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May 12, 2017

Second Meeting of the Ombudsman Association’s Casework Interest Group held at Gibraltar House in London on 12th May 2017
The meeting was hosted by the Gibraltar Public Services Ombudsman’s Office at Gibraltar House in London and was chaired by Jane Brothwood from the Adjudicator’s Office.
There were 24 attendees at the meeting from numerous organisations within the United Kingdom and Ireland and the Gibraltar Office was represented by our Investigating Officer Karen Calamaro.
The meeting provided a forum for discussion for professionals in the Ombudsman field.  It also provided an excellent  opportunity for delegates to advance on concepts and ideas which will undoubtedly result in a better service to the public.  
Training for caseworkers has been a matter of discussion for the Human Resources Interest Group for some time and the setting up of a Caseworker Competency Framework is presently under way.
Due to the significant increase in the number of complaints, most of the organisations represented at the meeting have reduced the length of their reports - in some cases these were previously between 30 to 40 pages long.  It was noted that this action has had a positive result with cases now  being concluded faster and with no negative effects having been noted with regard to  complainants.
During the course of the meeting, the attendees were divided into two groups to discuss ‘Decision Making & Effective Recommendations’ and ‘Quality Assurance’. Initial ideas and concepts were put to members and this sparked a productive discussion, which will continue throughout the coming months.     
One of the points highlighted at the meeting was the valuable tool that is available to the Ombudsman at the end of an investigation. This is the Ombudsman’s concluding ‘Recommendations’. Such recommendations can be an effective tool to improve methods of work and provide outcomes that can be beneficial to all parties concerned in the provision of public services.