Imagine you have a serious complaint about a public service in Guernsey, but the system to resolve it is slow, complex, and doesn’t really listen to you. Right now, if you have a complaint, you have to go through not one, but two internal reviews within the Civil Service. Only after these can you hope to reach an external Review Board, which might have unknown allegiances. That’s where a Public Services Ombudsperson (PSO) comes in – a much-needed change for fairness and efficiency in our community.

1. Fairness for Everyone: Right now, if you have a complaint, it’s hard to get it fairly reviewed. A PSO would be independent and make sure everyone’s complaints about the civil service are heard and dealt with fairly, efficiently and without bias.

2. Civil Service Accountability: Just like we have a commissioner to keep politicians in check, we need a Public Services Ombudsperson for the civil service. This role will ensure our civil servants are accountable and transparent, just like our elected officials.

3. Civil Service Hesitance: It’s like turkeys voting for Christmas. Senior civil servants might resist the idea of a PSO, but this change is for greater transparency and trust. It benefits everyone. If they don’t want to be accountable, they shouldn’t be in the job.

4. Cutting Through Red Tape: The current system is not just biased, but also slow and confusing. A PSO would make the process simpler and faster, so your concerns get addressed quickly.

5. Trust in the System: Many feel the current system is rigged or not transparent. A PSO brings openness and builds trust, making sure the process is clear and fair to everyone.

6. Saving Money in the Long Run: While setting up a PSO might have a cost, it will actually save us money by making the system more efficient and preventing issues from being ignored or covered up.

7. It probably will cost less than the current Admin. Review Board setup, especially if we share an ombudsperson with Jersey.

8. Meeting International Standards: Having a PSO isn’t a new idea. It’s a tried and tested method used worldwide for better governance and fairness. Review Boards, drawn from the local population do not meet international standards.

In a Nutshell: Having a PSO means your concerns are taken seriously, resolved faster, and handled fairly. It’s a small change that can make a big difference in how we all experience public services in our small community.

Contact your Deputy and ask them to vote for this in the States when it comes up for debate on Wednesday 21st February 2024!