This is the response from puppet Stuart Poole. First is the complaint and following on is the correspondence. A complaint against puppet Poole's will be recorded on another page.
This is the complaint made to Ann Abraham's department the Parliamentary Ombudsman which was "assessed" by Stuart Poole. Be aware that this puppet has a tendency to waffle on....
"Employees in John Denhamís department refused to take any action to deal with White and Redmondís dishonesty by using the excuse that the lie told to my MP was part of an "investigation". As the Ombudsmenís only job is to investigate complaints the refusal sanctioned dishonesty within the Ombudsman service. It is understood that the minister has no right to interfere with a decision made by an Ombudsman but to avoid dealing with dishonesty is unacceptable. This would mean that an Ombudsman could cheat and lie without fear of being called to account."
The response from puppet Poole after an initial telephone call:"Dear Mr BrayAs I promised, here is an email to confirm the content of our discussion on the telephone yesterday afternoon. I will also give a little more detail on a couple of the points that I covered.You confirmed that you did not need any adaptations to make our contact with you more accessible; however, you did say that you much preferred contact in writing (or by email) as this allowed you to reflect upon the information and to retain evidence. I said that I would make a note of that on our file system. I also explained that I am aware that you publish information you receive on your website.I then explained our assessment process in general. The Ombudsman does not automatically investigate every complaint brought to her and the assessment process is our way to decide whether she will. She can only investigate those issues which fall within the scope of the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967. For example, this Act allows her only to investigate certain central government bodies. These are listed in Schedule 2 to the Act. The Department for Communities and Local Government is one of the bodies in this list. However the Local Government Ombudsman is not.There are also limits on how long it is between the issues arising and the complainant going to an MP, unless the complainant can provide what we consider to be good reason (section 6(3) of the Act); and limits on whether we can look at complaints where it is, or would have been, possible to take legal action of some sort (section 5(2) of the Act). We would also expect the complainant to have exhausted the body's complaints procedure; again, unless they can provide what we consider to be good reason not to do so.Finally I explained that once we had satisfied ourselves that the above criteria had been satisfied, we then considered whether there was a 'prima facie' case to investigate - that is to say, on the face of it are there indications of a failure by the body amounting to maladministration that led to an injustice that has yet to be remedied? We also consider whether an investigation by the Ombudsman is likely to achieve a worthwhile outcome. As I explained, it would not be fair on a complainant, or a good use of public funds for that matter, for us to embark on an investigation if we knew from the start that we would not be able to achieve the outcome wanted.My role is to collect information to allow us to carry out that analysis. The decision on whether we investigate is a corporate one taken by senior staff. Once we have made that decision I will write to your MP, copied to you, to explain that decision. If we decide to investigate then I will explain the next step. If we decide not to investigate, then I will explain the reason. I may also, if we have the information or can track it down, indicate a more appropriate route for you to pursue your complaint, if one exists. Ideally, I hope to be able to provide our decision within a couple of weeks. However, that is obviously dependent on the availability of the information I need - and we may need to seek professional advice or obtain further papers from bodies which would take longer. If the assessment does take longer, then I will contact you each month to update you on what has happened so far and how long we expect the assessment still to take.I explained that I had not looked in detail at the papers you had submitted yet, just glanced through them. However, I wanted to check that I understood your complaint. I summarised it as:Mr Bray complains that the Department for Communities and Local Government (the Department) failed to address adequately his complaint about the Local Government Ombudsmen Jerry White and Tony Redmond and that this had left him frustrated and with an unresolved complaint. Mr Bray wants an investigation to result in the Department ensuring that the Local Government Ombudsman carries out its duties appropriately.You said that this seemed to cover the gist of it, but would appreciate it in writing.I explained that my initial impression was that I was not sure how much we might be able to do, as although the Department was in jurisdiction, the Local Government Ombudsman may not be. However, I said that I would check this out and, if we were not the appropriate route to escalate your complaint, then I would try to establish what was the appropriate route and that I would provide this information, if I could, in our decision letter.I trust that this email provides you with useful information about our process and what my role is at this stage of your complaint to us. I would be grateful if you could acknowledge receipt of the email so that I can verify that we have your correct address.Yours sincerelyStuart Poole"
And this is the "decision" by puppet Poole:
And this is my response"Dear Mr Poole, please confirm that the Parliamentay Ombudsman is prepared to sanction and support the Department for Communities and Local Government in their decision that as my complaint may be linked to an investigation dishonesty is permitted within the Ombudsman Service. In this case lying by Jerry White to My MP. and covering up that lie by Tony Redmond of which proof has been provided with my complaint.Please copy this e-mail to Ann Abrahams and confirm that you have done so.Sincerely, Gordon Bray".
Here is puppet Poole's response:Dear Mr BrayThank you for your email. I can understand that you were disappointed by our decision not to investigate DCLG. However, as I explained in my letter telling you that decision, we looked at DCLG's response to your complaint and decided that their response was reasonable.The legislation under which we work limits what and who we can investigate and criticise; in the case you raised we could only look at DCLG. DCLG have explained their limited role in respect of the Local Government Ombudsman and why they cannot take the action on the two Ombudsmen that you appear to want DCLG to take. That explanation, as far as we can tell, seems correct.I did try to be of assistance by suggesting in my letter the appropriate route for you to escalate your concerns rather than through DCLG. Providing this information is the one area, perhaps, where DCLG might have been more helpful to you. They only addressed how to escalate your original complaint and not your further concerns about the Ombudsmen themselves. The advice I obtained from our legal team was that the appropriate way to escalate both concerns would be through the Courts. If you choose to follow that route we would suggest that you seek independent legal advice.DCLG have not passed judgement or comment on the substance of your complaint, and nor have we. The matters you allege about the Local Council staff and the Local Government Ombudsmen are not issues either body has the power to consider, comment or act upon. You appear to believe that there is more that DCLG could do if only they had the will to do so, but as far as we can see this is not so.If you believe that we have acted incorrectly either in our handling of your complaint or in our decision not to investigate DCLG, then you can approach our Review Team (firstname.lastname@example.org; 0300 061 4098; or by post at our Millbank address). However, if you do that they will expect you to set out clearly in what way we have failed. Merely disagreeing with our decision would not be sufficient, you should explain what was faulty in our reasoning in coming to that decision.Once again, I am sorry that you were disappointed by our decision not to investigate; however, I hope that my explanation, both in the letter and above, has been of assistance in explaining the reasons for that decision. I have not copied this email to the Ombudsman, Ann Abraham, as that is not our usual process. If you approach the Review Team, one of the possible later steps may be a reconsideration by the Ombudsman. In such circumstances it would not be appropriate for the Ombudsman to have been involved at a previous stage of the complaint.Yours sincerely
There will be a complaint against puppet Poole which will be recorded on another page.....