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Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2019

Part 2

Section 2 - The Public Services Ombudsman for Wales

4.This section provides for the continuation of the office of the Ombudsman. This section also introduces Schedule 1.

Schedule 1

5.Generally, the Schedule makes provision with regard to the office of the Ombudsman, including the Ombudsman’s power to appoint staff and expert advisers and to delegate functions; requirements in relation to annual and extraordinary reports and estimates of the income and expenditure of the Ombudsman’s office and accounts, audit and value for money examinations into the use of the resources of the Ombudsman’s office.

6.Paragraphs 1 to 3 make provision as to the appointment, status and term of office of the Ombudsman.

7.Paragraph 4 makes provision for the appointment of an acting Ombudsman where the office of the Ombudsman becomes vacant. Sub-paragraph (7) provides that, generally, an acting Ombudsman is to be regarded as the Ombudsman during the period for which the acting Ombudsman holds office. Consequently, an acting Ombudsman is able, for example, to exercise the Ombudsman’s full range of powers with regard to the obtaining of information, evidence and the production of documents under sections 18, 19 and 20.

8.Paragraph 5 requires the Assembly to decide the terms that apply to the appointment of the Ombudsman or an acting Ombudsman.

9.Paragraphs 6, 7, 8 and 9 make provision with regard to:


the persons who are disqualified from being the Ombudsman (or acting Ombudsman),


the offices etc. which the Ombudsman (or acting Ombudsman) is disqualified from holding whilst in office, and


the offices etc. which a person who has ceased to be the Ombudsman (or acting Ombudsman) is disqualified from holding for the period of three years from the time at which that person ceased to hold office, unless the Assembly approves otherwise.

10.In addition, the Ombudsman is disqualified from being a member of the Assembly by section 16 of the Government of Wales Act 2006

11.Paragraph 10 makes provision with regard to the remuneration of the Ombudsman (or acting Ombudsman as the case may be).

12.Paragraph 11 requires any sums which the Ombudsman must pay as a result of a breach of duty to be charged on the Welsh Consolidated Fund. It also enables the Ombudsman to retain certain fees and costs that would otherwise have to be paid into the Welsh Consolidated Fund. (For further provision about the Welsh Consolidated Fund, see Part 5 of the Government of Wales Act 2006.)

13.Paragraph 121 makes provision for the Ombudsman to appoint such staff on such terms and conditions as the Ombudsman considers necessary. Members of the Ombudsman’s staff are not civil servants.

14.Paragraph 132 enables the Ombudsman to obtain such advice (whether on payment or not) as the Ombudsman considers appropriate to assist in the discharge of the Ombudsman’s functions.

15.Paragraph 143 provides that the Ombudsman may authorise any person to discharge the Ombudsman’s functions on behalf of the Ombudsman. However, the Ombudsman cannot make arrangements, under this Act or otherwise, with the Welsh Ministers, the First Minister or the Counsel General for the exercise by one of the other’s functions or for the provision of certain specified services by one to the other.

16.Paragraph 154 makes provision for annual and extraordinary reports by the Ombudsman.

17.Paragraph 165 makes provision so that in each financial year the Ombudsman must prepare an estimate of the income and expenses of the Ombudsman’s office which must then be considered by the appropriate Assembly committee. The committee must then lay the estimate, with or without modifications, before the Assembly.

18.Paragraphs 17, 18, 19 and 20 make provision with regard to the accounts that the Ombudsman is required to keep, the audit of those accounts by the Auditor General for Wales, the accounting officer arrangements for the Ombudsman’s office, and examinations by the Auditor General for Wales in relation to the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which the Ombudsman has used the resources of the Ombudsman’s office.

19.Paragraph 21 provides the Ombudsman with powers to do things that are supplementary to the carrying out of the Ombudsman’s functions. For example, it gives the Ombudsman power to do things like lease offices and vehicles in order to facilitate the discharge of the Ombudsman’s functions.

20.Paragraph 22 clarifies that the person who is the Ombudsman the day before this Act is passed continues to be the Ombudsman after this Act is passed (and that there is no break in the 7 year term of appointment).

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Text created by the Welsh Government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Welsh Parliament.


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