Parkinson’s law: Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.
When the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) decided, in November 2017, to investigate Waspi complaints made to the DWP and ICE, it was to ‘streamline’ the complaint process and shorten the time to resolution.
The investigation will now focus on a representative sample of complaints and how any such maladministration should be addressed, which is expected to speed up the process significantly, a spokesman for Waspi said.tadviser.com/pensions/2017/11/29
It took PHSO until October 2018 to identify the six cases, then in November 2018, they halted investigations due to judicial review proceedings. phsothetruestory.com It was not until March 2020 that the investigations resumed. www.ombudsman.org.uk
A year later there is excitement among WASPI campaign groups that the Ombudsman will soon report on the first stage of the investigation.
The first stage is looking at whether there was maladministration in DWP’s communication of changes to women’s state pension age. Maladministration is when an organisation does something wrong or provides poor service. We will look at what DWP should have done to communicate the changes in women’s state pension age, and whether it did this.
Only when the first stage is complete (and it isn’t yet) does the second stage begin.
At the second stage, we would also consider the complaints about DWP not adequately communicating the required number of years of national insurance contributions to receive a full state pension, as well as DWP’s and ICE’s complaint handling.https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/complaints-womens-state-pension-age?fbclid=IwAR0RMbz_1yJGiURWsJCNkTgYfd3pLi8wH1Ia_RSBb-X1TXRwpFTndKgOY20
As David Hencke points out in his latest Westminster Confidential;
The real scandal is how long this will take. Covid 19 has already killed a substantial number of women in this group and bad health, stress and poverty is putting many others at risk. You only have to read the comments from people on my blog to see this.
No idea when he will report
He can’t even give a ball park date when he will report. The more he delays the fewer people will get any compensation because they will be dead. Unlike other inquiries the grim reaper will keep reducing the size of the overall compensation package.
Logic would suggest that it would have been beneficial, in the name of ‘streamlining’, to look at whether there was poor communication by the DWP regarding the changes to pension age and whether women were given misinformation about the number of years NI contribution at the same time.
According to Parkinson’s law, civil servants, or in this case crown servants, are perfectly capable of filling up time ad infinitum, unless of course, someone starts asking difficult questions about performance stats.
On the 18th March 2021 Justin Madders, Shadow Minister for Health and Social Care asked the Duchy of Lancaster (Michael Gove) some very searching questions regarding PHSO performance.
Not that he got a very satisfactory response from Chloe Smith, Assistant whip.
I have heard some women have been paid compensation ,but they were told not to say anything,is this true because as a waspi women myself i have heard nothing about my claim,can u reply to this please i would be most grateful
The Ombudsman likes to work in secret. They would not be able to make a compensation payment without a finding of maladministration. Eventually that finding would be published. But they may never release the level of compensation so people will never know if some got higher pay outs.
is the PHSO also CORRUPT? Just asking.!
Yes. It is corrupt by design. Check out ‘What’s the point of the ombudsman? ‘ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whats-point-Ombudsman-Della-Reynolds/dp/1999929144/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=whats+the+point+of+the+ombudsman&qid=1617106886&sprefix=whats+the+point+of+tge+&sr=8-1
Yes, a great fanfare in the news at the time in 2017 “the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman has intervened to speed up responses to complaints from the Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) movement”. Made to sound like the Parliamentary Ombudsman was coming down sharp on DWP and Independent Complaints Examiner (ICE) and getting things looked at, in view too of the age of the women. 2021, 4 years later they are still waiting. And it is clear what the outcome will be.
Is there an ombudsman to look at the maladministration of the ombudsman looking into the maladministration of the DWP? Asking for 3.8 million, well it was 3.8 million women. Heaven knows how many are actually left, many already passed from ill health, Covid and some sadly from suicide. It has always astounded me that the Gov could find me to send my P60 and notification of Tax Coding but couldn`t slip a note in to explain the change in our pensions. I took early retirement relying on getting my State Pension at 60 and found out at 58 that was not going to happen. You cannot prepare for something you did not know about.
Absolutely right Lynne. The ombudsman stepped in to give speedy resolution in 2017. From their latest public briefing they are not even close to determining an outcome.
