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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet: 3 November 2014

 

Report of the Leader

 

Delegated Authority to the Managing Director

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To consider granting delegated authority in consultation with the Leader to consider and if deemed appropriate authorise payments in settlement of certain claims.

Recommendations

1.         THAT Cabinet grants delegated authority to the Managing Director (or in the Managing Director's absence the nominated Deputy) in consultation with the Leader to consider and if deemed appropriate authorise payments in settlement of maladministration claims referred to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales when there is no legal requirement to publicise the matter.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To enable payments to be authorised and actioned in consultation with the Leader expeditiously.

 

Background

2.         Pursuant to Section 21 of the Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2005, the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales ('the Ombudsman') after conducting an investigation into a complaint of maladministration in respect of a Welsh Unitary Authority may conclude that the public interest does not require an investigation report to be publicised. In such cases the Ombudsman may recommend that a payment is made by the Unitary Authority to the complainant.

3.         Similarly on occasions prior to conducting a formal  investigation the Ombudsman may reach a finding of maladministration at what is commonly known as the 'assessment stage'. As in paragraph 2 above, the Ombudsman may recommend that a payment is made to the complainant.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.         Currently, Cabinet has authority to make payments or provide other benefits in cases of maladministration (this is in line with Section 92 of the Local Government Act 1972) and as such has authority to delegate.

5.         The timescales set by the Ombudsman for payments to be made by the Unitary Authority to the complainant in line with paragraphs 2 and 3 above is usually short and can cause administrative problems, which would be eased by granting the suggested officer delegation.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

6.         Any payments authorised would be met from the relevant department's existing budget.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

7.         There are no sustainability and climate change implications associated with this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

8.         As referred to in the body of the report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

9.         There are no crime and disorder implications associated with this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

10.      The use of the proposed delegated authority will apply only to matters which the Ombudsman has concluded that the public interest does not require an investigation report to be publicised.

11.      The proposed delegation will be applied having regard to the facts in each individual case and the equal opportunity implications associated with the same.

Corporate/Service Objectives

12.      To expedite the procedure for authority to consider and (if appropriate) authorise payments, thereby meeting the support needs of client departments.

Policy Framework and Budget

13.      This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

14.      As this matter is of a general administrative nature consultation has been limited to officers.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

15.      Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources)

Background Papers

Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2005

Section 92, Local Government Act 1972

 

Contact Officer

Debbie Marles - Head of Legal Services

 

Officers Consulted

Sian Davies - Managing Director

Eira Carroll - Customer Complaints Officer

 

Responsible Officer:

Debbie Marles - Head of Legal Services

 

 

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