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13 June 2014

National Assembly agrees Nick Bennett's appointment as new Public Services Ombudsman

The National Assembly for Wales has approved the appointment of Nick Bennett as Wales’s Public Service Ombudsman.

Mr Bennett, Group Chief Executive of Community Housing Cymru, has been chosen as the preferred candidate.

As a public appointment it was subject to formal nomination by Assembly Members and final approval by Her Majesty.

“I’m looking forward to taking up the post at a critical time for public services in Wales,” said Mr Bennett.

“I hope to build on the successes of my predecessor in ensuring the office provides excellent recourse for service users across Wales and that we can help drive improvement in our public services.”

Four candidates were shortlisted for the role and attended an interview on 28 March.

Claire Clancy, Chief Executive and Clerk of the Assembly, Jocelyn Davies AM, Assembly Member and Chair of the Finance Committee and Jim Martin, the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman recommended Mr Bennett as the preferred candidate.

“Mr Bennett was chosen on account of his wealth of experience across public services in Wales and sound knowledge of the current challenges surrounding the Office of the Ombudsman,” said Jocelyn Davies, who chaired the appointment panel.

“He showed a keen desire to ensure that he would be able to contribute positively to public service improvement.”

The National Assembly for Wales’s Presiding Officer, Dame Rosemary Butler AM, added: “Nick has an impressive track record in terms of his contribution to public life in Wales.

“He has all the necessary experience that I am sure will make his time as Public Services Ombudsman a great success.”

Mr Bennett appeared before the Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee on 31 March for the pre-nomination hearing. He discussed his vision and priorities for the role and the challenges of dealing with complaints.

On 2 April, Assembly Members voted unanimously to agree his appointment.

CHC’s Executive Board have met to discuss the recruitment process to ensure the successful appointment in what will be a challenging, high profile and rewarding position leading the social housing sector in Wales. You can apply for the Chief Executive vacancy here.