My own case mirrors yours. having worked full time from age 15 without a break I took retirement at 57 to care for my mum, knowing I could live on my savings until my pension at 60. Then came the letter from DWP. The first letter pushed it back to 65, the second, to 66. Savings have gone, mum’s gone, all dignity has gone because I’m now borrowing from my brother, I have no money to do anything and only £1 a day for food. I’ve never claimed benefits and always paid full tax from age 15 to age 57. An extra six years to wait with three years notice is beyond belief. I might even have coped if they’d just pushed it back to 63. The final blow was that letter pushing it back another year to 66. I still feel sick knowing that I could have planned a private pension for myself if I had been given sufficient notice.
A shocking disregard for women’s welfare. I’m sorry to say there will be no remedy from the ombudsman on this issue.
It’s all very disappointing. The UK is, apparently, looked up to as a fair and just country throughout the world, if the world only knew…..There is no justice here unless you have very deep pockets as authorities do via our tax money.
No wonder the Government curtailed legal aid!!!!!!!!!!! Can’t have people challenging the Government, they might even win!
But the WASPI women could be paid what they should be paid if the PHSO was ‘washed away’. Think of the money that could be saved and used for other purposes. Like paying the women what they had contributed to, their pension.
After reading ‘What’s the point of the Ombudsman’ please read The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell, written in 1913 I think it was, nothing has changed. Then you will understand where all this meanness comes from and why.
The sad truth is, people voted for this without the understanding what they were voting for. A bit like Brexit, follow the money.
The Waspi campaigners were no doubt delighted that the Ombudsman had decided to open an investigation into their complaints. Little did they know what they were in for. But then no-one knows how poor the service provided by the Ombudsman is until they experience it, and then they find out that no-one cares anyway. The final report issued is usually the final straw that breaks the complainant.
But in this case the Ombudsman is out of the shadows and operating under the scrutiny of several parties, including the media and parliament. Will it make a difference? We know how important media coverage is to the Ombudsman, he has stated as much himself. So perhaps the Waspi campaigners will get more of a VIP treatment when the report is published than the average complainant. It will be very interesting to see how it all turns out.
And Michael Gove at the Cabinet Office has been asked for an assessment of the adequacy of the Parliamentary Ombudsman and Chloe Smith, answering on his behalf, says that the PHSO will answer that question itself! Is this Yes Minister? I can’t imagine there will be any conflict of interest in the reply and that the PHSO will provide an honest assessment of its failings. How would anyone answer if they were asked to give an assessment of the adequacy of their own performance?
From the minutes of a PHSO board meeting held on 30th January 2020.
Minute 3.6. Amanda Amroliwala (PHSO Chief Executive) – when asked by a board member about external perceptions of the organisation
“There remained a small group of vocal and challenging critics who were unlikely to ever be supportive”
Why doesn’t she say who she means. Does she include PHSOtheFACTS? I do hope so. External criticism is the price to be paid for refusing to engage with your critics and bring them ‘inside the tent’ Amanda. Personal experience of earlier engagement with PHSO has taught me to keep up the valid criticism from the outside now.
One can continue to legitimately ask why, on both the parliamentary and health side of PHSO work, they have failed so dismally. How is it the investigation into maternity services at Shrewsbury and Telford by Donna Ockenden looked into 1862 cases since 2000 and yet an FOI to the Ombudsman revealed just 4 investigations completed by PHSO into maternity issues at this Trust in the last 7 years!
Wake up Amanda – right now the ‘small’ group is getting larger and the valid criticisms louder. Sooner or later your political masters will be forced to act – if only to protect their own reputations. The dam will burst and PHSO will be washed away!
The whole ‘WASPI’ 1950s Womens’ pension investigation by PHSO has been a complete sham from the very start, just as it will be to the finish and like everything else the PHSO do. The phrase ‘Corrupt by Design’ given to this organisation, could not have been a more perfect name for this despicable set-up, portrayed on the surface (including glossy website) as being there to give the citizens who have been seriously failed by Government Departments some kind of justice. There is NO justice. Giving women false hopes for so many years, knowing they are there to protect the Government failings at every level is nothing short of a crime. And who investigates that crime? No one ! They are not accountable to anyone. It is heartbreaking that so many women were led down this dark path imagining there would be some light at the end of it. Nothing but a dark hole to fall into for good. The book ‘What’s the Point of the Ombudsman’ is the tell all and go to book for anyone considering entering into this maze of corruption.