Consideration of powers: Public Services Ombudsman for Wales

The Finance Committee undertook an inquiry into the Consideration of Powers of the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. The role of the Ombudsman was established by the Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2005. The current Ombudsman has highlighted five main areas for changes to the 2005 Act that he believes will strengthen the role.

The Committee considered these five areas:


  • own-initiative powers – this would enable the Ombudsman to initiate his/her own investigations without having first received a complaint about an issue;
  • oral complaints  - at present, the Ombudsman can only accept complaints in writing, this would allow the Ombudsman to accept oral complaints;
  • complaints handling across public services – this would enable the Ombudsman to have a role in advising on complaints handling across public services;
  • the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction  (to include private health services) – this would extend the Ombudsman’s jurisdiction to enable him/her to investigate when a patient has received private healthcare (self-funded, rather than being commissioned by the NHS) in conjunction with public healthcare; and
  • links with the courts  - the removal of the statutory bar which would allow the Ombudsman to consider a case that has or had the possibility of recourse to a court, tribunal or other mechanism for review (this would give complainants the opportunity to decide which route is most appropriate for them).


Evidence from the Public


The Committee held a public consultation to gather evidence on this topic.


Following this inquiry, the Finance Committee undertook a consultation on the draft Public Services Ombudsman Wales Bill.

Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Status: Report published

First published: 23/01/2015