Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
To consider a report of the Director for Legal and Democratic Services and the Monitoring Officer.
(a) That the eight recommendations of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, as set out below in Section 3.1 of the report to Cabinet of 26 July 2022, be accepted.
(b) Adopt as actions to be taken by the Council the further recommendations made by the Ombudsman, as set out and commented upon in Section 3.3 of the report.
(c) The action taken since receipt of the Ombudsman’s report be noted, and agree that the Children’s Services Strengthening Services Board (Chaired by the Chief Executive) should:
(i) Oversee implementation of the actions referred to in the second recommendation; and,
(ii) Review the Ombudsman’s focus report “Out of school, out of sight” and implement any necessary learning from that report.
(d) That People and Health Scrutiny Committee be invited to:
(i) add the Council’s ongoing performance in addressing the
Ombudsman’s criticisms and concerns to the Committee’s forward work programme, and
(ii) commission the South West Audit Partnership to undertake focused work to provide assurance that the actions being taken in response to the Ombudsman’s report are embedded in procedure and in practice.
(e) Send the minutes of this meeting to all Councillors as the Cabinet’s response to the Monitoring Officer’s report.
Reason for the decision
The purpose of a section 5A Monitoring Officer report was to ensure that the findings of the Ombudsman were brought to the attention of Cabinet and acted upon. There were also legal requirements that the report be sent to all other Dorset Council councillors and that notices of the Ombudsman’s findings be published in a local newspaper.
These transparency requirements reflect the seriousness of a formal finding of maladministration and injustice and are to ensure that the Cabinet and the
Council as whole is satisfied that an appropriate action plan is put in place so that:
· Wider systemic issues identified by the Ombudsman are addressed and
· There is no repetition of the failings identified by the Ombudsman.
Report author: Vik Verma
Publication date: 27/07/2022
Date of decision: 26/07/2022
Decided at meeting: 26/07/2022 - Cabinet