Ombudsman faces scrutiny calls

Campaigners are calling on MSPs to reject the reappointment of the man in charge of investigating complaints into public services.

A group called Integrity4Scotland wants to delay confirmation of Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Jim Martin's position until a review is carried out into cases which it claims were not properly scrutinised.

MSPs will consider the reappointment on Thursday - the day after a Holyrood committee is due to discuss eight petitions all calling for an independent review of the ombudsman's office to make it "more accountable".

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Petitioners have questioned the standard of investigations and want the office to enforce recommendations.

A spokesman for Integrity4Scotland said he is concerned that a decision could be made before the petitions are seen through by the Local Government and Communities Committee.

He said the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body (SPCB), which put forward the motion to reappoint Mr Martin, should have waited for such a decision.

The spokesman said: "Why are they reappointing this man? They agreed to investigate in the petitions committee but they're going to reappoint him for another term.

"What if they find that what we're saying is true?"

The call for an investigation was first heard at Holyrood last September, backed by Scottish Government minister Alex Neil.

At the time, Mr Neil said: "People really do rely on the ombudsman for sorting problems. And to be quite frank, it's just not performing to anything like the standard that is required."

Mr Neil was discussing the petitions which were then passed on to the second committee for consideration.

Related topics: