Committee Welcomes Ombudsman’s Appointment
Session: Session currently unavailable
Date: 08 March 2016
Reference: COFMDFM 03/15/16
The Committee for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister has welcomed the Assembly’s nomination today of Marie Anderson for appointment to the new office of Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman or ‘NIPSO’.
Photo caption: Committee Chair, Mike Nesbitt MLA and Deputy Chair, Chris Lyttle MLA congratulate Marie Anderson on her appointment to the new office of Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman
Committee Chairperson, Mike Nesbitt MLA, said: “Marie Anderson is the first NIPSO appointed under the legislation brought through the Assembly by the Committee. This will be an exciting challenge for Mrs Anderson as she works to merge and reform the existing structures into one office with new powers and responsibilities. We wish her well in her new role and look forward to working with her in the future.
The Committee would also wish to put on record its thanks to the outgoing Ombudsman, Dr Tom Frawley, for his work and for his significant contribution to the development of the new legislation.”
Notes to Editor:
- The Public Services Ombudsperson Bill was introduced to the Assembly on 20 April 2015 and received Royal Assent on 19 February 2016.
- Mrs Marie Anderson will be the first Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman and will take up this post on 1 April 2016.
- The new Act merges and reforms the current offices of Assembly Ombudsman and Commissioner for Complaints in a single new office of Public Services Ombudsman and will come into operation on 1 April 2016.
- Further information on the changes the new Act will introduce can be found in the Explanatory Memorandum which accompanied the Bill. Click on the following links for more information on the development of the Committee’s policy, the Bill’s passage through the Assembly, and the work of the Ad Hoc Committee formed to scrutinise the Bill.
Marie Anderson – Biographical profile:
- Marie Anderson is a graduate of Queen’s University, Belfast, and qualified as a solicitor in 1985. After qualifying she worked in private practice for several years in the area of civil litigation. Thereafter, she joined the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and worked as Legal Assistant and Senior Legal Assistant, over a period totaling 17 years. The focus of her work was public, information and human rights law.
- Marie became the first Assistant Information Commissioner for Northern Ireland in April 2003 and was responsible for setting up the first ever regional office of the Information Commission in Belfast in September 2003. She held this post for 5 years with responsibility for regulating data protection and freedom of information matters in Northern Ireland. During that time Marie was responsible for the investigation of highly sensitive information cases, and for establishing precedent in cases relating to privacy, the law of confidentiality and commercially sensitive information.
- Marie has been Deputy Northern Ireland Ombudsman since May 2009 and leads the Ombudsman investigations examining complaints of maladministration and alleged breaches of the Local Government Code of Conduct for Councilors. In 2012 Marie took up the chairmanship of the Ombudsman Association Legal Interest Group which comprises 26 lawyers from across the UK and ROI.
Committee Chairperson: Mr Mike Nesbitt MLA
Deputy Chairperson: Mr Chris Lyttle MLA
Members: Mr Andy Allen MLA
Mr Alex Attwood MLA
Ms Megan Fearon MLA
Mr Paul Frew MLA
Mr Chris Hazzard MLA
Mr Gordon Lyons MLA
Mr Alex Maskey MLA
Mr David McIlveen MLA
Mr Stephen Moutray MLA