Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman Bill
Proposals for a Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman Bill
The Committee’s work began in 2010 when the current Ombudsman, Dr Tom Frawley, asked the Committee to consider taking forward the recommendations of a 2004 Deloitte review of role of the two offices. OFMDFM was not planning to take the matter forward itself due to resource constraints and competing priorities but welcomed the Committee doing so. The Committee considered the Deloitte Report and recommendations and carried out a public consultation on a range of policy proposals in September 2010.
The legacy report of the 2007-11 Committee commended the project to the new Committee formed following the May 2011 election and it in turn agreed to take the project forward. The current Committee considered the consultation responses, took further evidence and refined its policy proposals. It carried out a further consultation with key stakeholders in July 2012 and finalised its proposals over a series of meetings in 2013. The Committee’s Report on its proposals has been published and was debated and approved by the Assembly on 16 September 2013.
The Committee has now directed that a draft Bill to establish the office of a Public Services Ombudsman be prepared. Once the draft Bill has been agreed by the Committee it will be introduced into the Assembly by the Committee Chairperson. It is hoped that introduction (also known as First Stage) will happen before the summer recess in 2014.
For more information about the proposed NIPSO Bill please contact the Committee Clerk Shauna Mageean on 028 9052 0379, or Ombudsman Project Officer Alyn Hicks on 028 9052 1738.