The Ombudsman

The Ombudsman - Margaret Kelly

The Northern Ireland Assembly nominated Margaret Kelly as the new Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman on 6 July 2020.   Margaret took up her post on 19 August, following appointment by Royal Warrant. Her post is for a single period of seven years.

“I am honoured to be nominated Public Services Ombudsman at this time when the role and value of our public services has never been more vital,” said Ms Kelly following her formal nomination.

“Putting people at the centre of our work and providing an excellent service to those seeking redress will be my main focus. With the NIPSO team, I look forward to working together with all our public services in partnership to continue to develop a culture of openness, learning and improvement and contribute to our public services being the best they can be.”

Margaret Kelly has worked extensively in the voluntary and community sector for over 30 years and gained a range of experience in leading and managing services, developing policy and working in partnership with the public sector.  She has a wealth of experience in working with children, young people and families, enabling their voices to be heard by both providers and decision makers.

She has held senior roles in many children and families organisations including Gingerbread, Barnardo’s and Fostering Network NI.

From September 2015, Margaret was Director of Mencap Northern Ireland.  During that time, she was responsible for developing a range of early intervention services for children with a learning disability and their families, including strategically leading early intervention across Northern Ireland, England and Wales. She also ensured that the needs of those with a learning disability had a higher priority within public services.

She has worked with government departments and the Northern Ireland Assembly on the development and improvement of policy and practice. She currently Chairs the Second Independent Review of Personal Independence Payments on behalf of the Department of Communities.

She graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 1986 with a BSc (Hons) in Politics and Economics and also holds an MSc from Bristol University (1988).