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April 25, 2012

On Thursday 19th April 2012 the Gibraltar Public Services Ombudsman Office hosted the 10th meeting of the British and Irish Ombudsman Association ‘First Contact’ Interest Group at the Gibraltar London House at the Strand, London.

Representatives from ombudsman schemes included the Local Government Ombudsman Office, the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman, the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, as well as eleven other Ombudsman schemes. 



All attendees were formally welcomed by the Gibraltar Public Services Ombudsman, Mr Mario Hook, and a presentation followed, giving a brief over-view of life in Gibraltar, and a synopsis of the workings of the Gibraltar Public Services Ombudsman office.The Ombudsman then left the group to allow for the meeting to continue with its agenda.                {module_literature,i,132391}


The meeting went extremely well with all 22 attendees sharing valuable information about their experiences and learning’s at the front office. Of special interest were the following points:
  • 1. The Legal Ombudsman representative mentioned that her office was a ‘paper-less’ office, and that as such no paper-matter is printed or kept in the office but scanned and saved in their computer database. Most other Ombudsman schemes were aware of the need to reduce paper consumption and as such were trying to head towards a ‘paper-light’ office. 
  • 2. The possibility of scanning all mail at the point of entry.
  1. 3. Consider a 'Paper-Light' policy.
  3. 4. Communicate with Complainants/Departments even when nothing has happened as 'absence of information' causes uncertainty and can lead to assumptions being taken.
The next First Contact Group meeting will be held in September/October in the Local Government Ombudsman Offices in Milbank, London.