Question to the Cabinet Office:
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman's powers in respect of the ability to proactively investigate systemic issues arising in the benefits system.
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman operates according to his powers in the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967. This includes investigating complaints made by MPs on behalf of members of the public about the benefits system administered by the Department for Work and Pensions. The current legislation does not include powers to investigate any issues proactively and ministers have no plans to introduce such reforms at the current time.