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CoMin to extend power of ombudsman over local authorities

The Island's local authorities

Complaints against commissioners can be investigated from next summer

From July next year, complaints against commissioners and councillors by members of the public could be investigated by an external body.

The Council of Ministers has agreed to extend the powers of the Tynwald ombudsman to cover local authorities.

Ms Angela Main Thompson OBE, the current 'Commissioner for Administration', will also be able to investigate any issues raised against public representatives.

At present, complaints are dealt with via an authority's own internal procedures.

Policy and Reform Minister Chris Thomas has said commissioners may need to introduce new regulations as a result of the new oversight.

He's confident it will lead to authorities becoming more accountable to those they represent.

The ombudsman will also be able to investigate complaints against other statutory boards, as part of a greater extension of the role, which will be enacted in two stages;

Stage 1 – coming into effect on 1 January 2020:       

  • the Manx Museum and National Trust;
  • the Public Services Commission;
  • the Attorney General’s Chambers;
  • the General Registry;
  • Industrial Relations Officers appointed under section 5 of the Trade Disputes Act 1985;

Stage 2 – coming into effect on 1 July 2020:

  • all local authorities
  • a joint committee of two or more local authorities and;
  • a joint board being a body corporate established under an enactment and consisting of members appointed by two or more local authorities; or by the Department of Infrastructure and one or more local authorities.

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