Agenda item - Complaints Update (June 2012)
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Complaints Update (June 2012)
Report of the Monitoring Officer (copy attached)
9.1 The Committee considered a report of the Monitoring Officer in relation to active Standards complaints, and cases where the outcome had previously not been reported; the report also included an update on complaints dealt with via the Local Government Ombudsman. It was also highlighted that Officers were proposing to change the format of the report for future Committees to include more detail; and ensure that the necessary sections were considered under as Part 2 items.
9.2 Councillor Duncan highlighted changes to the anonymity of complaints made against Members; and the Complaints Manager explained that under the proposed new regime complaints referred for investigation could be determined in public session at the final stage. Councillor Ann Norman said that she had been involved with Standards complaints for some time, and it was her experience that the current process operated well, and there was a strong case to keep complaints confidential until the final stage to ensure investigations could be conducted properly and impartially.
9.3 Councillor Janio noted that currently all complaints could not be dismissed even if they were withdrawn, and asked if this would change under the proposed new regime. In response the Monitoring Officer said that the current regulations prescribed that all complaints had to heard, but under the new regime there could be agreement between the Monitoring Officer and the Committee so that withdrawn or vexatious complaints could be dismissed.
9.4 The Co-Chair, Dr Wilkinson, thanked the Complaints Manager and his team for excellent work they had undertaken during the period he had served as the Chair of the previous Standards Committee.
9.5 RESOLVED - The Committee note the report.