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ombudsman news

issue 75

January/February 2009

ombudsman news "Q&A" page

featuring questions that businesses and advice workers have raised recently with the ombudsman's technical advice desk - our free, expert service for professional complaints-handlers

What impact will the recession have on the ombudsman's plans for its expected future workload-

On 15 January this year we published for consultation our corporate plan for the next three years, together with our proposed budget for the next financial year (2009/10) and an update on the budget for the current year (2008/09).

We set out how we plan to gear up to resolve a forecast 44% increase in the number of disputes in the 2009/10 financial year.

This substantial increase takes account of initial forecasts from the financial services industry - and reflects the anticipated impact of the recent turmoil in the financial markets, as well as the worsening economic climate.

I've recently taken over office administration at this firm. We only have a few copies of your consumer leaflet and I'm not sure if they are the most up-to-date version. How can I obtain more supplies-

We regularly re-print our consumer leaflet, "Your complaint and the ombudsman" and sometimes take the opportunity to update the design or to make minor changes to the text.

However, businesses do not need to order new supplies each time we update the leaflet.

You can continue to use up earlier versions that you have already ordered from us. The print date is always shown on the back inside cover of the leaflet.

Copies of the leaflet are available in packs of 25 at a cost of just £5 per pack, including postage and packing (supplies are free for libraries and for advice workers, such as citizens advice and local authority trading standards departments).

As with all our publications, the consumer leaflet is available on request in other languages (Welsh, Urdu etc) and in different formats (audiotape/CD, Braille, large print etc).

Are you running any training events in the coming year for advice workers-

Yes, we will be running a full programme of special events around the UK, aimed at giving advice workers the opportunity to learn more about the ombudsman service and how we operate.

We are keen to welcome people to these events from the widest range of consumer and voluntary groups - from trading standards and money advisers to community networks and local advice and support agencies.

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ombudsman news gives general information on the position at the date of publication. It is not a definitive statement of the law, our approach or our procedure.

The illustrative case studies are based broadly on real-life cases, but are not precedents. Individual cases are decided on their own facts.