Latest News

NIPSO Quarterly Bulletin – Winter 2020

November 19, 2020

Our Quarterly Bulletin provides readers with a short, easy-to-read summary of news from the Office, drawing attention to our most recent investigation reports, providing updates on new initiatives, and highlighting other aspects of our work.

An update of our investigation into the Department for Communities’ administration of the Personal Independence Payment

November 10, 2020

In June 2019 the Ombudsman launched an investigation into the Department for Communities’ (the Department) administration of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) benefit system, focusing on the availability and application of further evidence in the PIP benefit decision making and internal complaints processes. Under the 2016 Act, the Ombudsman must give the Department and the assessment provider Capita the opportunity to comment on the evidence before she concludes her investigation … Continue reading An update of our investigation into the Department for Communities’ administration of the Personal Independence Payment

How the Ombudsman helps to make a difference

October 8, 2020

To mark International ‘Ombuds Day’ on 8 October, Ombudsman Margaret Kelly explains in this short video how the service makes a real difference to people’s lives. “Our job is to make a difference for the many individuals who come to our office having experienced difficulties and sometimes even trauma or grief”, says Ms Kelly.  “And while we can’t take that away, we can and do make a difference by independently … Continue reading How the Ombudsman helps to make a difference

Telephone service – temporary arrangements

July 27, 2020

Please note that our telephone service now operates between the hours of 9.00am and 1.00pm, Monday to Thursday. Outside of these hours you will still be able to leave a message and a member of our ASSIST team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Nomination of a new Public Services Ombudsman

July 6, 2020

The Northern Ireland Assembly today (6 July 2020) nominated Margaret Kelly as the new Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman.   The new Ombudsman will take up her post on 19 August, following appointment by Royal Warrant.  The 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 … Continue reading Nomination of a new Public Services Ombudsman

COVID-19 Update

March 25, 2020

Our office is closed to walk-in visitors but we are still responding to emails and phone enquiries.  If you would like to contact us we would encourage you to do so by email ( or through our online complaints form. We will do our best to respond to your enquiries as soon as we can, and we appreciate your patience and understanding. Please be aware, however, that as our staff … Continue reading COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 update (17 March)

March 17, 2020

We are currently taking steps to manage the circumstances we are all experiencing in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Like most others, including our fellow public sector service providers, this is impacting on our ability to provide our full normal service. We are continuing to provide our services but please be aware that our office is now closed to walk-in visitors and our staff are working from home. We … Continue reading COVID-19 update (17 March)

Assembly nominates Acting Ombudsman

February 2, 2020

Mr Paul McFadden was nominated by the Northern Ireland Assembly on 3 February 2020 to serve as Acting Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman. Paul has served as Deputy Ombudsman for Northern Ireland since July 2016. At that time he was also appointed the Deputy Commissioner for Local Government Standards, and the Judicial Appointments Ombudsman for Northern Ireland. He joined NIPSO from the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) where he was … Continue reading Assembly nominates Acting Ombudsman

Records Matter

January 29, 2020

The Public Services Ombudsman, the Northern Ireland Audit Office and the Information Commissioner’s Office have worked together to produce a publication on good record-keeping.  “Records Matter: a view from regulation and oversight bodies on the importance of good record keeping” is based on our collective experience of complaint handling, investigations, audits and inspections. To download the publication, go to Records Matter on Information and guidance page.

Report Summary

The 50th anniversary of the Ombudsman in Northern Ireland: a short film

December 17, 2019

The Ombudsman’s office opened its doors to the public on 22 December 1969.  To mark the occasion we have produced a short film, The 50th Anniversary of the Ombudsman in Northern Ireland, which looks at the Office’s origins and explains more about our work.  The film includes an interview with Dr Paul Arthur, Professor of Peace Studies at Ulster University, who provides a historical background to the creation of the … Continue reading The 50th anniversary of the Ombudsman in Northern Ireland: a short film