This week, I have had the interesting experience of defending a bill I
wrote copied. The Bill is called the National Health Services (Ombudsman) Act 1981, which I will not post here as it is long, detailed and very boring. If you do want to read it and the debate, the Second Reading debate is here, I will update when it goes to third reading. It is an interesting experience to defend a bill, thankfully I made sure it has no wholes in it and the Opposistion is coming at me about have a committee to appoint the Ombudsman, I have never heard of this process being used anywhere so I am rejecting it.
The Liberals have taken a wider approach and are attacking 6 “flaws” in the bill. Namely, the one year time limit for complaints; the right of complaint if they have the right to appeal; the Ombudsman powers of discovery; charging for people not affected by the report for copies of the report; staff complaints; and its applicability only to England and Wales. I have rejected all of these for a variety of reasons. Mainly as IRL (in real life) I have studied Administration Law and the role of the Ombudsman, these are all normal powers and all of them operate this way.
The SPD are nowhere to be seen, as usual. Really should put out a missing persons report for them.
I am getting plenty of support from my Cabinet and Parliementry colleagues, so it has turned into an interesting debate considering I though it would be ignored like the Nursing Home Act we brought in. I am surprised but happy.