This is a record of the ridiculous 3 stage complaints procedure within John Denham's department.  The only purpose that I can see for this is to attempt to put people off complaining - surely a complaint can be dealt with in one process.

This is the complaint sent to Stephen McAllister on 3rd. Feb 2010 with copies to John Denham MP. and Neeta Patel ( Ms.) who is the Complaints and Ombudsman Liaison Manager.  The complaint is about one government department sanctioning dishonesty by another.  Although an acknowledgement of receipt was requested none has arrived!

Stage 1 complaint.
 
This is a complaint against Stephen McAllister for sanctioning dishonesty within the Ombudsman Service.  Refer to my recent e-mails to and from McAllister for details.
 
The e-mails are available from a link on my web page:
 
www.northdevonlink.co.uk/council-lies.htm
 
Or you may read the e-mail correspondence directly on the web page:
 
www.northdevonlink.co.uk/denham.htm
 
Mr Frank Peabody of CLG Ministerial Correspondence has copies of my original complaint passed to your department by the Home Office.
 
If you require further information please contact me.
 
Please acknowledge receipt of this e-mail and confirm that this complaint will be dealt with within the time scale noted on your website.
 
Gordon Bray.

We await a response....

And here it is -  is McAllister trying to tell me that it is the Government's policy to sanction dishonesty within the Ombudsman Service?

Dear Mr Bray,

 

Thank you for your e mail of 3 February, containing a stage 1 complaint about myself.

 

I have considered your complaint in line with the complaints guidance available on the Departmentís web site: http://www.communities.gov.uk/corporate/foi/complaintsprocedure/

 

For the sake of clarity, I will reproduce an extract from the guidance from the web-site about making a complaint:

 

ĎWe cannot, however, treat your objections to the Government's policies as complaints under these procedures, or the administrative actions of bodies other than Communities and Local Government (so we cannot for example deal with complaints you might have about a local authority).í

 

As I have stated in previous e mails, I consider that your original complaint, about the Local Government Ombudsman, arises as a result of an Ombudsmanís investigation.  I have explained that it would be improper for myself to comment upon an Ombudsmanís investigation.  I consider your complaint is about this policy and, that being the case, I do not consider that you have grounds for complaint under the Departmentís complaints process.

 

If you wish to pursue a complaint, or elevate this correspondence to the Departmentís Complaints Manager, please address your correspondence to Neeta Patel (Neeta.Patel@communities.gsi.gov.uk).  I am side-copying Ms Patel into this response.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Steve McAllister
Local Governance
Department of Communities and Local Government

A Stage 2 complaint will follow...

I am advised that the complaint should go to the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman - is this just passing the buck?  We shall see....

Dear Mr Bray,
 
Thank you for your email. Unfortunately your complaint does not fall within the Departments Complaint Procedures remit. My advice is for you to proceed your complaint to the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman.
 
Their contact details are:
The Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
Millbank
London
SW1P 4QP

Helpline: 0845 015 4033
 
Website is www.ombudsman.org.uk  
 
I apologise as you may not be entirely happy that we are unable to investigate your complaint, as mentioned above it does not fall within the Department's remit and would advise you that the Ombudsman would be the next step for you to progress with your complaint.
 
Kind Regards
 
Neeta

Neeta Patel (Ms)
Complaints & Ombudsman Liaison Manager
Communities & Local Government
2/A3 Eland House
Bressenden Place
London
SW1E 5DU