03 September 2019
Islanders are invited to attend two public meetings next week, to have their say on whether the Government should appoint an independent ombudsman to look into complaints against public services.
The proposed Jersey Public Services Ombudsman would replace the States of Jersey Complaints Panel, which was established in the 1980s to deal with any complaint about a decision or administration process by any Minister or Government department.
Anyone wishing to give their views can attend one of the public meetings at St Paul's Centre on
- Monday 9 September, from 1pm to 2pm; or
- Tuesday 10 September, from 6pm to 7pm
Those wishing to attend are asked to email JPSO@gov.je in advance.
The meetings form part of a twelve-week consultation which is running until Friday 11 October.
The consultation is seeking views on
- which government departments, parish functions, arm's length bodies and other providers of services to the public should be included within the remit of the Ombudsman
- what the Ombudsman should do and what methods should be used in regards to investigating complaints and overseeing public bodies
- how the Ombudsman should work with other watchdogs and regulators already established in Jersey; and
- what remedy the Ombudsman should be able to offer islanders.
As well as being able to share their views at a public meeting, islanders can also have their say by
- viewing and completing an online survey
- emailing their comments to JPSO@gov.je; or
- writing to Strategic Policy, Performance and Population, Government of Jersey, 19-21 Broad Street, St Helier, JE2 3RR.
Further information about the consultation is available at gov.je/consultations.
In 2000, the Clothier Report recommended that an Ombudsman be set up in Jersey to hear complaints about maladministration by States bodies.
In October 2017, the Jersey Law Commission renewed calls for an Ombudsman as part of its proposals for a wide-ranging package of reforms on administrative redress (which also looked at tribunals, the States of Jersey Complaints Panel, and the Royal Court). The Jersey Law Commission subsequently published a report in October 2018 on the specific question of an Ombudsman.
In March 2018, a Proposition (P.32/2018 with amendments) by Senator Philip Ozouf was passed by the States Assembly. This endorsed the principle of setting up an Ombudsman, subject to further research. The Jersey Law Commission’s report is that further research.