Ombudsman Services Roundtable

Wednesday 17 July 2013, Whitehall

Reform of Dispute Resolution Services


On 17th July 2013, a roundtable was held on the subject of Reform of Dispute Resolution Services, in the Thames Room of the Royal Horseguards Hotel in Whitehall. The event was chaired by Sir John Bourn, who posed the main question theme for the event: how can complaints most effectively be managed in the context of greater demand, expectations and a higher public profile for Ombudsman?


The three topics for the roundtable were as follows:

  • The recent EU directive on Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR)
  • Business models in response to the paper, No Stone Unturned: In Pursuit of Growth
  • The potential role of Digital by Default in dispute resolution



The Chair closed the discussion, commending the range of topics covered. However, the discussion had kept returning to six themes, which should be a priority moving forward:

  • Trust, to keep the customer on board;
  • Access, so that anyone who has a right to complain has the means to do so;
  • Sharing of information, so that ombudsmen can improve their services by working together. The Chair emphasised the importance of sharing information with organisations under jurisdiction to improve standards of service;
  • Independence, essential in the adjudication process;
  • Expertise, with experience from within the respective industry playing a role in the entity;
  • Speed, to satisfy both parties involved in the dispute.


This roundtable took place Wednesday 17th July 2013 in Whitehall, London.