Last edited 10 Feb 2021


An Ombudsman is an independent office holder who investigates and rules on complaints from members of the public about maladministration in government and in particular services in the public and private sectors. An ombudsman may use mediation as part of their dispute resolution procedures. The powers of an ombudsman vary. Mostly they are only able to make recommendations, but a few can make decisions that are enforceable through the courts.

Following a review commissioned by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and conducted by Robert Gordon CB, the UK government confirmed in November 2013 that it is considering creating a single ombudsman for public services in England establishing a one-stop-shop for problems or complaints. See for more information.

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