Regina v Commissioner for Local Administration ex parte Eastleigh Borough Council: CA 1988

Maladministration includes bias, neglect, inattention, delay, incompetence, inaptitude, perversity, turpitude and arbitrariness in reaching a decision or exercising a discretion, but that it has nothing to do with the intrinsic merits of the decision itself.
Lord Donaldson of Lymington MR set out the correct view of the relationship between a local authority and the Ombudsman: ‘There is the suggestion that the Council should issue a statement disputing the right of the Ombudsman to make his findings and that this would provide the Council with an adequate remedy. Such an action would wholly undermine the system of Ombudsman’s reports and would, in effect, provide for an appeal to the media against his findings. The parliamentary intention was that reports by Ombudsmen should be loyally accepted by the local authorities concerned. This is clear from Section 30, subsection 4 and subsection 5 which require the local authority to make the report available for inspection by the public and to advertise this fact, from Section 31(1) which requires the local authority to notify the Ombudsman of the action which it has taken and proposes to take in the light of his report and from Section 31(2) which entitles the Ombudsman to make a further report if the local authority’s response is not satisfactory.’


Lord Donaldson of Lymington MR


[1988] QB 853


Local Government Act 1974


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedLegal and General Assurance Society Ltd v CCA Stationery Ltd ChD 12-Dec-2003
The claimant had managed a pension scheme for the respondent company. It now challenged a finding of maladministration of the scheme, with respect to the methods of calculation of discounts applicable to those leaving the scheme.
Held: Since . .
ApprovedBradley and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions CA 7-Feb-2008
Complaint was made as to a leaflet PEC 3 issued by the Department in 1996, intended to summarise the changes introduced by the Pensions Act 1995, and their purpose. One answer given was: ‘The Government wanted to remove any worries people had about . .
CitedGallagher and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Basildon District Council Admn 9-Nov-2010
The claimant challenged the refusal of the Council to pay compensation as recommended by the Ombudsman. The Council had gathered personal details and information of the claimants in the course of a planning dispute, and then published that . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Administrative, Local Government

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.188826