Public Service and Local Government



England has one Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (Dame Julie Mellor) and two Local Government Ombudsmen  Dr Jane Martin, Coventry and Anne Seex, York).

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO)

The Parliamentary Ombudsman  (or Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration) draws her powers almost wholly from the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967, as since amended. The Health Service Ombudsman (or Health Service Commissioner) for England draws her powers almost wholly from the Health Service Commissioners Act 1993. The Parliamentary Ombudsman + the Health Service Ombudsman are combined into the the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).

Local Government Ombudsman (LGO)

The Local Government Act 1974 established the Local Government Ombudsmen (LGOs) for England and for Wales. (Note: Wales is now covered by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.) Later amendments were made by the Regulatory Reform (Collaboration etc between Ombudsmen) Order 2007 and the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007.


Scottish Public Service Ombudsman (SPSO)

The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman was established by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act 2002. for a period, not exceeding five years, determined by the Parliamentary corporation (as long as it does not exceed 5 years). The Ombudsman is eligible for a second term but re-appointment for a third term is allowed only if desirable in the public interest due to special circumstances.  The Ombudsman may be relieved of office by Her Majesty upon request or following a resolution of Parliament which, if passed on a division, must be voted for by at least two thirds of members.

The Public Services Ombudsman for Scotland is  Jim Martin


Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (PSOW)

The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales was established by the Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2005.

The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales  Peter Tyndall was appointed in April 2008

The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales brings together the jurisdictions of various offices he replaced, namely the Local Government Ombudsman for Wales, the Health Service Ombudsman for Wales, the Welsh Administration Ombudsman and the Social Housing Ombudsman for Wales.

The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales has a dual role. He investigates complaints by members of the public concerning maladministration, failure in a relevant service or failure to provide a relevant service by any "listed authority" in Wales. They are also responsible for policing ethical standards in local authorities.

The Ombudsman

Is a the newsletter of the British and Irish Ombudsman Association.

European Ombudsman

The European Ombudsman investigates complaints about maladministration in the institutions and bodies of the European Union.


This website focuses on the activities of the 6 Public services and Local Government Ombudsmen for England, Scotland and Wales.

These Ombudsmen are appointed by Her Majesty the Queen , on the nomination of Parliament.

There are over 20 ombudsmen in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and they all look into different kinds of complaints. Find out more about the different ombudsmen here or here.

Ombudsman's role

The main role of the Ombudsmen we focus on is to deal with complaints from ordinary citizens about certain public bodies or organisations providing services on their behalf. Some Ombudsmen have dual roles which include things like ethical standards or promoting good administrative practice.


Ombudsman is a Swedish word and means representative or agent of the people. It is used for both men and women. Sweden had the first ombudsman in 1809 and other countries used the word when they appointed ombudsmen of their own.