Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration
Also found in: Dictionary, Acronyms.
Parliamentary Commissioner for Administrationin the constitutional law of the UK, an officer who is charged with investigating complaints where officials are charged with having obeyed the law but have not acted in a proper administrative way, examples being bias, delay, perversity and arbitrariness. The immediate model was that of the Scandinavian ombudsman, which had been introduced in New Zealand, and to an extent the idea was not unlike the Comptroller and Auditor General. He can be removed only on an address to both houses and is a member of the COUNCIL ON TRIBUNALS. He oversees most government departments but not the health service, nationalized industries and the like, nor the police. He has considerable power to investigate and to demand documents and papers, there being no Crown privilege. Complaints, however, must still come through a Member of Parliament and not from a member of the public directly. The House of Commons has a select committee on the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Administration to monitor his performance and the exercise of the office generally. Various National Health Service Acts have since setup three Health Service Commissioners for Scotland,Wales and England. There are, since 1974 in England and 1975 in Scotland, three Commissions for Local Administration. See also EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006