98% of Ombudsman’s cases dealt with by Public Service, says PPS

Photo by DOI: Clifton Fenech

The third edition of the annual publication “Governance: Action on the Ombudsman’s Annual Report”, has been launched and details were given about complaints received from the Ombudsman and how many of them had been resolved.

In 2019, 381 new cases were sent to the Public Service by the Ombudsman. In a statement issued by the office of the principal permanent secretary, Mario Cutajar it was said that this number has to be seen in the context of about 13 million transactions carried out in a year by the Public Service, meaning that only 0.003% were referred to the Ombudsman.

Out of the 381 new cases, 253 have already been closed. According to Cutajar 98% of completed cases, it was found that the Public Service had acted in a good way.

Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar also said that most of the pending cases, 119 cases out of 148, were at the Ombudsman’s Office for his consideration.

Cutajar said h believes that there were a number of suggestions that the Ombudsman should act upon in order to strengthen his Office. Standard Operating Procedures needed to be introduced in line with many Ombudsman Offices across Europe. This would mean the Ombudsman would only accept cases after they had gone through the entire customer care and complaints process. The Ombudsman should be the last resort, explained Cutajar.

The Principal Permanent Secretary said that the Public Service’s achievements were the result of structures that have been built from scratch, following recommendations by institutions such as the Ombudsman and the Auditor General.

Accompanied by Joyce Dimech, Permanent Secretary and  Carlos Tabone, Director at the Office of the Principal Permanent Secretary, Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar presented a copy of the document to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Anglu Farrugia.