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Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Act 2002

The Act

5.The Act establishes a Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (“the Ombudsman”) to deal with complaints currently dealt with by the Scottish Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration, the Health Service Commissioner for Scotland, the Commissioner for Local Administration in Scotland and the Housing Association Ombudsman for Scotland. The Ombudsman also takes over:

  • the Mental Welfare Commission’s function of investigating complaints relating to mental health;

  • complaints against Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise whose External Complaints Adjudicators are wound up.

6.The Ombudsman is supported by up to 3 deputy Ombudsmen. The existing Ombudsmen offices referred to at paragraph 6 above are all abolished. The legislation establishing the statutory offices is repealed and the administrative arrangements establishing the non-statutory offices, i.e. the Housing Association Ombudsman for Scotland and the External Complaints Adjudicators for Scottish Enterprise and Highlands & Islands Enterprise, are to be terminated. The Act establishes a standardised set of procedures for dealing with all relevant complaints.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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