Skip to main content

Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2019

The Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2019 (the 2019 Act) replaces the Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2005 and provides the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales (the Ombudsman) with new powers. These include the power to carry out “own initiative” investigations into listed authorities, which can take place even when there is no complaint from a member of the public. However, an own initiative investigation can only be conducted if the requirements set out in the 2019 Act are met and the investigation complies with the criteria prepared and published by the Ombudsman.

The 2019 Act also gives the Ombudsman powers to prepare and publish a statement of principles about complaints-handling and permits them to publish model complaints-handling procedures. 

Schedule 3 to the 2019 Act sets out the bodies and other persons that are listed authorities for the purposes of the Act and are therefore within the remit of the Ombudsman. The Welsh Ministers have the powers to amend the list of bodies and other persons. This power was exercised with effect from 1 April 2021, for example, when corporate joint committees were added to Schedule 3.

The Explanatory Notes to the Act provide detailed commentary on the various provisions

Coming into force:

Sections 77 to 82 of the Act came into force on 22 May 2019, which was the day the Act received Royal Assent, in accordance with section 77(2). Section 77(1) provides that the remaining provisions of the Act come into force when the Welsh Ministers make one or more orders. The following order has been made:

Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2019 (Commencement) Regulations 2019.

Subordinate legislation made under the Act:

TitleCitation numberMade dateComing into force dateSupporting documents
The Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2019 (Amendment of Schedule 3) Regulations 20212021 No. 345 (W. 99)17 March 20211 April 2021Explanatory Memorandum 

Consideration of the legislation by the Senedd: 

The Bill was introduced by Simon Thomas AM, who was Chair of the Finance Committee at the time, on 2 October 2017. It was passed by Senedd Cymru (then known as the National Assembly for Wales) on 20 March 2019.

More information about the Bill is available on the Senedd’s website, including a record of the passage of the Bill through the Senedd and the Explanatory Memorandum that was prepared by the Finance Committee (as amended after Stage 2).

The Act received Royal Assent on 22 May 2019.

Published on
Last updated
15 August 2023