Panel Member / Audit & Risk Assurance Committee Member

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.

Jim Martin Declaration of Interest

Jane Martin CBE

Advisory Panel Member

Dr Jane Martin joined the Advisory Board of  PSOW in September 2019.  Until January 2017 she was Local Government Ombudsman and Chair of the Commission for Local Administration in England.  During her seven year term she was responsible for transforming the organisation and introducing initiatives to increase transparency, including the on-line publication of all Ombudsman’s decisions. She is now a member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life and a non-executive member of the Board of the Office for Legal Complaints for England and Wales. In a career dedicated to public service and accountability, she has conducted academic research at the University of Birmingham and Warwick Business School on public management and governance. She has worked in local authorities across England for the Improvement and Development Agency for Local Government (IDeA) and was the first Executive Director of the Centre for Public Scrutiny.  She was awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2017 for services to administrative justice and transparency in local government.

Jane Martin Declaration of Interest

Mike Usher

Advisory Panel Member / Audit & Risk Assurance Committee Member

Mike Usher retired in 2020 from Audit Wales, where he was a member of the Executive Leadership Team and the strategic lead for the Auditor General’s financial and value for money external audit work across central government and NHS Wales. He was also the Director of Investigative Studies, responsible for examining concerns about public services raised by Senedd members, MPs and the public. Prior to joining Audit Wales on its creation in 2005, Mike was a Director of Audit at the National Audit Office, based in Cardiff.

Mike is an experienced non-executive director with particular expertise in corporate governance, risk management, financial strategy and the proper conduct of public business. He previously served as a Trustee of the Institute of Cancer Research in London, where he also chaired the Audit Committee. Mike is currently a co-opted Board member of Newport City Homes, and he also serves on the Audit & Risk Committee of Christ’s Hospital School in Sussex.

Mike Usher Declaration of Interest

Rhiannon Ivens

Advisory Panel Member

Rhiannon Ivens is a former Police Chief Inspector with more than fifteen years’ service and currently enjoying a career break. She has served in Hampshire Constabulary, the Metropolitan Police service and most recently with Dyfed-Powys Police. Her specific roles include Operations and Strategic Partnerships and she holds an MSc with distinction in international policing and community safety. She was the appointed chair of the Powys Community Safety Partnership for two years and she particularly enjoys mentoring and coaching others.

Rhiannon has a keen interest in equality, diversity and inclusion and is passionate about public sector services. She is a registered volunteer with her local health board, Carers – Wales, Volunteering Matters – Wales and the Maggie Oliver Foundation. She is the founder and owner of a management consultancy and is the lead consultant in community safety; with specialist knowledge in problem solving, designing out and preventing crime, neighbourhood analysis, anti-social behaviour, community engagement and effective strategic partnerships.

Rhiannon Ivens Declaration of Interest

John McSherry

Audit & Risk Assurance Committee Member

John worked for the Admiral Group Limited for 27 years in a variety of roles including leading Motor Claims departments and handling catastrophic bodily injury claims.  He has represented Admiral on external committees such as the MIB technical committee and ABI property claims committee. He was Head of Household claims and Claims Ancillary products until leaving in March 2019. John holds a BSc (Open) degree including Business Management, Personal Finance and Economics and is an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute (ACII) and a member of the CII’s Swansea Council. He is currently the claims director for an insurance consultancy business.

John McSherry Declaration of Interest