OA welcomes ‘Confusion, gaps and overlaps’ report from Citizens Advice

The Ombudsman Association welcomes the conclusions and recommendations of the report Confusion, gaps, and overlaps which was published today. The research report, commissioned by Citizens Advice, analyses the current system of alternative dispute resolution in consumer markets from the consumer perspective.

The recommendations mirror the Association’s position that everyone should have access to an ombudsman in all areas of consumer and public services, and also reinforces the Association’s long-standing position that there should only be one ombudsman within a sector. The report is clear that it is in the interests of consumers for access to redress to be simple and straightforward.

We also welcome recognition that the Association’s Service Standards Framework will help address the lack of common performance standards across the wider sector, and the related issues around a lack of bench marking and common reporting requirements. The Association’s Framework will help both embed best practice and to raise standards.

Notes:

  • The development of the Ombudsman Association’s Service Standards Framework has been facilitated by BSI Standards Limited, and led by a Steering Group consisting of consumer organisations, including Citizens Advice Scotland, the Legal Services Consumer Panel and the Citizens Information Board, alongside representatives of the Association’s members.
  • A public consultation on the draft Framework was undertaken in January and February 2017.
  • The Framework will be published in May 2017.
  • Further information on the Ombudsman Association’s membership criteria can be found here