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News article created on 27 March 2015

New chair appointed to the Reconstituted Waterways Ombudsman Committee

Steve Harriott, group chief executive of The Dispute Service, has been elected to the voluntary role from within the new committee and will replace the current chair, Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC, at the next meeting of the Ombudsman Committee on 8 April.

Steve is one of three independent voluntary members of the newly reconstituted Ombudsman Committee together with Kevin Fitzgerald, who has held senior positions in a number of regulatory and commercial organisations, and Jenny Murley, who is currently compliance & legal manager and company secretary to an FCA regulated organisation. 

The other members of the Committee are Canal & River Trust trustee, Tom Franklin, and the Trust’s general counsel Jackie Lewis.  Andrew Walker remains the Waterways Ombudsman. 

The Waterways Ombudsman investigates complaints about the Canal & River Trust and its subsidiaries. The position is independent and impartial, and can make recommendations for action on complaints already considered under the Trust’s own complaints procedure.

The main roles of the Ombudsman Committee are the appointment (or removal from office) of the Ombudsman; keeping the operation of the scheme under review, both to ensure that it meets its purposes and that it is adequately funded; to receive reports on the method and adequacy of publicising the scheme and to publish an annual report.  Issues relating to the investigation or determination of complaints continue to be matters for the Ombudsman alone.