The Scottish Parliament will next week be invited to nominate Rosemary Agnew to Her Majesty for appointment as the new Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.
The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman’s role is to investigate complaints about most organisations providing public services in Scotland where a member of the public claims to have suffered injustice or hardship as a result of maladministration or service failure.
Ms Agnew is expected to succeed the current Ombudsman Jim Martin who stands down from the post on 30 April this year.
The appointment follows an open recruitment process which sought candidates who could demonstrate: excellent judgement to reach sound and impartial decisions; highly developed influencing and communication skills; a proven track record of strategic leadership; and demonstrable experience of delivering results.
Ms Agnew will take up post on 1 May 2017.
This is a full-time, fixed term appointment for eight years and attracts a salary of £83k.
Rosemary Agnew is the current Scottish Information Commissioner, a post she has held since 1 May 2012.
Rosemary’s experience of complaint handling within regulatory and quasi-judicial systems to consider and adjudicate on dissatisfaction with public services is extensive, and goes back to 2001. Prior to being the Scottish Information Commissioner she was the Chief Executive of the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, and immediately before that worked as an Assistant Ombudsman for the UK Local Government Ombudsman.
Rosemary is an MBA graduate, with distinction, of Manchester Business School. In addition to her complaint-handling experience, she has managed and led organisations through major change and applied her in-depth understanding of governance to good effect.
All of this has given her insight into different approaches to complaint handling and how important such roles are to the way in which people interact and engage with decision-makers and public services.
The Ombudsman’s role is to investigate complaints about most organisations providing public services in Scotland where a member of the public claims to have suffered injustice or hardship as a result of maladministration or service failure. The organisations providing public services in Scotland include councils, the National Health Service, housing associations and co-operatives, universities and colleges, most water and sewage providers, prisons, the Scottish Government and its agencies and departments, and most Scottish authorities.
Over the past several years, the Ombudsman’s remit has expanded to include complaints about prisons, water providers and prisoner health. In addition, the Ombudsman has a statutory duty to publish standardised complaints handling procedures for the public sector and monitor and promote best practice in complaints handling. In 2016, the Ombudsman became the independent reviewer of the Scottish Welfare Fund and the Ombudsman’s role will be further expanded in 2017 when, as part of health and social care integration, the Ombudsman will be able to consider professional judgment in relation to social work complaints.
Further information on the work of the Ombudsman can be found at:-
The Scottish Parliament will be asked to agree Ms Agnew’s nomination on Tuesday 7 February 2017. The motion is as follows:
Bob Doris MSP on behalf of the Selection Panel: Appointment of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
That the Parliament nominates Rosemary Agnew to Her Majesty The Queen for appointment as the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman under Section 1 of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act 2002.