The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) is launching its annual scrutiny session into the work of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) in the financial year 2021/22.
According to the House of Commons Standing Order 146, PACAC’s role in relation to the PHSO is:
to examine the reports of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration and the Health Service Commissioner for England, which are laid before this House, and matters in connection therewith
PACAC therefore scrutinises the PHSO’s annual report and other reports that the Ombudsman chooses to lay before Parliament. Where these reports highlight failures in the quality and standings of Civil Service administration, PACAC may use them to hold the government to account. We will also use this opportunity to examine the PHSO’s strategy for 2022-25.
The Committee cannot review the PHSO’s adjudications on individual cases. This includes the PHSO’s decisions on whether or not to accept a case. AS the office of the PHSO is independent, adjudications cannot be overruled by a government minister or parliamentary committee.