Appendix 1: Notes to assist interpretation of the statistics 2009/10

Table 1. LGO Advice Team: Enquiries and complaints received

This information shows the number of enquiries and complaints received by the LGO, broken down by service area and in total.  It also shows how these were dealt with, as follows.

Premature complaints: The LGO does not normally consider a complaint unless a council has first had an opportunity to deal with that complaint itself.  So if someone complains to the LGO without having taken the matter up with a council, the LGO will either refer it back to the council as a 'premature complaint' to see if the council can itself resolve the matter, or give advice to the enquirer that their complaint is premature.

Advice given: These are enquiries where the LGO Advice Team has given advice on why the LGO would not be able to consider the complaint, other than the complaint is premature. For example, the complaint may clearly be outside the LGO's jurisdiction.

Forwarded to the investigative team (resubmitted premature and new): These are new cases forwarded to the Investigative Team for further consideration and cases where the complainant has resubmitted their complaint to the LGO after it has been put to the council.

Table 2. Investigative Team: Decisions

This information records the number of decisions made by the LGO Investigative Team, broken down by outcome, within the period given.  This number will not be the same as the number of complaints forwarded from the LGO Advice Team because some complaints decided in 2009/10 will already have been in hand at the beginning of the year, and some forwarded to the Investigative Team during 2009/10 will still be in hand at the end of the year.  Below we set out a key explaining the outcome categories.

MI reps: where the LGO has concluded an investigation and issued a formal report finding maladministration causing injustice.
LS (local settlements): decisions by letter discontinuing our investigation because action has been agreed by the authority and accepted by the LGO as a satisfactory outcome for the complainant.
M reps: where the LGO has concluded an investigation and issued a formal report finding maladministration but causing no injustice to the complainant.
NM reps: where the LGO has concluded an investigation and issued a formal report finding no maladministration by the council.
No mal: decisions by letter discontinuing an investigation because we have found no, or insufficient, evidence of maladministration.
Omb disc: decisions by letter discontinuing an investigation in which we have exercised the LGO's general discretion not to pursue the complaint.  This can be for a variety of reasons, but the most common is that we have found no or insufficient injustice to warrant pursuing the matter further.
Outside jurisdiction: these are cases which were outside the LGO's jurisdiction.

Table 3. Response times

These figures record the average time the council takes to respond to our first enquiries on a complaint.  We measure this in calendar days from the date we send our letter/fax/email to the date that we receive a substantive response from the council.  The council's figures may differ somewhat, since they are likely to be recorded from the date the council receives our letter until the despatch of its response.

Table 4. Average local authority response times 2009/10

This table gives comparative figures for average response times by authorities in England, by type of authority, within three time bands.

 

Appendix 2: Local Authority Report - Bath & North East Somerset for the period ending 31/03/10

LGO Advice Team

Enquiries and
complaints
received
Adult
care
services

Children
and
family
services

Public
Finance
inc. Local
Taxation 
Planning
and
building
control 
Transport
and
highways
 Other  Total
Formal/informal
premature complaints 

 1

Advice given

 0

0

Forwarded to
investigative team
(resubmitted
prematures)

 1

2

Forwarded to
investigative team
(new)

 2

3

1

3

16

Total

 4

3

1

10

5

27

Investigative Team

Decisions

MI reps  LS  M reps  NM reps  No mal  Omb disc  Outside
jurisdiction 
Total 
 2009/10

20 

 

Response
times

   FIRST ENQUIRIES

No. of First Enquiries  Avg no. of days to respond
 01/04/09-31/03/10

33.0 

 2008/2009

16 

24.4 

 2007/2008

14 

32.6 

Average local authority resp times 01/04/09 - 31/03/10

 Types of authority

 less than or = 28 days

29-35 days

more than or = 36 days

 District councils

61

22 

17 

 Unitary authorities

68 

26 

 Metropolitan authorities

70 

22 

 County councils

58

32 

10 

 London boroughs

52

36 

12 

 National park authorities

60 

20 

20 

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