Inaugural OSCO Stakeholder Symposium
The Ombudsman hosted the inaugural stakeholder symposium for the OSCO today at the Royal College of Defence Studies.
The event, which was attended by representatives from a number of civilian organisations and Service charities, aimed to raise awareness of the role of the Ombudsman and the work of her office.
In addition to presentations on the role and functions of the office and Annual Report 2017, the programme concluded with an open floor discussion. A panel, chaired by our Chief of Staff, fielded questions, ideas and issues from the floor. This productive and meaningful exchange included a number of new ideas for raising awareness of the OSCO and working more closely with our stakeholders.
In response to questions about why she didn’t make a new recommendation for an independent inquiry into the overrepresentation of female and BAME personnel in the Service complaints system, the Ombudsman explained that there is still time to run on the current recommendation. The Ombudsman further explained that she has clarified her expectations for the existing recommendation 1.10 and will review the need to make an additional recommendation in this area for Annual Report 2018 if those expectations are not met.
Speaking after the event the Ombudsman said: “it is always important for me to engage directly with stakeholders. I appreciate the time they have taken to attend today’s event and for their contributions to the frank discussions had. There were a number of issues raised, some of which I will be looking at over the course of the next 12 months, in addition to discussions on topics covered in my Annual Report, including the delays in assigning Fee Earning Harassment Investigation Officers (FEHIOs) to complaints. I feel that we have taken an important step in progressing our stakeholder engagement and I look forward to my office working more closely with many of our stakeholders over the coming year.”
We hope that all of the stakeholders who attended today’s event found it informative and engaging. We look forward to welcoming you all back next year alongside even more of our stakeholders!