Every week throughout the year the adjudicators meet under the chairmanship of either the Ombudsman or Deputy Ombudsman to discuss their more troublesome cases. Formal case notes are prepared for each such case by the adjudicator dealing with the case which is placed on the agenda and distributed before the time. Many of these cases ultimately found their way to our website at www.ombud.co.za. These meetings we find are invaluable – not only for the cross-pollination of ideas but to ensure a consistency of approach throughout the office.
At the same time the adjudicators’ meetings serve as a management meeting at which general issues are raised and debated. From time to time short Practice Notes are prepared on various topics to serve at one and the same time as an aide memoire and a rule of thumb. We thought that it would be useful for the complaints handling units of our subscribing members to publish a selection of these practice notes to enable them to familiarise themselves with our general approach – but on one condition. And that is that our practice notes should never be cited against us when they don’t suit our purpose.