It’s that time of year again when we scratch our heads and wonder what has happened to the Legal Ombudsman’s annual report.
You may remember the delay in publishing the 2013/14 report, which was put back by around eight months and finally appeared in January this year.
The delay was caused by discrepancies flagged up by the National Audit Office over expenses payments to former chief executive Adam Sampson.
Obiter would hope there are no such issues for the legal complaints-handler again in 2015, but alas the latest report is still nowhere to be seen.
The ombudsman’s office tells us the annual report is likely to be published in 'late autumn', after an issue getting the document passed around various departments meant it missed the deadline for parliament rising last month.
We wouldn’t usually be too concerned, but much is expected of this report.
The Gazette has been trying for months to find out details of expenses repayments. Consistently we have been told to wait for the publication of the 2014/15 annual report, with LeO arguing that revealing such information might not maintain the ‘integrity of the relevant information’.
The LeO added: ‘As you know the accounts must be published by law and they will be published alongside the relevant governance statements to accompany the accounts.’
Which is all very reassuring, but it does rather rely on the accounts being published. At present we’ve been told ‘wait and see’ on a document that shows no signs of materialising. Now whom do we complain to about that?