Ministers urged to back ombudsman

The Office of the Third Sector should push for the establishment of a charity ombudsman, according to Jodi Berg, the Independent Complaints Reviewer for the Charity Commission.

In her annual report, published last week (Third Sector Online, 25 July), Berg said volunteers in particular had no redress when they were mistreated by charities.

She said an observation by the Public Administration Select Committee in its report Public Services and the Third Sector report (9 July, page 1), that people could complain to the local government or parliamentary ombudsman, was irrelevant because people did not know their rights.

Berg said self-regulation would be best, but it would need leadership from charities, many of which were reluctant. "Even big charities often don't have complaints procedures, and a lot of charities think they are already overregulated," she said.

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