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UKAJI April 2021 round-up

UKAJI April 2021 round-up

Here is UKAJI’s round-up of important administrative justice related news, events and publications for April 2021. If you have anything to add to this round-up or any future round-ups, please contact Lee Marsons on lm17598@essex.ac.uk.

Publications and articles:

Ombuds affairs:

  • The PHSO is to routinely make its casework decisions available publicly on a new website. The website name will be decisions.ombudsman.org.uk and is available here. Caroline Dobbing, Senior Digital Communications Manager, posted a blog on the development here.
  • The LGSCO determined that Medway Council left a teenager to live in a tent for two months after his family was left homeless during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The LGSCO determined that a grammar school in Bromley should offer a fresh admissions appeals to a teenager and review the way that the school deals with appeals generally. This follows a determination that the school had made a number of significant errors, including lack of notification in writing about the opportunity for appeal and failure to be told in writing of the outcome of the admissions decision.
  • The Independent National Whistleblowing Officer for the NHS in Scotland was launched on 1 April.
  • The SPSO did not lay any decisions before the Scottish Parliament in April.
  • The NIPSO is now operating a telephone service between the hours of 09:00 and 13:00 Monday to Friday.
  • The Housing Ombudsman appointed a new Resident Panel designed to provide insight into the experiences of social housing residents. Initially the panel will have 100 members and its website is available here.
  • The Housing Ombudsman launched a call for evidence in relation to its thematic investigation in damp and mould in social housing. This is the Ombudsman’s first thematic call for evidence following the publication of its Systemic Framework, designed to identify systematic issues highlighted by individual cases.
  • The Service Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces released an update on its backlog of complaints.
  • The new Services Complaints Ombudsman for the Armed Forces released a blog on her work since taking office in February 2021.

Regulators and inspectorates:

  • The Regulator of Social Housing released a series of regulatory judgments, decisions, and assessments.
  • HM Inspectorate of Constabulary released a report concluding that, in general, police forces had responded to the circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic well, despite some excesses.
  • HM Inspectorate of Constabulary released its proposed policing inspection programme and framework for 2021-22.
  • The Justice Minister for Northern Ireland, Naomi Long, commissioned HM Inspectorate of Constabulary to review the actions of the Police Service of Northern Ireland in relation to the funeral of Bobby Storey, a former Provisional IRA volunteer.
  • HM Inspectorate of Constabulary released a report concluding that the Metropolitan Police Service had broadly acted appropriately in relation to its policing of a vigil held in Clapham Common to commemorate the death of Sarah Everard.
  • HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate released its business plan for 2021-22.
  • HM Inspectorate of Prisons released its business plan for 2021-22.

Westminster affairs:

Official reports, appointments, and policy papers:

  • The Government Equalities Office created a G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council.
  • The Home Office consultation into the New Plan for Immigration closed on 6 May.
  • The Ministry of Justice released a Code of Practice for Victims of Crime in England and Wales, setting out the minimum standards that relevant organisations must provide to victims of crime.
  • The Home Office released updated guidance in relation to the National Referral Mechanism for victims of modern slavery.
  • The Home Office released guidance for caseworkers deciding applications under the EU Settlement Scheme.
  • The Home Office released promotional material and an information pack for the partners of those who may benefit from the Windrush Compensation Scheme.
  • Julia Mulligan was appointed as Chair of the Police Advisory Board for England and Wales.
  • Professor Martin Levermore was appointed as new Windrush independent adviser.
  • Former Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council, Roy Wilsher, was appointed as Expert Advisor on Fire and Rescue Service Reform.
  • The Home Office released the quarterly statistics for the National Referral Mechanism, designed to protect victims of modern slavery and human trafficking.
  • The National Audit Office released its framework for reviewing the efficiency and effectiveness of major programmes.
  • The Welsh Auditor General released a report on the provision of discretionary services provided by local government.
  • The Welsh Auditor General released a report on the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Health Secretary gave a speech on transforming the UK into a “life sciences super power”.
  • The Department for Health released its ethical framework for social care during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Ministry of Justice released the quarterly statistics for tribunals.
  • Gabriella Bettiga was reappointed as a member of the Tribunal Procedure Committee.
  • The Ministry of Justice held a virtual event in relation to legal services provided between the UK and Africa.
  • The Ministry of Justice released updated guidance on the duty to refer under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 as it applies to prisons and probation services.
  • The Ministry of Justice is holding a consultation on sections 6 to 11 of the Justice and Security Act 2013 in relation to closed material procedures.

Independent reports:

  • The Women’s Budget Group produced a briefing on differential gendered access to public services during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • British Future released a briefing on public attitudes to the coronavirus pandemic, including willingness to receive a vaccine and to adopt Covid vaccine certification.
  • Equally Ours released a briefing in response to the report of the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities.


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